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Ingalls Photography

Maine’s rocky shoreline and frigid coastal waters provide the ideal habitat for Homarus americanus, the American lobster, a cold-loving crustacean that hides in crevices and feeds on mollusks and baitfish. For our clambake, we mail-ordered these lobsters from such outfits as Cousins Maine Lobsters and Hancock Gourmet Lobster, one of 54 companies in the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative. Lobsters release a toxic by-product that renders them inedible if they die before cooking, so they must be either precooked or shipped live; these sustainable options are sent from Maine within 24 hours of harvest, and they arrive super fresh and ready to cook. They should be prepared quickly, as lobsters start to metabolize their flavorful nutrients as soon as they are taken from the water.

See more stories about the food of Maine in our Essential Maine guide »