Food(-related) Shopping

How about lobsters from Canada, which areas are the best? And the best species? We have tried to have our friends coming back from Brittany to buy us some local French blues lobsters, the price was about 70€ a kilo vs 25-30€ the Canadian ones.

Was it this? It’s the most common species of crab around these parts.

I eat the claws all the time. Buy whole crabs only when they are full of roe otherwise it’s not worth the hassle. Too much work extracting meat from whole crabs.


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Neighbour and I went together with her kid to a farm in the l’île-de-France region to harvest some vegetables especially some root ones in the last autumn days. We have done it in other seasons, but since we were a bit fed up staying indoors all the time, we decided to be adventurous, it wasn’t particularly pleasant especially it started to rain. We’ve got some apples, butternuts, Red Kurt squashes (tiny sizes pumpkins), leeks, carrots, parsnips etc that we stored in the unheated garage until now.


Probably. There is also a decrease production of French cheese as demand is declining, COVID lockdown. Decrease milk production is down by 20%.

I’ve had Fourchu lobsters from (I think) Nova Scotia and they are excellent.

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Good to hear. I often feel like I’m the only person that does this. And among my group of non-online friends, I am. :laughing:

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I’ve had dressed crab in Newcastle that looked a little like that. I also had some potted crab removed from the shell in London at Ramsay’s Maze, and other chilled crab salad preps in southern England. Nice crab at Rules in London, on my last visit. If I see local shrimp, prawns or crab on the menu anywhere in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, I’m likely to order it.


Fishmongers in Canada aren’t quite as structured as they are in France. I’ve never seen a label more specific than Atlantic lobster in Canada, and I don’t know if more than 1 species could be in the tank. We have small frozen lobster tails from Cuba available, which would be the main other species available in our supermarkets, other than Atlantic lobster.

In terms of what areas are best, I’d say the best place to order Atlantic lobster is a place where the lobster is sourced less than a 2 hour drive away, and never spends time in an aquarium. You can purchase live lobsters to take home with you in some East Coast airports (Halifax)

For me, I can’t tell the difference between Prince Edward Island, Gaspé, Nova Scotian, Newfoundland, Maine or Massachusetts lobster. Au Pied du Cochon in Montreal gets a fresh delivery of lobster from Gaspé daily during the summer- that makes their lobster roll spectacular, and they fancy it up with foie gras, brioche and a yuzu drizzle. It’s a different animal than the traditional lobster roll, which is simple by design. The hot version is lobster, drawn butter and maybe lemon, the cold version usually has mayo.

I’ve tried some European spiny lobster, in France, and Greece, and I prefer the North American lobster, but I’ve had a chance to try a lot more North American lobster since I live here.


The northeast is definitely a good place for crab (and smoked fish). We may head up there for a few days later in the year, once we’re released from lockdown. My way to go would be a crab sandwich - white bread, of course. Smear the bread with the brown meat, instead of butter, then pile on the white meat, maybe with a little cucumber for crunch. Or butter the bread, then mix the brown & white together and pile on.

I remember having lunch at a pub on Holy Island (Lindisfarne). There was an American couple who asked what the “dressed crab” was. When the manager explained about the use of the brown and white, she couldnt really get a grasp of what the brown was. So, the manager went off and came back with a little sample for her to try. Response was basically, “Yuck - way too much flavour”.


Chuckling to myself as I read this. Fish and shellfish can be really polarizing foods among my friends and family. Either they adore seafood or they can’t abide the stuff.


We got Dungeness crab from a local market on NYE for the next day, Dungies being a thing here for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations. The season was really delayed in CA, so they probably came from the PNW, but they were still amazing.

Last week’s big farmer’s market find was organic lamb breast. Most of the shopping we do these days is limited to the supermarkets (and not all that often), Grocery Outlet, and the local farmer’s markets. We have a good supply of tinned fish, and because we’re members of the Rancho Gordo bean club we always have lots of beans in storage. We’re also lucky enough to be friends with a guy who makes South African-style hand pies and sausages, and every time we place an order he gives us a few lagniappes. Right now, there are 14 pies of different varieties in the freezer, including two sweet pies.


Sometimes we bought in bulks directly especially 1 crate each of mandarins, lemons, apples, potatoes, onions etc. But even with careful storage and weekly examination, we still had considerable lost. Any tips of better storage?

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That’s a nice collection! A few months ago, bought half a milk lamb directly online from the producer, I usually got that from the farmer market, I still have a 1/4 in the freezer, including the fore and hind legs, shoulder. Have to find some different recipes than my usual ways.

I have 2 packages of (Turkish manufactured) bucatini in the cupboard. The partner found the very last 3 at the usual Turkish green grocer. I also checked another Turkish shop but found no bucatini. I am afraid this my final 5 packages of bucatini. No other supermarket stocks it, also online. Now I know what to bring back if or when I return to Italy.

Turkish hot pepper paste (I use it on bread, in soup etc). Korean ssamjang pastes (green is best/spicy), Chinese spicy turnip chunks (use in stir-fries, as a condiment, a dollop on top of risotto/porridge kind of dishes).


Have you looked for Greek bucatini, at a store with Greek products?
The Misko brand in the hot pink package is fairly easy to find in Canada. Usually cheaper than most Italian pasta. I use their orzo and angel hair. I don’t tend to buy bucatini.

Plenty of bucatini avail on all online outlets I hit but the price has skyrocketed due to articles claims of scarcity.
Which makes my neck hair twitch. .

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We have no Greek shop in the whole country. I also shop at Polish supermarkets and they do have a big section of pasta but never bucatini.

The partner says “why you always like something unpopular or hard to find”.

Should not cost more than what I pay at the Turkish shop, which is 90 cents. I wouldn’t pay the new extortionate price.

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I rely on salami to add meaty taste to pasta dishes without using much meat at all. Three or four thin slices of deli salami per hearty portion, baked along with pasta and meatless tomato sauce, tastes meatier than you’d think.

Robert Rothschild Smoky Bacon Chutney is great as part of a grilled cheese sandwich, and makes for a BLT without rashers of bacon.


I still make biweekly shopping trips and, because I live within 15 minutes of a big supermarket, I will occasionally make a trip on a weekday, quiet afternoon to pick up something I really need. The walk and fresh air help a lot.

I haven’t noticed shortages anymore, though I noticed a few things out of stock. These get replaced by the next trip. I haven’t been stocking up on frozen veggies or pasta anymore.

I miss my trips to the fishmonger. 🥲 He’s just too far for me, and I only have been once for maybe the last 10 months. For the good news, I’ve noticed a few specialty seafood providers who now offer home delivery. I’ve been able to order some really good quality fish, like Ora salmon (that was a one time treat), kampachi, and even Alaskan crab legs once. You either order a lot, or you do have to pay a premium delivery fee for the expedited shipping. I know I’m so lucky to be able to do this, but I guess I can splurge from not having to eat out for lunch anymore.

The one item I continue to stock up on are instant noodles. :sweat_smile:. This is for lunch at home, while I work. I’ve had to branch out and experiment with a lot of new brands, and even some premium brands that are like $2.50-4/pack (Momosan, Nissin Raoh, etc). No 25 cents poor college student ramen for me!

So it’s definitely been weird… Alaskan king crab legs one day, and instant ramen the next…


So what brands would you recommend? I like instant ramen, but I always get overwhelmed looking at the selection!