The Journal of Armchair Economics

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Lobsters Pinched by the Downcline

May 13th, 2009 · No Comments · Commentary

In an attempt to deliver bargain seafood to downcline-weary diners, some restaurants have offered lobster at an amazing price. For example, the Long John Silver’s chain’s features “Buttered Lobster Bites” for just $2.99!

In a company press release, a Long John Silver’s spokesman stated, “Our customers tell us they crave the taste of lobster, but they don’t have $20 to spend – and an hour to waste – in order to get it. Now, with the introduction of our new Buttered Lobster Bites, customers can enjoy the taste of real langostino lobster at a fast food restaurant, served quickly and at a great price.”

It turns out that adding that little word “langostino” to the name can save you a lot of money. Food sold under the name “langostino lobster” is actually harvested from a variety of small shellfish, none of which are actually lobsters. Unlike your actual “lobster lobster,” these little guys are typically 3 inches long or less.

According to the U.S.’s Food and Drug Administration, meat labeled as langostino lobster can come from Squat lobster, Pelagic crab or Colorado langostino. They are closer relatives of the hermit crab than of the lobster.langostino


Above: Some of the small shellfish the FDA allows to be sold as “langostino lobster.” Critics say this is bullshit — which in some restaurants is referred to as “langostino beef.”