O.K., so the original headlines were in Maine, not New Hampshire. But this is a crabby issue!
Are langostino's being passed off as lobsters? Or are langostino's lobsters anyway? They don't appear to have claws, but do they technically have to be?
Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine says it has to stop. According to the same article, the Maine Lobster Promotion Council says langostinos cost Maine fishermen $44 million in lost sales to restaurant chains that market the shellfish on their menus. At least three restaurant chains market the alternative.
According to Answers.com: "In March 2006, Long John Silver's garnered controversy by offering buttered lobster bites, advertized with the statement "made with real langostino lobster." This is misleading because langostino is not actually lobster."
Red Lobster's current dinner menu on their web site calls it lobster at least twice on its menu:
--Entree:" LOBSTER AND CRAB--Shrimp and Lobster PastaShrimp and Maine & langostino lobster meat in a garlic Alfredo sauce over linguini."
--Appetizer: "Lobster and Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms--Fresh mushrooms with a savoury Maritime & langostino lobster meat, crawfish, broccoli, rice & cheese stuffing, smothered..."
Some say langostinos are actually closer to the crab family, although it does look somewhat like a cross between a lobster and a shrimp. I've also seen it called a "prawn."
Read the 2005 article, "It Wasn’t a Rock, It Was a Rock Langostino" about a woman who sued a restaurant in Los Angeles who served langostino's in their burritos, and said it was lobster on the menu. According to "Look Smart," Rubio's officials received permission from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration consumer safety officer to use the term "langostino lobster" for the two species used in the dish. According to Slashfood, in May of 2006, the action was settled. "The popular fresh Mexican restaurant settled the suit by offering class members and other customers a one-time coupon worth $3 off a $10 purchase at any of Rubio's restaurants in California.
Either the folks in the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Seafood need a new lobster manual OR Senator Snowe should call off the dogs.
Go right now and search the FDA search engine for LOBSTER... see what comes up FIRST!!