With the gradual reopening of Europe’s restaurant and catering sectors offering the opportunity for consumers to reconnect with their favourite foods and to discover new dishes, there’s probably no better time for chefs to offer something special. Especially as more people have been exploring the seafood category during lockdown.
When it comes to providing a satisfying/exciting/special eating experience, very few products come close to rivalling lobster. These large marine crustaceans, with their sweet, succulent taste, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals and are loved by millions of people all over the world. The fact that lobsters can also be prepared and served in a wide variety of different ways adds to their universal attraction.
Utilising new tech
To ensure that they can continue to meet the considerable and growing international demand, while living up to their environmental responsibilities, many lobster fisheries have adopted highly sustainable fishing practices. At the same time, the sector has also benefitted from new processing technologies aimed at enhancing product quality.
Pittman Seafoods maintains that one of the most important recent advancements is Ultra High Pressure – or UHP – processing. UHP detaches 100% of the lobster meat (tail, claws, knuckles and legs) from the animal’s shell. This is done all at once and without compromising the end-product quality, thereby maximising yield.
Essentially, this is achieved by subjecting the shellfish to intense water pressure but no heat. And because the pressure is uniformly distributed around the entire product, its natural shape is preserved. Processors are left with a complete, shucked raw lobster. This is then deep-frozen ahead of distribution. The process also reduces microbial numbers, offering the potential to extend shelf-life.
Providing premium-quality, ready-to-use, sterilised products that retain natural moisture and a freshly-caught flavour, our frozen UHP lobsters have become extremely popular with chefs and the wider foodservice sector.
Not only are these professional kitchens given the consistent quality, convenience and versatility needed to create a wide variety of dishes, these businesses are finding that the format offers a way to keep a tight control on labour and raw material costs by offering a viable alternative to transporting and handling live products.
The process also helps overcome the issue of cooking live lobsters, which is prohibited in certain markets, and reduces waste.
Consumers, meanwhile, can order something that meets their purchasing requirements, i.e., safe, natural, and additive-free, and which has been produced in an environmentally-friendly way.
The Prince Edward Island (PEI) lobster trap fishery has long been our main source of lobsters. We have been distributing these wonderful, sustainably-certified products to European markets for many years.
We have found that as a raw material, PEI lobsters are ideally suited to UHP processing. And thanks to a very close connection that Pittman Seafoods has with a producer in Canada, we’re able to secure the volumes needed to meet the rising demand.
In addition to the UHP offering, our product portfolio also includes whole cooked frozen lobster, which is mainly sold into retail channels. By offering this, we’re ensuring that delicious, top-quality lobster dishes can be enjoyed all year-round.