Bread is Up, Lobster is Down
A few weeks ago I was honored to be a judge at Mass NARAL’s annual “Chocolate Madness” event, which raises funds to support women’s reproductive rights. I know better than to use this blog for directed political agendas, so I’ll leave you with the knowledge I’ve been in support of this event for more than 15 years — and it’s not because of my love of chocolate.
In fact, oddly, I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I do love the taste of chocolate, especially the really great dark chocolates that are making their way to market, but I never crave it. I can make it through the checkout line without a candy bar. Same with ice cream. I love the taste of it, but I never think to buy it and am rarely tempted by its sweet beckoning from a menu.
Anyway, “Chocolate Madness” was great fun, and dozens of area restaurants churned out a treasure chest of chocolate delights. The event was well attended, and it was a good opportunity to see fellow food writers, as well as chefs.
After the judging was over, I reconnected with baker Michael Rhoads (B & R Artisan Breads in Framingham, MA), a dear friend who opened a bread bakery. Once we caught up on family and friendship stuff, we got to chatting about food prices. The price of flour alone is up more than 300 percent. Hops. Rice. Devra First at the Boston Globe just wrote a great piece on Michael and the price of bread.
As we were talking about that, Clare Leschin-Hoar, a terrific food writer, joined our conversation and mentioned that she, too, was shocked but had done some research on an ingredient that had dropped in price. I couldn’t buy her story, but she agreed to let me run it here for you. So, thanks, Clare, and here it is:
Ready your bibs.
Reports of skyrocketing food prices are reaching anxiety levels. Wheat, corn, oils, beef, dairy are lightening wallets across the country, and consumers are starting to stockpile, but for a brief window there’s a surprising New England bargain to be had: lobster.
Last April at this time, lobsters were going for approximately $15 a pound wholesale. Today, prices are nearly half that, running around $7 a pound.
“I’ve seen lower prices over the years, but I’ve never seen prices actually drop in April,” says chef Jasper White, owner of the Summer Shack seafood restaurants in Boston and Cambridge.