'Tis the lobster roll season, and then some. Yum!

This is one of my favorite parts of summer. Biting into the perfect, hot, buttery lobster roll made with huge, fresh Maine lobster. Or maybe you're all about the chilled, mayo-based lobster roll.

When summer hits, we don't even mind paying $30 (or whatever the market price is) for anything Maine lobster. However, here's where you have to be leery.

Fresh lobster roll in Maine
Danielle Boyd

You know the old saying, "You get what you pay for." When it comes to lobster, these are words to live by. I know you've seen restaurants selling lobster at prices that feel too cheap. There's also lobster out there that's more expensive than Maine lobster.

Let's start with the cheapies.

According to Tasting Table, it's most likely not traditional lobster. While it's listed as lobster on the menu and likely tastes delicious, the dish is probably made with langostinos. Seafood Source says that langostinos are technically a species of lobster and part of the family. However, they're more closely related to crabs rather than the beautiful, mouthwatering crustaceans we know as our Maine lobster.

Glass of beer and lobster on dark background, selective focus

Tasting Table adds that langostinos come from Chile, look like small, stubby lobsters, and are a bit tougher in texture. It's usually chain seafood restaurants or places that don't want to spend the money on the real deal that tend to market langostino as lobster in appetizers, snacks, and sandwiches, while offering it cheaper than traditional lobster.  So basically, be mindful if the real deal is what you're after.

Meanwhile, Bon Appetit says that luxury chefs consider langoustines (also called Norway lobster) to be even tastier than Maine lobster, because the meat is much more delicate. So be prepared to pay a premium for something smaller than a lobster tail as well.

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