By John Saulnier, FFB Editorial Director
Whether the Pilgrim settlers and Wampanoag Indians dined on turkey, some other fowl or perhaps venison during the famous Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts following the fall harvest of 1621 remains a subject of debate among culinary historians and scholars of the colonization of North America to this day.
And it is widely believed that jellied cranberry sauce, made from berries originally cultivated in the New World by indigenous peoples, was not at the table. The condiment was first sold commercially in the middle of the 18th century, according to Smithsonial.com. It was later introduced as a canned item in 1912 by Marcus L. Urann, a grower in Hanson, Massachusetts, who co-founded the Ocean Spray agricultural cooperative in 1930. The product was not marketed nationally as a year-round product until 1941.
Meanwhile, what can’t be disputed is that Lobster Mac & Cheese has increasingly become a popular winter holiday menu pleaser throughout the New England states and beyond in recent years. Thanks to the efficiency and convenience of industrial quick-freezing and overnight shipping, it’s a side dish that is being served by hosts from coast to coast. Those inclined to give credit where it’s due will tip their hat to Cal Hancock of Topsham, Maine-headquartered Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co., for generating major publicity for the product over the past decade or so through leading media outlets including The Oprah Magazine.
Now, just in time for Thanksgiving feasting among family and friends, East Coast Seafood of Topsfield, Massachusetts has debuted Lobster Macaroni & Cheese Blend featuring a blend of three cheeses under its newly launched Salt & Sky retail brand available at Giant Eagle and Hannaford retail stores in the Bay State as well as in Maine, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Two servings come per 340-gram box, which marks the first in a series of premiere frozen entrées now in the pipeline.
Additional products scheduled to roll out in the near future are Baja Lobster Flatbreads and Tuscan Shrimp.
“We’re thrilled to introduce Salt & Sky as an important part of our strategic alignment with growing consumer opportunities in both foodservice and retail,” said Chris Maze, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore region company. “Building upon our legacy of incredible seafood, we’re in the business of creating enhanced value for stakeholders at all levels of the supply chain, including the end consumer.”
The three cheeses featured in the initial Salt & Sky Lobster entrée are Cheddar, Mozzarella and Parmesan, further accented with a zesty mix of herbs and spices. Chef-recommended beverage pairings for the dish, which may be prepared by conventional oven baking or microwaving, are Sauvignon Blanc wine or Pilsner beer.
Established in 1981, East Coast Seafood has facilities in the USA and Canada, in addition to sales and distribution offices in Europe. It offers a wide line that features scallops and fish as well as live lobster, frozen whole cooked lobster, tails, claws and cooked meat. The company distributes products to more than 40 countries under labels that include Seatrade International, Garbo Lobster, Maine Fair Trade Lobster and East Coast Seafood.
“We’re proud of our longstanding commitment to the foodservice sector and seek the same strong relationship with retail consumers,” said Steve Musser, vice president of sales. “As we continue to develop additional product lines for Salt & Sky, we’ll be pairing incredible flavor profiles for a variety of lobster, scallops and fish concepts. Taste will be the unwavering gatekeeper. Real taste for real families – it’s a home run for everyone.”