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We Know Our Sources: Tristan Lobster Tails

Rich and red in color with velvety meat, Tristan Lobster Tails are a dreamy meal for the eyes and taste buds.

Luckily, you don’t have to make a reservation at a high-end restaurant or break the bank to enjoy this sensational sea fare; in fact, you can enjoy it in your own home! Stop by our Seafood Department during your next grocery haul to find the freshest selection of Tristan Lobster Tails — “the best lobster available to the world!”

What sets this lobster apart from the rest? Aside from unrivaled taste, it has a unique origin story that will that is as impressive as its taste.

The remote island of Tristan de Cunha is the most isolated inhabited island in the world, located 1500 miles west of Cape Town, South Africa – the nearest mainland. Tristan Rock Lobster inhabits these deep, cold, pristine waters midway between Africa and South America and has a particular succulent taste unequaled anywhere in the world.

Cooked Tristan Lobster Tails

Tristan da Cunha gets its name from the Portuguese navigator, Tristao da Cunha, who first sighted the island in 1506. It remained uninhabited until it was annexed by Brittan in 1816 when a small garrison (troop) was sent to prevent the island from being used to mount a rescue operation to free Napoleon Bonaparte. The garrison was withdrawn after the death of Napoleon, but a Scot, Cpl. William Glass, remained with his wife, two children and two stonemasons from Plymouth, England. Over the years, others joined them and the community gradually grew to its present population of 270 with seven family names hailing from England, Scotland, the U.S., Holland and Italy.

Tristan da Cunha Island

Established in 1948, the lobster fishery of Tristan de Cunha is at the core of the island’s economy and has allowed for virtually no unemployment. However, a volcanic eruption in 1961 forced the evacuation of the entire population, bringing the fishery and economy to a screeching halt. After a period in England, the majority of the islanders chose to return to Tristan in 1963. The fish factory, covered by 100 feet of lava, was rebuilt in 1966. This factory operated for 42 years before being destroyed by fire on St. Valentine’s Day 2008. The new, modernized processing facility was commissioned in 2009.

The Tristonians, whose main source of income is fishing, operate an inshore fleet of nine two-man dinghies, around the island of Tristan da Cunha. Experienced personnel at the factory on Tristan da Cunha process the lobster caught by these fisherman.

In addition to the shore-based facilities on Tristan da Cunha, our vendor, Ovenstone Agencies harvests lobster in the waters around the islands of Gough, Nightingale and Inaccessible using a long line multi-trap method. Small powerboats are also launched from the vessel and source from in-shore kelp forests. Each catch is processed and frozen at sea so that you can enjoy the freshest lobster at home.

Interested in making lobster tails? Click here to learn an easy way to prepare them at home.

Craving crab legs instead? Click here and learn how easy they are to make!

Tristan Lobster Tails on Ice
Heinen's logo in black
By Heinen's Grocery Store
In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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