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Maine Lobster: The New Chinese New Year Delicacy

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — China's rising middle class has helped produce a surge in exports of American lobsters to the communist country.

Lobster from the U.S. has become an especially popular dish during the Chinese New Year, which this year falls on Thursday. A whole steamed lobster is seen as a good-luck symbol and a mark of prosperity.

And that's good news for Maine, which is far and away the nation's No. 1 lobster state. The boom in business from China has put more money in the pockets of Maine's lobstermen and kept shippers and processors busy during the usually slack midwinter months.