Trendlines: lobster with waffle at Nana's

Fried lobster tail with raspberry waffle at Nana's Seafood and Soul Food on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Wade Spees/Staff

Meet the Lowcountry’s lobster dishes

Chefs throughout the area like to plug lobster into traditional Lowcountry preparations: Stars adds a lobster claw to its shrimp and grits, in addition to stuffing a lobster tail with Carolina gold rice, while sister restaurant Pawpaw puts lobster in its crab salad. Lobster mac-and-cheese and lobster deviled eggs are common around town.

Learn the backstory

The American lobster swims as far south as Cape Hatteras, but other shellfish, namely crabs, shrimp and oysters, are far more plentiful off the Carolina coast. Still, proximity isn’t a prerequisite for lobster enjoyment: Its buttery flesh is delicious, which is likely why chefs can’t resist it.

But lobster’s recent Southern cameos are supported by changing economics. In 2012, massive harvests drove down the per-pound price so far that it was cheaper to buy lobster than bologna in Maine. “Is lobster still a luxury?” a lobster trade magazine asked worriedly in 2015.

Since then, the price has rebounded, helped along by the new demand created by lobster roll trucks nationwide. But during those heady days when Walgreens was selling live lobster for $9.99 apiece, restaurants that hadn’t previously considered lobster started experimenting with it. Although McDonald’s hasn’t yet revealed whether it’s bringing back its lobster roll for a third summer, restaurants across the country have held on to lobster as a symbol of indulgence, even when combined with something as modest as a deviled egg.

And order it here

Nana’s Seafood & Soul, 176 Line St., 843-937-0002, instagram.com/nanasseasoul (Fried lobster boats, crab and lobster purloo and garlic lobster, all market price)

— Hanna Raskin

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.