The coast of Maine figures prominently in the imaginations of many desk-bound, traffic-trapped city dwellers, which is probably why products from Maine carry such cachet.

The appeal of Maine’s food products is obvious: the state’s seafood, blueberries, potatoes and the value-added products made from them taste good. Lobster is a luxury item prized around the world.

Several new Maine products were unveiled at two recent trade shows, the International Boston Seafood Show (IBSS) and the Maine Fishermen’s Forum: some tasty food products, some practical nonfood products, aimed at helping the fishing industry, and some just plain whimsical.

In Boston in February, Shucks Maine Lobster of Richmond (WWF Nov. 2006), the company that removes uncooked lobster from the shell using innovative water pressure technology, introduced a line of value-added Maine lobster dinners.

Back when Maine’s general license plate sported a lobster illustration, author Carolyn Chute said if the state wanted to depict a food eaten by real Mainers, the plate would bear the likeness of macaroni and cheese. Shucks has gone Chute one better, by introducing Maine Lobster Mac & Cheese — something for everyone.

Charlie Langston of Shucks describes the product as a little different from the usual mac and cheese fare, since it uses “a light mascarpone cheese” with delicate orzo pasta, as well as Kate’s Maine butter and the shucked Certified Maine Lobster meat.

“There’s no cleanup. Just pop it in boiling water and take it out of the pouch,” said Langston. The recipe originated at the famous French Laundry restaurant in California.

Another Shucks product, Shucks’ Fluffed and Stuffed Lobster Tails, was a finalist in the IBSS new products competition. “A whole lobster in a tail,” said Langston.

All the lobster meat except the tail is stuffed into the tail shell with flavorings added, the tail meat is placed on top of the stuffed tail and the uncooked lobster is frozen. Flavors available are Lemon Tarragon Butter, Asian Ginger or Lobster Thermidor. Two tails come in one package and the product must bake for 20 minutes.

A second Shucks product also reached the finals in the competition. Called “poach in a pouch” the frozen, uncooked lobster butter-poaches at a lower temperature than boiling whole lobster, and is designed for use by chefs in high-end restaurants.

Among many Maine exhibitors in Boston was Steve Young of Eliot, creator of Bistro Fresh retail “home meal replacement” products. Bistro served up a variety of new additions to its 50-item line, including a Salmon Wellington entree, Chardonnay salmon, Bourbon salmon and three seafood dips — crab, lobster and shrimp. The entrees are all fresh, packed in a novel microwavable container with a patented steam valve technology.

Lynn Dorr and her husband, lobster harvester Adam Butman of Spruce Head, manned the booth at IBSS for Port Clyde Foods, exhibiting Linda L. Bean’s Maine Lobster Stew. Frozen in a one pound pouch containing meat from two full lobster tails, the stew was launched last November and has been sold on the QVC shopping channel,

At the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, another food product was launched at the trade show, this one intended to feed the lobsters themselves.

Lew Flagg, retired from the Maine Department of Marine Resources, has been working for a few years with Ed Hanson, a retired vice president with Central Maine Power, to perfect a lobster bait that would recycle herring waste, cost lobstermen less, and hold up longer than herring.

The result is Maine Better Bait, a hard, brown rectangle composed of herring meal, which is made from compressed herring waste with the water removed. Flagg said the bait expands rapidly in water, but lasts between eight and 21 days.

“You get at least three trap hauls out of one piece,” Flagg said. One rectangle is used per bait bag, but it can be cut in pieces to create more surface area so the bait will start working faster than the usual two or three days for a complete piece. The bait will go into production in May.

A Cundy’s Harbor lobsterman cut the bait in pieces to create more surface area exposed to water, reported Flagg, dropped the trap in the water at 10 a.m. and returned at 4 p.m. to find four lobsters in his trap. Bait made a year ago and stored in Flagg’s barn reportedly worked as well as new bait. The meal, a dried powder from cooked herring, is made by Connors Brothers in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick.

Once lobsters are in the trap, A product called Hoop Gate, should keep them there, according to R. Knight and Sons, creator of the product. A metal circle that fits in the opening of the lobster trap is fitted with hanging, curved, clear plastic pieces that curve and swing inward but not outward, so when the lobster can’t get past them to escape.

Hoop Gate comes in different sizes to accommodate the entrance sizes on traps, and is a complementary product to the company’s Steady Clip, a device that attaches to the door of a wire trap to make the trap land upright on the sea floor. Literature distributed by R. Knight says that on longer trawls, traps have a turnover rate between 20 percent and 35 percent, while doubles and triples turn over at between 10 percent and 12 percent.

Pono’s Trap Co. & Bath Lobster Supply presented a more whimsical product, a lawn chair constructed from the wire mesh used to make lobster traps. The chairs, surprisingly comfortable, came in a variety of bright colors and should hold up fairly well outdoors.