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How to Eat Lobster

Eating lobster the right way can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience dining on this seafood delicacy. In order to enjoy the delicious lobster meat, you’ll need to remove it from the shell. Follow the directions below and you’ll become a pro in no time.

Handling Live Lobsters

First, do not take the lobsters out of the carton to play with them. You may open the carton to inspect them, but recommends you do not remove them from the carton. Second, add some wet newspaper and additional frozen gel packs to the carton. This will help to keep the lobsters moist. Do not immerse them in freshwater, as the lobsters cannot live in freshwater. Third, refrigerate the entire carton right away. The lobsters must be kept cool. If their body temperature rises significantly, the lobsters will perish. If upon inspection one of the lobsters seems lifeless or lethargic, in general the lobster is still healthy and it is all right to prepare. When a healthy lobster is cooked the tail will curl under the body. If the tail curls on the cooked lobster, the lobster is safe to eat. If for some reason you find that you can not prepare the lobsters for several days, you may partially cook them and then keep them in the refrigerator. Simply place the lobsters in boiling water for six minutes, and then remove them. Refrigerate the lobsters right away. Finish cooking at a later date. See the recipes page for further cooking instructions.

Before You Begin:

You’ll need nutcrackers (or pliers), a small fork, nut pick, lobster bib, and plenty of towels. Sometimes the shell of a large lobster before molting may be so hard that you'll need a hammer to crack it. However, after molting the lobster's soft-shell is pliable and can be easily torn apart with a nutcracker.

  1. Remove the large claws with a twist and crack open the shells.
  2. Holding the lobster in one hand, grab the tail with your other hand and bend the tail until it breaks free.
  3. Crack the tail at the end and use the small fork to push the meat out the large end. The meat from the cracked claws can also be pushed out with the fork or nut pick. The small legs can be removed with a twist and the meat removed either with the nut pick or simply squeezed out with one's teeth.
  4. Use a knife to slice through the soft-shell on the underside of the lobster so the meat contained between the cartilages can be easily removed.
  5. Place the body with the shell facing up and pull on both sides of the cavity at the same time. The upper shell will break off, leaving you with the tenderest meat in the lobster's body. The nut pick can be used to remove this meat.
  6. The green substance contained within the cavity is the lobster's liver (tomalley) and it’s often enjoyed dipped into butter and spread on a cracker. The red roe (female lobster's eggs) are also edible.
  7. The stomach sac found in the head behind the eyes, as well as the gills above the cartilage should be discarded.
  8. A boiled or steamed lobster should be allowed to drain before serving. Pierce the underside of the lobster at the chest cavity or twist the tail from the body.

Lobster meat is delicious dipped into drawn butter. Some people enjoy it with just a squeeze of lemon. Fresh steamed or boiled New England lobster should never be overpowered with other ingredients. It is best served simply. Lobster is not only good eating, but full of nutrients as well.

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