is lobster less expensive to buy? Why?
Top of page
In Maine, lobsters are less expensive from the end of
August to the beginning of November because that is when
most lobsters are harvested.
the difference between a hard-shell and soft-shell lobster?
Is one a better bargain? Top of page
When a lobster outgrows its shell, it molts and discards
or "sheds" the old shell. It then has a soft shell and
is called a "shedder." As the lobster feeds, its shell
hardens, and it adds meat to its body. Soft-shell lobsters
have less meat than hard-shell lobsters. It should
also be noted that hard-shell lobsters will survive a
lot longer in refrigerated conditions and are therefore
a far superior lobster to ship live.
it okay to eat a soft-shell lobster? Top
Yes. Most people prefer soft-shell lobsters because they
say the meat is a little sweeter and they don't need any
tools to crack them apart. We only ship soft-shell
lobsters pre-cooked because they do not survive the shipping
process as well as hard-shell lobsters. However when they
are reheated they are just as delicious Also, because
they do not need to be shipped overnight they are considerably
often does a lobster molt? Top of
Lobsters molt about twenty-five times in the first 5 to
7 years of their lives. After that time, they molt less
frequently - about once a year. After a molt, it takes
months for a shell to harden and fill with meat.
much do lobsters gain in size when they shed?
They increase about 20 percent each time.
much water is necessary to boil a lobster? Should you
use salt water?
Put one to two
inches of water in the bottom of the pot to steam lobsters,
or allow 21/2 quarts of water per lobster if you want
to boil them. You don't have to use saltwater, but most
people would agree that lobsters taste better if you add
sea-salt to the water or use seawater, which contains
21/2 to 3 percent salt. (Complete instructions on how to cook lobsters.)
do you tell when a lobster is done? Top of
The lobster will turn a bright red and the antennae will
pull out easily when the lobster is done.
do lobsters turn red when they are cooked? Top of
A live lobster is greenish-brown because of many different
color pigment chromatophores. When it is cooked, all the
pigments are masked except for astaxanthin, which is the
background red pigment.
Does lobster contain much fat or cholesterol? Top of
Lobster (without butter) is very low in calories, saturated
fat, and cholesterol. Lobster meat also contains omega-3
unsaturated fatty acids, the substances that seem to reduce
hardening of the arteries and decrease the risk of heart
part of the lobster is tomalley? Top of
The tomalley functions like a combination intestine, liver,
and pancreas in the lobster. Some people think this is
the best part of the lobster to eat.
it necessary to remove the black vein in the tail before
It won't hurt you, but some people prefer to remove it
because it is the intestine which is part of the digestive
system and does not taste very good.
is the red part that you sometimes see inside a lobster?
These are the roe or unfertilized eggs which have not
been extruded. It is called "coral" and some people find
it very tasty.
Are there parts of a lobster that
are poisonous? Top
are "culls"? Top of
Lobsters that have lost one or both claws. It takes three
or four molts for a lobster to regenerate a claw to full
does a lobster drop a claw? Top of
A lobster can drop a claw as a defense mechanism (if his
claw gets stuck or if he is coming up short in a lobster
brawl) and grow another over a period of years.
are chickens, quarters, selects, and jumbos?
The following common terms are used to describe the size
of lobsters, according to the Maine Department of Marine
1-pound to 11/8-pound: heavy chickens
11/2- to 13/4-pound: selects
2-pound: deuces or 2-pounders
2- to 21/4-pound: heavy selects
21/4- to 21/2-pound: small jumbos
Over 21/2-pound to approximately 4-pound: jumbos
are "shorts" or "snappers"? Top of
They are undersized lobsters that a lobsterman throws
back into the ocean so they can grow to legal size.
large lobsters tougher than small lobsters?
Most people think there is no difference in tenderness
between the meat of small and large lobsters. However,
cooking a lobster for too long can make it tough. Also,
according to some people, meat from soft-shell lobsters
is more tender than that from hard-shell lobsters.
old is an old lobster? Top of
No one has yet found a way to determine the exact age
of a lobster because it sheds its shell every time it
molts. However some lobsters have been estimated to be
over 100 years old
do you call a female lobster? .......A hen.
When is a lobster a chicken? .....When it weighs
about one pound.
When is a lobster a pistol? .......When it has
Why wouldn't a lobsterman with shorts on want to
meet a marine patrol officer? .......He has lobsters that
don't meet the the legal size.
Why shouldn't a lobster walk into the kitchen?
......It's the first chamber of a lobster trap.
can you tell a male from a female? Top of
The swimmerets, the small feathery appendages on the underside of
the tail, will provide the answer. The first pair of swimmerets
closest to the body are hard and bony on a male, and soft
and feathery like the rest of the swimmerets, on a female.
Only the female has a small rectangular shield between
her second pair of walking legs. This is the sperm receptacle
where she stores the sperm after mating until she lays
big is a lobster's brain? Top of
Dave Dow, former Director
of the Lobster Institute, claims a lobster has a brain
the size of a grasshopper's. The lobster brain is primarily
just a collection of ganglia, or nerve endings.
It's evident from the lobster brain's lack of complexity
that a lobster does not do much deep thinking, adding
support to lobstermen's claims that lobsters probably
do not feel pain, certainly not in the way humans do.
How do you hypnotize a lobster? Top of
To hypnotize a lobster, stand it on its head with
its claws laid out in front of it and its tail curled
inward. Rub your hand up and down the carapace making
sure to rub between the eyes. Eventually it may stand
by itself. (Whoever thought of this must have been really
starved for excitement.)
into tight quarters, lobsters become especially cannibalistic,
which is why they must be banded in a lobster pound or
bands are small and strong. Lobster harvesters use a special
tool that resembles a pair of pliers to open the rubber
band to slip it over the lobster's claw
Why do lobstermen release a berried
female? Top of
berries are eggs and females with eggs are released so
the eggs can hatch. The eggs spend at least ten months
on the female. The colder the water, the longer the eggs
take to hatch. A berried female is also marked with a
V-notch in her tail so if she is caught again the lobsterman
knows she was an egg-bearing female and releases her.
WW II, the LobLure Corporation tried to find a fool-proof
type of artificial bait. Some of their unusual concoctions
ranged from a bait bag that blinked like an electric light
to less-promising kerosene-soaked bricks or white coffee
sea creatures, including salmon, oysters, and mussels,
are raised successfully through sea farming or aquaculture.
Since lobsters command such a high price at the market,
you would think there would be massive aquaculture operations
to raise them. Lobsters are not easy to raise in captivity,
and as yet no one has made a profit from it. Experiments
have been conducted for years trying to find an economic
way to raise them without much success.
problems repeatedly crop up:
in close quarters will eat each other. When lobsters are
raised in captivity, they are kept in large vats as larvae.
Whirlpool currents keep the baby lobsters spinning beyond
each other's reach. When they settle to the bottom, they
must be kept in individual pens and moved to ever larger
enclosures as they grow.
grow very slowly, taking an average of 5-7 years to reach
market size. That's a long time to feed and maintain them.
They can grow faster in warmer water, but it still takes
several years to reach market size. Factor in food costs
(lobsters can be picky eaters in captivity), heating the
water to make them grow faster, and treating disease,
and it's easy to see why raising a lobster to adulthood
approach to lobster aquaculture has been to keep them
captive only from egg to hatching to the fourth or fifth
stages when they start to settle to the bottom. Hatchery
operators then free the baby lobsters into the ocean and
hope that they survive long enough to join the lobster
fishery as market-size catch. A portion of the income
from the sale of lobster licenses in Maine goes to fund
a "seed lobster program" to support research in aquaculture
or "sea farming." Perhaps 100,000 larval lobsters are
released into coastal waters each year.