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How to eat a lobster 

Boiling down the best way to dissect and chow down on the classic seaside summer meal. Don’t forget the the butter.

click to enlarge LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins

1- Walking legs
How to Eat Lobster placemats and bibs will try to sell you on the idea that sucking on a series of spidery legs is going to reward you with the sweetest meat or a fountain of tasty juice that absolutely can’t be missed. That is absolute bullshit: Fishers just want to see tourists look like idiots. So unless you have a rolling pin in your purse, forget ’em. Or put them in your purse for later.

2- Claws
The pincher claw is a bit smaller than the crusher claw, but both are rich with tasty meat and, if carefully plucked out, those are the pieces you can use to decorate the lobster mac and cheese, lobster poutine, lobster WTF you are making to impress your friends. Twist the claws off and crack them open with a nutcracker—you can also use scissors, or wrap them in a towel and give them a big crack with the back of a cleaver if you’re desperate. Make sure to give the knuckles the ol’ twist-and-crack, too, and pull out those little nuggets of meat with a pick.

3- Tail
The pièce de résistance, with its big beautiful curve of succulent meat. Pull up on the shell and snap it off, then crack the little back fins off and toss ’em aside. You can try to poke the meat up and out with a fork, or grab your wimp scissors and cut between the swimmerettes—the little wispy legs on the underside—to ease yourself into cracking. (Or tear that shit apart with your hands like god intended, you monster.) Take note of the tails when you’re picking your lobster: Lady lobsters have the shell equivalent of child-bearing hips, so the tails are broader. They’ll have the bonus of coral-hued roe, which is so salty and sweet you’ll think you’re eating a seashore. You may also notice a bunch of white goop on the meat—it’s totally edible! It’s just the hardened hemolymph—blood, basically. It actually means your lobster is nice and fresh.

4- Body
A lot of people discard the body because even though we are boors who will tear a lobster apart with our bare hands, we eventually get squeamish. But there is actually a lot of meat in there. It’s also where you’ll find the tomalley—this goopy green paste is basically the lobster’s liver and pancreas. Some say not to eat it, others say it’s the best part. Seriously, though, relax. Along with the tomalley, you may also some more roe, if that lobster is a gal. Get crazy and spread a combo of that meat, tomalley and roe on some crusty bread, close your eyes and let the flavour ebb and flow like the tide.

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