Lobster Facts

The Anatomy of a Lobster

A lobster is made up of these simple parts (in layman's terms): thorax, tail, flipper, crusher claw, pincher claw, legs and antennae

If you're dying to know if you're about to eat a male or female lobster, all you need to do is look behind the legs and before the swimmerets for a small pair of appendages on the underside of the lobster. If these appendages are hard and boney, it's a male. If they are soft and feathery, you've got a female. Look closely...sometimes they are folded up under the body.

Lobster blood is clear and turns an opaque white when cooked. It has no flavor and is perfectly fine to eat. The green stuff you may find is called "Tomalley", and is the equivalent of a liver and pancreas for the lobster. Many people consider tomalley to be a delicacy, while others avoid it altogether.

Screaming Lobsters

For those of you who are concerned about cooking screaming lobsters, here are the facts. The nervous system of a lobster is decentralized and has been compared to that of a grasshopper. From what we know, this means they probably feel little or no pain. They also have no vocal chords. The sound you may hear is actually steam escaping from the shell as the lobster cooks. If you're still concerned about hurting the lobster, begin to cook it in cold water instead of hot. As the temperature rises, it will put the lobster to sleep. So will laying it on its back for a few minutes.

The Adventures of the Incredible Regenerating Lobster
This is not a comic book hero. Lobsters can actually regenerate legs, claws, and antennae. In fact they can amputate their own claws and legs to escape danger. Sometimes they can drop a claw for no reason at all.

How Do They Grow?

Lobsters shed their shells to grow (molting). Their shell softens as a result of enzymes that are secreted. This allows the shell to split up the back, enabling the lobster to crawl out. They will increase their size by about 20% at every molt. A lobster averages 4-5 molts per year until it has reached full size. During its soft shell phase, lobsters often protect their vulnerable bodies by hiding under rocks for about 6-8 weeks. Soft shell lobsters are much easier to eat, however tend to have less claw meat.

Left-Handed Lobsters are More Creative...

Okay, this probably isn't true, however, lobsters are right- or left- "handed". Sometimes their crusher claw will be on the right side while others have it on the left.

Colorful Creatures

Lobsters come in a variety of colors. The ones you will see at Five Islands and the rest of New England are mostly a dark reddish-brown in color. They can also be blue-green, yellow, white, orange and red. Albino lobsters (white) are the only ones that don't turn red when cooked. When lobsters are cooked, all other pigments are masked except for the underlying red color, this is why all lobsters are the same color when you eat them.

A Thriving Lobster Population

The State of Maine has special laws that are designed to protect our lobster fishery for years to come. A special guage is used to measure the lobster's body. There are both minimum and maximum size measurements. The minimum size is designed to make sure that all lobsters are mature enough to breed at least once before they are harvested. The maximum size limit is designed to protect the breeding stock. A minimum size lobster will weigh around 1 lb., while a maximum size lobster will weigh between 3-4 lbs. The most plentiful, and most popular size of Maine Lobsters are 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lb. each. Maine is the only state to protect the resource like this.

The New Lobster Diet!

Okay, not really. But if you're looking for a low fat, low cholesterol dish, why not eat Lobster? Maine Lobster has less calories (98), cholesterol (72mg) and saturated fats (0.1g) than turkey and chicken. (Of course, that doesn't include your butter). Read Full Article


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