Characteristics

1. The northern lobster is perhaps the most prized of all shellfish. It has a large, flexible tail, four pairs of legs, and two large claws. Its shell is dark green or bluish green but turns red when cooked.

2. Meat from the tail, claws, and legs is eaten. It is white and sweet, with a distinctive taste. Claw meat is considered especially good.The coral (roe or eggs), which is dark green when raw and red when cooked, and the green tomalley (liver) in the thorax or body portion are also eaten.

3. Lobsters are classified by weight.

Chicken 1 lb (450 g) Quarters 114 lb (575 g)

Selects 112 to 214 lb (675 to 1025 g)

Jumbos over 21/2 lb (1130 g)

Figure 14.11

Splitting a lobster for broiling.

Figure 14.11

Splitting a lobster for broiling.

(a) Place the lobster on its back on a cutting board. With a firm thrust of a French knife, pierce the head.

(b) Bring the knife down firmly through the center of the lobster to split it in half.

4. Lobsters weighing over 20 lb (9 kg) have been caught,but they are rare.

(a) Place the lobster on its back on a cutting board. With a firm thrust of a French knife, pierce the head.

(b) Bring the knife down firmly through the center of the lobster to split it in half.

(c) With the hands, crack the back of the shell by spreading the lobster open.

(d) Pull out and discard stomach, a sac just behind the eyes.

(e) If desired, remove the tomalley for use in the crumb stuffing.

(c) With the hands, crack the back of the shell by spreading the lobster open.

(d) Pull out and discard stomach, a sac just behind the eyes.

(e) If desired, remove the tomalley for use in the crumb stuffing.

(f) With a sharp blow of the back of the knife, crack the claws.

(g) The lobster is ready for broiling. If it is broiled as shown, the end of the tail should be weighted down to keep it from curling.

(h) You may also split the tail all the way through and curl up the two sides as shown. In this position, weighting the tail is not necessary. Note that the claws have been broken off and placed beside the lobster.

(f) With a sharp blow of the back of the knife, crack the claws.

(g) The lobster is ready for broiling. If it is broiled as shown, the end of the tail should be weighted down to keep it from curling.

(h) You may also split the tail all the way through and curl up the two sides as shown. In this position, weighting the tail is not necessary. Note that the claws have been broken off and placed beside the lobster.

Figure 14.12

Cutting a lobster for saut├ęs and stews.

Figure 14.12

Cutting a lobster for saut├ęs and stews.

(a) Place the lobster on the cutting board. Pierce the head with a firm thrust of the knife point to kill the lobster quickly.

(b) Cut off the legs and claws.
(c) Remove the tail section from the thorax, either by breaking it off or by inserting the knife behind the thorax as shown and cutting through the flesh.

5. Yield: A 1-lb lobster yields about % lb cooked meat, or a 500-g lobster yields about 125 g cooked meat.

6. Sometimes customers request female lobsters in order to get the coral, so you should be able to tell females from males. Look at the pairs of tiny legs (called swimmerets) under the tail. If the pair closest to the front is soft and flexible, the lobster is female. If it is hard, the lobster is male.

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