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Lobster Anatomy 101


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General Discussion

Lobster Anatomy 101

Pappy | | Aug 8, 2002 08:51 AM

I'm not a big lobster fan, and obviously no expert, as will become immediately apparent in the following questions. But I am the Chowhound of the family, and so became quite embarrassed at a lobster dinner last weekend when I had to stumble my way through a few seemingly simple questions.

Perhaps some more knowledgeable Northeasterners could help me?

1) The relatively hard red/pink/coral colored material inside a cooked lobster is the roe or eggs? Therefore only in female lobsters? Always in female lobsters? Or sometime? Are they known to have much flavor? Ever eaten raw? Used as garnish?

2) The more liquid green matter? Is that the liver? Therefore in males and females? Always? Is it also called the "tamale?" Where did that term come from? It's very tasty, should I not be eating it? Is it ever used in cooking outside the lobster? Do some restaurants remove this before serving?

3) There is often a very dark, almost black substance along with/next to the green matter above. Is that anything different? If it's darker, does it tell me anything? Does it reveal age? Season of harvest? Diet?

4) When ordering lobster, does male or female make a difference in amount of meat? Taste? Tenderness? How about time of year? I tend to eat lobster in summertime, but I wonder if winter lobsters would be just as good?

5) I don't want to rehash all the lobster cooking theories here. I believe I'm probably a purist when it comes to steaming a lobster. But I wonder if there aren't some wonderful recipes for splitting the lobster first, taking out the goodies mentioned above, and them cooking them separately? Any direction would be appreciated.

Marine Ignorant


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