You have a craving for Maine lobster, so you go ahead and order a whole lobster at a restaurant and it is brought to your table. What do you do first? Some people are uncomfortable with the beady eyes of the lobster staring at them and the whole creature taking up their plate, but have experienced the rewards of taking apart and eating the best lobster. They move their focus elsewhere, such as to the tail or claw meat, and tackle it first. (Pictured below, an impressive crusher claw).
So What’s the Best Tasting Part of Lobster?
For some lobster lovers, the tail meat is the best part of the lobster, but others really enjoy pulling the meat out of the claws and savoring the legs. If you are hungry and can’t wait, there is substantially more meat in the tail and it is easier to push out with a fork. Customers may favor the claws for the sweeter and tender meat, and there are two to devour. Perhaps you eat other parts of the lobster that others never taste: the body, legs, or tail flipper. The tail and claws are easy to eat, but don’t forget the knuckle meat within the shell between the claw and the body of the lobster.
When lobsters flap their tails and move around in the water, the twisting movements tend to make the tail meat more fibrous than the claw. The claw muscles, which are used less, are softer. The crusher claw, the larger of the two, which a lobster uses for crushing, is tougher than the pincher claw that pulls underwater prey apart. Since claws can be puny in terms of meat, most people rely on the tail meat to satisfy their appetites. Others enjoy the inside body of the lobster: the vein, intestine, roe (or eggs). If you do consume these parts, it is recommended to wash them out.
Cracking Into a Cooked Lobster
Taking a lobster apart before eating is an art. It involves protecting your clothing with a lobster bib and napkins, and taking the time to crack the lobster open, and remove the meat from the tail, claws, and legs. This whole process can be messy, and it may leave you behind others dining with you who are not so brave. You may have to adjust to the idea of finishing last, so here are some helpful tips on how to eat a lobster:
With nutcracker, small fork or picks on hand,
- Attack the Claws First: Separate the claws from the knuckles, then crack the knuckles in half with a nutcracker and remove the meat with a fork.
- Pull off the Legs: Twist them and roll out the meat (with a fork or another tool).
- Crack Open the Tail: Bend the tail backwards to crack off the end of shell and twist the tail fins and pull them off. Use your fingers or a fork to push the tail meat out of shell.
- Use the Extra Lobster Parts Sparingly: If you enjoy the green liver, or tomalley, from the body (unappealing to some people), mix it with lemon juice or butter to make a spread for bread or crackers. It is not highly recommended to consume it regularly, as it may contain some contaminants.
Tip: If you are at home, use a rolling pin to push the meat out of the legs.
Eating lobster with lemon juice or melted butter is the usual way to enjoy a meal. There are many recipes that can be added to a lobster dinner, and we recommend that you browse through some of our lobster recipes on our site for ideas.
Or, you may just wish to order lobster tails and save the trouble. Large lobster tails are sold by weight comparable to 2-6 pound lobsters and may be ordered either fresh or frozen, or out of the shell from LobsterAnywhere.com. Even easier, LobsterAnywhere offers lobster claws pre-cooked and ready to enjoy.
What’s your favorite part of lobster? Send us your comments – we would love to hear from you.