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About Lobsters




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About Lobsters


How many kinds of lobsters are there in this country, and why are different varieties

Two kinds of lobster-like crustaceans exist in United States waters. The "true" lobster (the American lobster) is designated as such to differentiate it from the other form found here, the spiny lobster. The two, from different families, display two differences:
american lobsterAmerican Lobster


The true lobster has claws on the first four legs, lacking in the spiny lobster; the spiny lobster has a pair of horns above the eyes, lacking in the true lobster. To avoid confusion over common names, it is best to call the true lobster the "American lobster," and the spiny lobster just that. The item marketed as "lobster tail" usually is a spiny lobster. The spiny lobster is found in warm waters off Florida, in the West Indies, and off southern California. Record weight for the American lobster is 45 pounds.

spiny lobsterSpiny Lobster

How old is a one-pound lobster?

No one knows exactly, but aquarium studies suggest 5 to 7 years.

ow many one-pound lobsters are needed for a pound of lobster meat?

Five, on the average.

How long can a lobster live out of water?

Several days if kept in a cool, moist environment. The lobster is a gill-breather, and moisture is essential to survival. cooked lobster

Can a lobster be kept alive in fresh water with ice?

No. Fresh water is lethal to a lobster. The animal has salty blood and tissue, which require a seawater environment if life is to be maintained.

Why does a lobster turn red when cooked?

The red pigment is the most stable component of the coloring in a lobster shell. The greens and browns which darken the shell in a live lobster are destroyed by cooking.

How can one tell if a boiled lobster was alive when cooked?

Upon the death of a lobster the tail loses its elasticity and ability to curl under the body. When plunged into boiling water, a live lobster curls its tail under. It remains in that position during and after cooking.

Have people been poisoned by eating lobsters that were allowed to die before being cooked?

lobster pot Is it true that a dead lobster deteriorates very rapidly?
What happens when a live lobster is frozen?

Lobsters are not poisonous if they die before cooking, but cooking should not be delayed. Many lobsters sold commercially are killed and frozen before cooking. Lobsters and other crustaceans do spoil rapidly after death, which is why many buyers insist on receiving them alive. If the lobster is "headed" before or soon after death, the body meat will keep fresh longer. This is because the so-called head includes the thorax, the site of most of the viscera and gills, which spoil much more rapidly than claw or tail meat. Freezing slows deteriorative changes and harmful chemical actions that follow death.



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Copyright 2007 The Maine Lobster Game. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/27/09.