That green stuff inside a lobster is the lobster's liver and is called the tomally. The tomally is considered a delicacy to some people and disgusting to others. It should be noted that since the liver concentrates all the toxins taken into an organism, if the lobster came from polluted waters, the tomally should not be eaten.

In some lobsters there will also be pink stuff. This is the mature ovaries of the lobster. Again, some people relish this part of the shellfish, while others discard it.

The Roman gourmet, Apicius set off on an epicurean journey in seach of African lobsters and shrimps when he heard that they were bigger than those from his city ponds.

Also called the Cardinal of the Sea, and Homard in Louisiana, New England and Canada.

Lobsters are graded in 3 sizes. The smallest averaging 1 pound each are called "chicken". The mediums range between 1 1/4 and 2 pounds and are called "quarters". And oversize lobsters which are up to 4 pounds, (rarely larger).

Freshly caught lobsters are brownish green, those caught on sandy bottoms have a tinge of red. There is also a blue mutation that is often farm raised.

How to eat a Lobster:

Split the lobster up the middle, dig out the tail meat and enjoy, then eat the liver, (that's the green stuff). Crack the big claws and dig out the meat. Then pull off the smaller legs one by one. Cracking them as you did the claws, but sometimes you can also pull each leg between your teeth as you would an artichoke petal, to get some sweet juice with a bit of meat at the end. Discard the rest of the leg. The shell should still have some melted butter and bits of meat, use bread to sop up this nectareous gravy to very last drop.

Recipes:

Boiled Lobster
Grilled Lobster Gourmet
Lobster Bellevue
Lobster Biarritz
Lobster Bohemienne
Lobster Cardinal
Lobster Court-Bouillon
Lobster Curry Risotto Crown
Lobster Figaro
Lobster Newburg I
Lobster Newburg II
Lobster Thermidor

Only wimps split the lobster up the middle to get the tail meat out. In fact, I walk out of restaurants that serve boiled or steamed lobster with the shell cut in any way.

Here's how a real man does it. (This technique is optimized for new england lobster, although it also works on their warm-water cousins. These directions assume you are right-handed. If you are left-handed, adapt accordingly. If you are unipalegic or only have the use of one or fewer hands, the above claim about real manhood does not apply to you. Also, this should not be construed as prohibiting a real woman from following these directions; personally, I'm turned on by a woman who knows how to eat seafood properly. The author hereby disclaims responsibility for any and all additional disclaimers that may be demanded by the first seven words of this paragraph, or that seafood turn-on comment for that matter.)

  1. Remove the lobster's tail from its body. I recommend manual torque; it should detach easily.
  2. Hold the tail in your left hand, with the end (the fins) away from your body (between the index finger and thumb) and the base (the exposed meat) toward you (between the little finger and the heel of your palm), bottom up (such that the smooth side rests against your palm and the swimmers and translucent underbelly face up toward you).
  3. Using only the left hand, hyperextend the tail, such that you have reversed its natural curvature.
  4. Take a regular dinner fork (plastic utensils and sporks will not generally work) in your right hand. Grip it not unlike you would grip a knife; the neck should be pressed flat between your thumb and the first knuckle of your index finger, with the concavity of the fork on the index-finger side. Perhaps half of the fork's length should extend beyond your thumb.
  5. Insert the fork, prongs first, between the tail meat and the translucent membrane of the tail's underside. The curvature of the fork should follow the inverted curvature of the tail almost perfectly. Use your left hand to jimmy the curvature as necessary to get the fork in as far as she'll go.
  6. At this point, you should recognize that you have created a crude pivot and lever.
  7. Release the end of the tail; it will try to resume its natural shape, pressing the tongs of the fork into the soft, delicious flesh of the crustacean.
  8. By taking advantage of the natural curvature to provide leverage, the meat should come out in one piece with relatively little effort.
  9. Ta-da!!! You have now impressed everyone with your remarkable engineering prowess.

If these instruction help you impress your friends, family, business partners, orthodontist, and/or significant other(s), find one of those web sites that ships fresh lobster overnight and send me a couple. Fresh lobster is better than XP; unfortunately it's also more expensive.

Personal tutoring is available as long as you're buying for both of us.

OK, lobsters are a special dish for a candlelit table.
But along the northeastern coast of the US, the lobster was once so common in the 17th and 18th centuries that it was seen as junk food. A daily lobster dinner for servants and prisoners was considered a cruel and unusual punishment!

Biologically speaking, the lobster is a large marine Crustacean (Latin for shell) of the order Decapoda (Latin for ten feet: lobsters have that number of legs). Lobsters are grouped with freshwater crayfish in the suborder Reptantia, which is Latin for creeping. Amazingly, both lobsters and crayfish can also swim, using their fanlike tails. Lobsters have movable eyes on stalks and long antennae, and are mainly nocturnal. The chemosensory organs on the stalks are the functional nose of a lobster. The animals scavenge and eat dead or dying fish.

True lobsters are in the family called Homarus. They are distinguished by their very large claws, or pincers, on their first pair of legs. They have similar but smaller ones on their second and third pairs.

Spiny lobsters belong to the family of Palinuridae, which do not have large pincers. They communicate by means of a serrated pad at the base of their antenna. The 'sound' is picked up by sensory nerves located on hair-like outgrowths, up to distances of 60 meters away.

Most common species include the common lobster Homarus gammarus, found off Britain, coloured bluish-black. The American lobster Homarus americanus is closely related. A whole other lobster is the spiny Palinarus vulgaris is also found in European waters. The Norwegians have their own small orange Nephrops norvegicus.

Many larger restuarants and foodservice operations that utilize large quantities of lobster will purchase various grades of shelled lobster meats from vendors. They do this becuase it's less expensive than hiring people to cook and pick the lobster meat for them. You can purchase the lobster meat in the following grades.

Regular: picked meat from the whole lobster. Tail, leg, claw, knuckle and body meat in what is termed "natural proportions". Funny how natural always means junior size tail and claw meat eh?

TCK: Tail, Claw, and Knuckle meat. You'll find that many restuarants will use this for cold salads, seafood stuffings, imperials and the like. TCK meat can also be used as garnishes for soups and sauces.

TC: Tail and Claw meat. It is used for much the same things as above, although it is also used more in entrees as well.

All Tail: The explanation here is self evident. While I cannot speak to operations outside the USA, you will find that many Chinese and Asian Specialty restuarants inside the USA utilize All Tail and TC lobster meat regularly across their menus.

CK: Claw and Knuckle meat. Operations will purchase this grade as a less expensive option to the TCK grade of meat.

Broken: This is the picked lobster meat leftover from bodies and legs. A mistakenly chopped up tail or claw may also find its way in here. This is commonly used in casseroles, stuffings, and the like. When the flavor of the lobster meat is a higher priority than being able to see it is where you'll find this grade.

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing these items is that they still must be checked thoroughly for bits of shell and pieces of fibrous cartilage.

Lob"ster (?), n. [AS. loppestre, lopystre prob., corrupted fr. L. locusta a marine shellfish, a kind of lobster, a locust. Cf. Locust.] (Zoöl.)

Any large macrurous crustacean used as food, esp. those of the genus Homarus; as the American lobster (H. Americanus), and the European lobster (H. vulgaris). The Norwegian lobster (Nephrops Norvegicus) is similar in form. All these have a pair of large unequal claws. The spiny lobsters of more southern waters, belonging to Palinurus, Panulirus, and allied genera, have no large claws. The fresh-water crayfishes are sometimes called lobsters.

Lobster caterpillar (Zoöl.), the caterpillar of a European bombycid moth (Stauropus fagi); -- so called from its form. Lobster louse (Zoöl.), a copepod crustacean (Nicothoë astaci) parasitic on the gills of the European lobster.

 

© Webster 1913


Lob"ster, n.

As a term of opprobrium or contempt: A gullible, awkward, bungling, or undesirable person. [Slang]

 

© Webster 1913

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