Lobster Lingo

Lobster Lingo

The American Lobster, A.K.A the Massachusetts lobster, the Maine lobster, the Canadian lobster or the North Atlantic lobster…  No matter what name you use, it is New England’s best tasting and most famous seafood.

Where do lobsters live? Hauling lobster pots from ocean depths is hard work.

Small lobsters – less than 1½ ” carapace (carapace length is measured from the rear of the eye socket to the rear of the main body shell) – are very cryptic, hiding in and about sea weeds and rocky habitat that provide adequate food and shelter from predators.  Adolescent lobsters (1½” to 3½” carapace) dominate coastal habitats and offshore areas.  They generally exhibit minimal migratory behavior.  Larger, more adult lobsters may inhabit deeper waters, but return seasonally to shallow warmer waters.

One lobster caught just off shore was released and recaught by the same fisherman 24 hours later – and 3 nautical miles out at sea!

What do lobsters eat?Eating Lobster

Lobsters usually move around and hunt for food at night.  It was once thought that lobsters were scavengers and ate primarily dead things. However, researchers have discovered that lobsters catch mainly fresh which includes fish, crabs, clams, mussels, sea urchins and sometimes even other lobsters!  There are, however, many fish that eat baby lobsters.

Do all lobsters look alike?

Lobsters may come in a variety of colors besides the usual blue-green, including blue, yellow, red, and white. Some even come in two colors, having half of their shell one color and the other half a totally different color. Of these only the white ones (true albinos) don’t turn red when cooked.

Lobsters exhibit ‘handedness’ . Some animals will have the crusher claw on the right side while others will have it on the left.

Lobster cooking in outdoor kettleWhat is the difference between Hardshell and Softshell lobsters?

Lobsters grow by molting, or shedding their shells each year. Just after they molt, they are soft and fragile until their new shell has hardened. This usually takes a few months. Then they are once again known as Hardshell lobsters. Softshell (also called Newshell) lobsters are not as full of meat because their new shell is larger than the muscle. This allows for another year’s growth.

Are lobsters good for me ?

You Bet! Lobsters aren’t just good – They’re good for you. Maine Lobster has less cholesterol, calories, and saturated fats than both chicken and turkey.

What’s the Red Stuff?

When a female lobster is fully cooked, if she was bearing eggs, they will turn bright red in color. Their texture becomes firm and they look more like the lobster caviar you may have seen used at your local sushi bar. It’s quite delicious; try it if you’re feeling adventurous.

And the Green Stuff??

Another colorful lobster treat (yes, many enjoy this as a delicacy), is the tomalley or liver of the lobsters. All lobsters have tomalley and you’ll discover it when you separate the tail from the body.

How can you tell the age of a lobster?

No one knows exactly, but aquarium studies suggest it takes 5 to 7 years for a lobster to gain one pound.

How long can a lobster live out of water?

Several days if kept in a cool, moist environment. The lobster is a gill-breather (they breathe seawater and store a certain amount in their gills to survive out of the water), and moisture is essential to survival.