How to Eat a Lobster

I put this photo-tutorial together while on vacation. Sorry for the funky lighting.

So, from the beginning!

The tools for eating a lobster: bib, nutcracker, pokey-thing, and wetnap. I don’t use the poky-thing (I use my fingers) but all the other stuff I do use. The bib is very important because lobster is one messy crustacean. Mostly it’s the hot water the lobster is boiled in which becomes messy. Regardless, you will get some on your shirt so I recommend the bib depsite the knowledge that you will look like a dork.

II shows a lobster before I’ve started eating it. To start, turn it over so it’s back is on the plate like I have it. Once you get it on its back, start eating the legs. To do this, twist and pull the leg at the point where it meets the body. There isn’t much meat in the legs but the juice is yummy to suck out. This is also a great way to introduce your kids to lobster. Believe me when I say there is nothing cooler than being five years old and thinking to yourself “I just sucked a lobster’s leg!”

Moving on to trois, you’ll note I’ve pulled all the legs off and sucked out the juice/meat. It doesn’t take long, only a few minutes.

Numero quatro portrays a lack of claws. Now, there’s some debate here. Some (most I dare say) believe the tail is the best meat but I disagree. I think the claws taste best so I pull them off the same way I pull the legs off and put the two claws aside to save for last. That’s what I’ve done in this picture.

Go is the pulled off claws with the meat taken out. To do this the nutcracker is needed because the spiky things on the lobster are brutal to your hands which will be sensitive because the lobster is hot. Crack the shell with the nutcracker (like in the picture below) then peel it apart a bit. Pull the meat out with the poky-thing, or your fingers. I choose the latter because I (sometimes) like to eat my food with my hands.

Sieben. I forgot to take a picture of me dismantling the tail so I’ll do the best I can to describe it. First you have to pull the tail from the body. To do this you tip the whole lobster onto it’s back then snap backwards against the grain. Twist apart. IMPORTANT: there’s all kinds of water in there so make sure you do this over the plate, bowl for the shell (the waitstaff should give you one) or onto the floor if you’re in a dive. Onto the ground works if you’re outside. Tip the body and tail letting all the water drain out.

Once you’ve drained the water, put the head aside. Now, take the tail and hold it horizontally so its little tail fins are in your right hand (or left, it doesn’t matter. I’m right handed so…). Then squeeze in until you hear the shell crack. Once you’ve done this, put the body vertically so the tail fins are near your belly and pull the shell apart using your thumbs to pull away from the middle of the tail. Take the meat out.

After getting the meat out, carefully split it down the middle. See the digestive track? DON’T eat it. Rather, carefully pull it out making sure you get all the poop. It’s preferable if you don’t break the poop-shoot cuz then it’s easy to just peel it out of the tail meat. If you come across some green stuff don’t worry about it. It’s edible. Watch for eggs in a female lobster. I think you can eat them but I’m not sure.

ÅttaThe head is the last bit. Now, there is some meat up there but you really have to dig around for it. I don’t bother but my Aunt Elaine does. She thinks the best tasting meat is up there but, as I said, I think the claw meat is the tastiest.

Nove Empty plate. If you’re wondering where all the shell went, it’s in a bowl to my left.

ЭтотWashing your hands with the wetnap is important to get all the goo off. No matter how many times you wash your hands (wetnap, soap, clorax) the smell will remain for a few hours so I don’t recommend trying to get romantic with your love until after the smell wares off.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

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7 Responses to How to Eat a Lobster

  1. Noelle says:

    Thanks! Next step, somebody provide me with a lobster, please.

  2. Patty says:

    I just have one thing to say…. YUM!

  3. Howling Hill says:

    Noelle: that’s always the expensive part.

    Patty: it was =)

  4. Allie says:

    This is great! Wegmans had a special on lobsters about a week ago. J hadn’t grown up eating them, and I had to teach him where to crack the shell, etc. Before that, I hadn’t thought of it as a skill at all. But how would you know if you didn’t learn at one point or another?

  5. Howling Hill says:

    Thanks Allie.

    My mother taught me. I have no idea who taught her. I do teach people on occasion. That is, I’ve had “neighbors” at tables at restaurants ask me to show them how to eat one. I’ve, of course, obliged their request.

  6. Great pictures. So many people miss the legs and the tail fins. Here’s some how to eat lobster videos.

  7. Pingback: How to Eat Lobster | Fine Maine Lobster

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