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Lobster, My Experiences with a Favorite Food
Lobster, my minimal experience & things I have learned
I recall very vividly, my very first time having lobster tail. I was young, but not too young to enjoy this incredible special dinner. A friend of my mother's, was taking us all out for dinner. There was much talk about lobster and how good it was, and that we should try it, etc. It was a good thing it was talked up so well, as lobsters at first glance just aren't too "pretty" to a kid, and you know how kids are with some foods. They will reject it right off sometimes without even trying it, therefore almost sabotaging the chance to even really try it.
Needless to say, they brought my dinner out, and I saw the little cup of melted butter and vegetables, and I thought well here goes. I was in love with the taste of lobster, near immediately! It was a great first experience with lobster. Since then I have some as good as that, but some that were just ok. It just all depends on many factors. Its only on rare occasions I get to have any lobster, years may go by, because it is expensive. Still, this is maybe part of what makes it just so special.
That was a long time ago, and now you can get lobster at more locations it seems. From your fine dining restaurants, to your local market, to places like Red Lobster, it is available for us to enjoy. I recall my children being curious about the lobsters in the tanks at the store, and at red lobster.
If you do choose to ever get some lobster to cook at home, here are some things to know.
Live lobsters can be very perishable once taken out of their controlled salt water conditions. Don't put it in water hoping to help it live longer, but put into the refrigerator with either damp seaweed over it, or a damp cloth. Try to not keep them like this for over a day. This is the best thing you can do to keep them freshest, longest that I have found so far.
Cooked lobsters can keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I didn't realize that you can mail order partially cooked lobsters. This supposedly makes the whole process even easier, and helps them to last the 3 days in the refrigerator over just the one day. Personally, the partially cooking of lobster raises other questions for me, and I cringe a little at the idea. I can see my husband right now, rolling his eyes at that comment. This is just me, and I tend to feel badly for them.
If you opt for mail ordering lobster, and it seems dead and lifeless when you get it, you can tell if it is a live when you go to cook it. If the tail curls, and the meat is firm and not broken and in one piece, then it was alive.
Lobster is good for you
Did you know, that compared to even skinned chicken and turkey, that lobster still does better in at least three categories? Lobster, has less calories, fats, and cholesterol than skinless chicken and turkey! I would never have guessed this. Now, once we start dipping it in butter, etc, then I don't know about the statistics then. I just won't think about that right now. Still, I am surprised about the comparisons, and I guess its just a mental thing, that seafood would be higher in cholesterol and other things. Maybe just an assumption on my part.
Hard shell vs. Soft shell lobsters
Like some other creatures, lobsters have a molting process when they grow. They molt each year. Of course, after they molt, their shells are softer and larger than the muscle inside. This allows for the soft part to grow into the the new shell for the next year. Nature is so amazing to me, all the little details that make life possible for crustaceans in this case.
I didn't realize that in the summer months, the new softer shelled lobsters are about 90 percent of the catch. The meat of soft shelled lobsters is usually juicier and sweeter than the hard shelled counterparts. What really surprised me was that the soft shelled lobsters were still less expensive, considering their juicier and sweeter taste. I guess it shouldn't surprise me though if that is what is more readily caught at certain times of the year.
Why do lobsters turn red when cooked?
This is something I have always wondered about. In a lobsters original environment, they tend to be a blue green color, though sometimes you will see a yellow, orange rust or brownish color. Whatever the color, it is due to the lobster's pigments. When cooked, the "background" pigment is the only one not masked. The other color is masked.
The little white things that you sometimes find on lobsters, are blood that has congealed during cooking. Normally this is clear, and poses no problem, and is harmless. You can easily just scrape it off.
One experience in particular, wasn't a good one when I had lobster with my husband, and we were on our honeymoon actually. We were in Long Beach, California, and went to a nice restaurant on the water there. They had fresh lobster, and that was what he ordered, a whole lobster. When they brought it and he started to crack it open, there was more than the white substances we sometimes see, but a really weird brown substance, kind of greenish, etc. I personally thought that was kind of gross, especially for an upscale restaurant, and I always wondered what went wrong there. Neither of us had had a whole lobster up to that point, and wondered if that is just how it is? Needless to say, I never want to order lobster like that. We were young, and we didn't know any better. If you know what that was, please feel free to respond or share.