You have a craving for Maine lobster, so you go ahead and order a whole lobster at a restaurant and it is brought to your table. What do you do first? Some people are uncomfortable with the beady eyes of the lobster staring at them and the whole creature taking up their plate, but have experienced the rewards of it taking apart and eating it. They move their focus elsewhere, such as to the tail or claw meat, and tackle it first.
But what is the best part of the lobster? Mild and sweet, lobster meat is firm and somewhat fibrous. The tail meat is firmer than the meat from the claws. For some, the lobster tail meat is the best part of the lobster, but others really enjoy pulling the meat out of the claws and savoring the legs. Or perhaps something else?
Why we Love the Tail Meat the Best
If you are hungry and can’t wait, there is substantially more meat in a lobster tail, and it is easier to push out with a fork.
When lobsters flap their tails and move around in the water, the twisting movements tend to make the tail meat more fibrous than the claw.
Why We Love the Claw Meat
Customers may favor lobster claws for the sweeter and tender meat, and there are two to devour. The claw muscles, which are used less, are softer.
One claw is sharp like and used cutting. The other is bony and looks like human molar teeth. This claw is used for crushing. The crusher claw is tougher than the pincher claw that pulls underwater prey apart.
On most lobsters, these specialized hands tend to be on the same side. However, some lobsters are “left handed” and the crushing and cutting claws are switched. Some are even ambidextrous! Whichever claw is larger tends to be the claw of favor.
Who do some lobsters have only one claw? Lobsters will drop claws as a defence mechanism. Lobsters are known for fighting with other lobsters for territory. If another aggressive lobster seizes the claw first, that lobster may drop the claw to escape. Or sometimes the more aggressive lobster will rip, break or tear the claw of the opponent off with its powerful crushing or cutting claw.Lobsters that have dropped one of its claws is called a “Cull“. A lobster that lost both claws is called a “Pistol.” A lobster will grow back a claw if it looses one. It will take 3-4 molt cycles for the claw to grow back to full size.
Since claws can be puny in terms of meat, most people rely on the tail meat to satisfy their appetites. Others enjoy the inside body of the lobster: the vein, intestine, roe (or eggs). If you do consume these parts, it is recommended to wash them out.
The Knuckle Meat is the Best!
Perhaps you eat other parts of the lobster that others never taste: the body, legs, or tail flipper. The tail and claws are easy to eat, but don’t forget the knuckle meat within the shell between the claw and the body of the lobster.
You may just wish to order lobster tails and save the trouble. Large lobster tails are sold by weight comparable to 2-6 pound lobsters and may be ordered either fresh or frozen, or out of the shell from LobsterAnywhere.com. Even easier, LobsterAnywhere offers lobster claws pre-cooked and ready to enjoy.
What’s your favorite part of the lobster? Send us your comments – we would love to hear from you.