Lobster is considered a delicacy by many people around the country. The meat is sweet, tender and versatile. You can make lobster at home very easily. The trick is that you need to pick a good lobster from the start. Here are four things to consider when buying lobster.
Movement and Liveliness
The first thing to consider when buying lobster is movement and liveliness. An issue with lobsters is that the enzymes used to digest food will begin to break down the lobster itself as soon as it dies. This means the meat inside will be very mushy just hours afterwards. Additionally, the flavor of the meat begins to fade along with the nutrients. You need to look for a lobster that is active and moving around. If someone picks it up out of the water, then it should start flailing around. Never buy a lobster that is completely immobile or that does not move around vigorously when picked up.
The average per capita consumption of fish and shellfish in the country is around 48 pounds every two years. Many people today do not realize that lobsters have two different types of shells depending on when you buy them. Lobsters molt their shells regularly. The shell is very soft after that happens and the lobster begins flushing more water through the body. You need to check the shell hardness when buying a lobster. Typical hard shell lobsters transport well and last longer than the other variety. Soft shell lobsters have sweeter meat but must to be cooked almost right away after purchase. They also contain less meat than hard shell lobsters.
Size and Antenna
The size of a lobster does not affect the taste. It does affect your ability to cook it properly. Avoid getting overly large lobsters since you will have difficultly cooking all the meat inside evenly. You also might not be able to get an oversized lobster into a pot or pan easily. Additionally, look at the antenna on the lobsters. You want a lobster with long antenna. If they are very short, then it means the lobster has been in the tank for a long time. Lobsters will start to eat the antenna of the others when in a tank.
Species and Source
The 280,000 tons of lobster caught annually are spread across a few different species. You generally want American lobsters. Spiny lobsters have a different taste you might not enjoy. You also want to check the source. Try to buy lobsters caught from as close to your area as possible. This will ensure the lobsters are fresh and good quality. This only matters if you are near a local source for lobsters. People in some parts of the country will always have to buy lobsters from thousands of miles away.