What is Lobster (Homarus americanus)?

Lobster Lobster

Common names for Lobster

American, Maine or Canadian lobster

Other languages for Lobster

  • French name: Homard Américain
  • Italian name: Astice Americano
  • German name: Amerikanischer Hummer

Introduction to Lobster

American lobsters have two strong claws — a crusher and a ripper — that should be banded to avoid injuring other lobsters or the chef. The tail is the most meaty portion of the animal, although the claws, knuckles, torso, and tiny walking legs also contain flesh. From Labrador to North Carolina, American lobsters may be found in the North Atlantic. Atlantic Canada, Maine, and Massachusetts are the leading producers, in that order. Lobsters are collected in rectangular, wire-mesh traps from depths of 15 to 1,000 feet. Market sizes vary from “chickens” (weighing between 1 and 1 1/8 pounds) to jumbos (weighing more than 3 1/2 pounds). A pound of flesh may be taken from four to six 1 to 1 1/4 pound lobsters. Each year, a lobster loses its shell, exposing a new, softer one underneath. While freshly molted lobsters are much bigger, their flesh is watery and floppy. New-shelled turtles produce less meat than hardshell turtles (30 to 45 percent vs. 55 percent).

Product profile for Lobster

The flavor of lobster flesh is moderate and sweet. The texture is solid and fibrous, with the tail meat being tougher than the claw flesh. Lobsters are available in a variety of colors, ranging from reddish rust to brilliant blue to greenish brown. When cooked, all lobster shells turn a brilliant red color. The meat has a crimson tint to it and is white. Live lobsters should be active, with their tails curling beneath them rather than dangling. Cook weaker lobsters right away and toss out the dead ones. The tomalley, a light-green pigment present in lobsters, is not recommended for consumption. The liver and pancreas are the organs that collect pollutants from the creature’s surroundings.

Cooking tips for Lobster

The best way to prepare lobster is a matter of debate. Some argue that steaming is the ideal method since it uses a moderate heat that does not toughen the meat. Others claim that cooking the lobster locks in the taste. Another alternative is to bake the lobster, but it must first be rapidly boiled or steamed. Cooking time for 1 1/4-pound lobsters is 12 to 15 minutes, and 17 minutes for bigger lobsters.

Nutrition facts for Lobster

Calories: 90 Fat Calories: 8.1 Total Fat: 0.9 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 g Cholesterol: 95 mg Sodium: 296 mg Protein: 19 g Omega 3: 0 g

Primary product forms for Lobster

Live Fresh: Cooked claw (knuckle meat), Picked meat Frozen: Whole-cooked, Cooked claw (knuckle meat), Tails, Tail medallions, Claws Value-added: Canned meat, Stuffed tails, Frozen entrées

Global supply for Lobster

Canada, United States, Iran