Get the lobster lowdown What do lobsters eat? Lobsters catch mainly fresh food which includes fish, clams, mussels, crabs, sea urchins and sometimes even other lobsters! What is the difference between a hard shell and soft shell lobster? Do lobsters feel pain when you cook them? The nervous system of a lobster is very simple and neurophysiologists believe that lobsters, like insects, do not process pain. Lobsters will periodically shed their shells as they grow. This can happen as many as 25 times before they are 6–7 years old; then males shed every year and mature, females every two years. After they shed they have a paper thin shell, which can take up to two months to harden, and are called soft-shell, new shell or shedders. What is the “green stuff” you find in the cooked lobsters? Can you eat it? This is the tomalley or tamali, which functions like the liver, pancreas and intestines in the lobster. Many find it delicious to eat but consumers are generally advised not to eat it, as it is the natural filter for contaminants, like dioxins, from entering the system. How do you serve cooked lobster? First twist off the claws, then break into sections, crack the claw shell with a hammer or a pair of lobster crackers, then remove the flesh. Twist off the legs from the body, flatten with the back of a knife and then use a pick or a teaspoon handle to remove the flesh. Remove the thin brown digestive tract of the lobster before eating the tail flesh. What is the red stuff you find inside along the tail of cooked lobster? Can you eat it? This reddish “coral” as it is called is lobster roe or eggs. Some consider it a gourmet treat. N ‘There’s a bit of mystique about lobsters, and I wanted to make them accessible to everyone’ Yorkshire Life: October 2020 95
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