In foodie parlance, “nose to tail” is using every part of the animal so it isn’t wasted. In the case of cooking lobster, that would be “antennas to tail fin.” Here is an explanation of the different parts of a lobster and some delicious recipes using them.
Lobster Anatomy 101
To become a connoisseur of the Maine lobster, you must know what the parts are. Starting with the head, the lobster uses its antennas to smell. The carapace is the armor-like body of the lobster, and the tail is used to propel itself out of harm’s way. Every lobster also has a pincher claw (used for tearing) and a larger crusher claw (used for smashing), as well as 10 legs.
As to which are edible, the two claws and the tail hold the most meat, but the legs are also succulent. You can also pick out meat from the knuckles and the rib.
What’s The Green, Red and White Stuff?
Some lobster lovers will eat every part of it; while those new to the crustacean may want to avoid these parts.
Tomalley: That’s the green stuff: the liver and pancreas of the lobster. Although it has a rich taste, it’s not very appetizing-looking.
Roe: These red tiny balls under the carapace are a female lobster’s eggs, which turn from black to red when cooked. Folks swear that the roe is as good as caviar.
White: When a lobster comes out of the steamer pot and you crack it open, you might notice some white substance like egg whites. That’s the blood. Just scrape it off; it doesn’t taste like anything.
Lobster Tails and Claws Recipes
Now, on to the best stuff. The best lobster tails are fresh, not frozen. For this Baked Lobster Tails recipe from Tasty, you’ll need to do a quick boil on the lobster first, until the tail flesh is firm and pink. With a simple paprika-butter marinade, this turns out beautifully, especially when using the shell as part of the presentation.
To use the rest of the lobster, including the claws, here’s just enough for one perfect Lobster Roll from My Recipes. (Remember to dig out all of the meat in the legs and under the carapace as well.) Bon appetit!
For more delicious recipes, pairings and ideas, visit our Maine Lobster Festival blog.