Lobster is an edible shellfish regarded as a delicacy in culinary world. Lobster meat is highly relished in various cuisines. Not all parts of lobster are edible, but legs, claws, roe and tail are widely used in making some of the most exotic lobster recipes. According to the culinary experts, the lean and delicate flesh having pinkish-white color is considered the perfect and high-class seafood. There is a gourmet’s suggestion to pick female lobsters as they are much more appetizing and delicious than the male. Some of the most commonly prepared lobster recipes are masala lobster, lobster salad and lobster au gratin.
History of Lobster
In olden times, lobster was regarded as ‘poverty food’ by the Native Americans. Servants and prisoners were use to feeding on lobsters. This is due to the reason that this shellfish was available in plenty at that time. The hunting or fishing of lobsters was known as ‘lobstering’ and it was done by hands until the trap fishery was introduced in 1850’s. Maine is the place where first trap fishery of lobsters came into existence and now this state is America’s highest producer of lobsters. It was during the World War II that people started regarding lobster as a delicacy.
Culinary Use of Lobsters
Culinary experts consider lobster recipes as easy-to prepare recipes. Lobster cooking requires cutting, cleaning and extracting its meat from different edible parts. Lobster is widely used to make sauce and broth. Lobster bisque is one of the most popular lobster recipes among sea-food lovers.
Lobster can either be served cold or hot but it is advisable to consume it in cooked form. Lobster meat tastes good when served little warm with vinaigrette or mayonnaise as a salad. Roe of female lobsters are fondly used to make several gourmet lobster recipes. Though for chefs, claws and tail are highly preferred ingredients due to extra flesh in these parts as compared to the legs. Lobster meat can also be relished without any elaborate dressing, but with only salt and butter seasoning. Grilled and baked lobster recipes are also well-liked in international cuisine.
Popular Lobster Recipes
• Lobster bisque – It is one of the most popular lobster recipes in the global cuisine. Lobster is fondly added to give flavor to the broth.
• Masala lobster – It is an Indian seafood recipe with hot peppery taste. In this dish boiled lobster is used.
• Lobster Thermidor – It is one of the classic lobster recipes. It is named after the 11th month of the Republican calendar and Napolean first tasted this rich recipe in this month only. This dish contains tail meat of lobster.
• Lobster sauce – This recipe basically originated in French cuisine and is originally called ‘Lobster Provencal’.
• Lobster Newburg – It is an old style lobster recipe that can be served on the top of the butter toast.
Cuisines Commonly Making Lobster Recipes
American cuisine is highly popular for using lobster recipes as a delicacy. Lobster soup, lobster salad and lobster au gratin are some of the highly acclaimed American recipes. Lobster is widely used to make side dishes, main dishes as well as starters.
Seafood is very popular in Asian cuisine and lobster is considered a quintessential fish. It is either served in boiled, grilled or baked form. Lobster meat is very delicate and lean hence it is used to make some low-fat and low-calorie dishes. Lobster recipes are very much popular in Indian cuisine as well. But Indian dishes are little spicy and hot in nature.
French cuisine is also famous for making some of the rich and classic lobster recipes. One of the most popular French lobster recipes is lobster sauce.
Preferred Methods of Making Lobster Recipes
• Boiled – This is considered as the best method for cooking lobster for those who are not willing to cut the lobster while cooking. Boiled lobster can be easily incorporated in salads as well as other savory dishes.
• Steamed – Steaming the lobster is a culinary art. As commonly known, lobster meat is very delicate, and therefore it should not be overcooked. A proper steamer is always required for accurate steaming of this shellfish.
• Grilled – Grilling is also a preferred method to cook several everyday as well as gourmet lobster recipes. But this method requires a perfect cutting of lobster.
• Baked – This method is often used to make recipes such as lobster au gratin. This method provides a subtle taste to the lobster meat.
Nutritive Value of Lobster
It is confirmed by most health studies that lobster contains very fewer calories, if cooked without butter. It also contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids that help in increasing the risk of heart diseases.
Lobster recipes are well-accepted in low carbohydrate diet plans due to fewer amounts of carbohydrates in the fish. Selenium that is helpful in boosting the body immune system is present in lobster in high quantities.
Various other health problems, for instance, colon cancer, osteoporosis and problems related to connective tissues can be easily avoided by the regular consumption of lobsters.
Buying and Storing of Lobster
• It is always advised to buy live lobsters. The tail of the fish should flap up while buying.
• If the lobster is in the water tank for more than seven days, then try to avoid it.
• Never buy yellow-colored lobsters with dried mea old and stale meat as it signifies stale meat whereas fresh meat always looks white in color.
• Lobster can be stored in a refrigerator while wrapped in sheets of newspaper.
• Lobster can be frozen by keeping in plastic bag, but should not be kept for more than two months.
Types of Lobster
For diners only two types of lobster are available. They are as follows:
• Clawed lobster – This type of lobster is further divided into two categories: American and European lobster. They are considered cold water lobsters and meaty than the other variety. Clawed lobsters have sweet meat and provide the best lobster meat.
• Spiny lobster – In menu this lobster is often listed as ‘rock lobster’ and it is a warm water variety. The tail of the spiny lobster has extra meat as compared to the clawed variety. It is mostly found in the Caribbean Sea and at the coasts of Florida.
• Female lobsters are often called ‘hens’.
• Female lobster can be identified from the group of lobsters by the shape of its tail.