Lobster is considered a rich and decadent food around the globe. The meat is known for being juicy and succulent. However, this is all dependant on how its seasoned and cooked! Herbs, spices and seasonings are the reason why we associate the flavours and textures we know and love when it comes to seafood.
In light of national lobster day, we thought we’d focus this week’s blog on all things lobster, including the different ways to cook and season your lobster-based cuisine! After all, with over 100 years of experience passed down through our family founded business, we know a thing or two about seasoning!
The Different Types of Lobster
American lobsters are mainly found in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and are most abundant in coastal waters from Maine to New Jersey, USA. They are most common in offshore, cold and rocky waters.
There are many different breeds of lobster, notably:
- Maine Lobster (New England Lobster)
- Canadian Lobster
- European Lobster
- Florida Spiny Lobster
- California Spiny Lobster
- Mediterranean Lobster
- New Zealand Rock Lobster
- Eastern Rock Lobster
- South African Lobster
- Tristan Lobster
- Chinese Spiny Lobster
- Ornate Rock Lobster
- Western Rock Lobster
- Scalloped Spiny Lobster
Did you know, you can tell a warm water lobster from a cold water lobster because they don’t have front claws!
What Is the Difference Between Soft Shell and Hard Shell Lobsters?
Well, both the taste and texture are completely different. Of course, herbs, spices and seasonings can help you to flavour accordingly, but the essence and texture of the pure meat has a distinctive difference.
Each species of lobster goes through a hard shell and soft shell season as they rotate through moulting stages. These stages affect the taste and quality of the lobster we eat. Depending on factors like weather, climate and species type, soft and hard shell seasons tend to differ.
When lobsters shed their skin, they stretch the soft carapace and create a more spacious shell! At this stage, the shell naturally fills with more water, which creates a unique, salty and fresh flavour. Soft shell lobster is fragile, so can be difficult to transport, which is why they are best enjoyed directly after being caught. Typically, they have less meat-per-pound than hard shell lobsters
Hard shell lobsters are easier to transfer and can travel thousands of miles to arrive at their new destination alive. With these, it’s often the case they haven’t shed their skin since the previous season, or they shed their skin earlier in the year and it’s had time to harden over the months.
Their shells are packed with more meat, which is one reason why they usually cost more. The selling price also covers shipping costs. Hard shell lobsters taste more potent than those with a soft shell. They’re known for their harsh and peppery after tones.
What Can You Eat?
Besides the outer shell and cartilage, all of the meat inside the lobster shell is edible; just expect the textures to be slightly different. Lobster meat is considered low calorie, boasting healthy omoega-3 fatty acids, potassium and vitamins E, B-12 and B-6.
Popular delicacies including lobster include:
- Lobster Tails
- Lobster Bisque
- Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Lobster Thermidor
- Lobster Rolls
- Surf and Turf
How to Cook Lobster
Cooking lobster isn’t as difficult as people think. Having the right herbs, spices and seasonings is what will give your food the edge. There are 3 ways to cook lobster:
Steaming – Boil some water. If you have a steamer basket you can add that on top of the pan or go ahead and add your lobsters directly top the pot and put the lid on. Turn down the heat to medium-low to maintain a vigorous simmer and steam the lobsters until they turn bright red, this should take 13 to 15 minutes.
Boiling - Bring water to a rolling boil over a high heat. Place lobsters in the pot, pop the lid on, return to a high boil as quickly as possible and start counting the time. Ideally, a lobster should be boiled for 7 minutes per pound, for the first pound. Add 3 minutes per pound for each additional pound thereafter.
Grilling – Ensure your grill is nice and hot and cut the lobsters in half. Place your lobster halves, flesh side down, and claws on hottest part of grill; cook for 3 minutes until slightly charred. To prevent the lobster from drying out, we would recommend spreading the lobster with garlic butter, leaving to soak for 1 minute and then continue to grill the lobster meat for 5 minutes more, or until white and tender.
Keep in mind that in all instances, overcooking lobster will make it really tough, so it’s better to undercook a little, test with a prong and continue the cooking process if needs be.
How to Season Lobster
There are many different ways to season lobster with different herbs, spices and seasonings. You can season to taste directly by sprinkling dried or fresh produce on to the meat. You do this after steaming or boiling, but if you’re grilling, always do this beforehand.
Another popular way of seasoning lobsters is with flavoured butters, oils or making a creamy jus and infusing with herbs. This keeps the meat moist and flavoursome! The best herbs to use are ones with slight citrus undertone. We recommend:
Get in Touch
Here at World of Spice, we understand the importance of authentic and traditional tasting cuisine. Our herbs, spices and seasonings are known for their purity and potency, full of delicious flavour to give your food the edge. Our service is cost-effective and reliable; we go above and beyond for each of our customers to ensure that you get the produce you need for business.
From bespoke blends to a choice of packaging, complete with custom labelling, our comprehensive service can help you achieve your culinary goals. For more information about our services and what we can offer you, please contact us at email@example.com, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.