Maybe it’s because I’ll be heading home soon, or maybe because I just attended my friend’s annual Canada Day lobster party but I totally have my favourite crustaceans on the brain these days. I loooove lobster. It is my favourite meal. And the word meal is key here. I’m talking traditional east coast lobsters were caught morning, true lobster “dinner”. I almost never order a lobster meal in a restaurant (except maybe a lobster roll….). It just doesn’t feel (or taste) the same if I’m not at my cottage in New Brunswick. Today I’m sharing all things lobster, and more specifically what you need to pull of a decent lobster dinner. But first some….
Lobster Fun Facts!
- Although lobster can be various different colours in the ocean; all turn red when cooked because all color dyes get destroyed while cooking except the red dye.
- Despite popular belief, lobsters do they do not scream when you cook them. Lobsters do not have vocal chords. Any sound you hear could be that of air escaping from the lobster’s body cavity as it expands from heating.
- The teeth of the lobster are in its stomach, which is a very short distance from the mouth.
- Lobsters “smell” their food by using the four small antennae on the front of their heads and tiny sensing hairs that cover their bodies.
- The greenish brown stuff you fin in the inside of the lobster is is the tomalley or tamali, which functions like the liver, pancreas and intestines in the lobster. Many people find this delicious to eat (like my dad). I don’t mind it but usually scrap it off.
- It takes 5 to 7 years for a lobster to grow to legal size in the ocean. A lobster at legal size will weigh approximately 1 pound.
Photo via Flikr Creative common (man pikin)
Now what do you serve at a lobster dinner? Well, with the lobster is the main event and doesn’t need much else. But there are few things that are important….
1. Melted butter with lemon…lobster is the perfect vehicle for butter, am I right? And without the squeeze of lemon it’s just not the same for me.
2. Fresh rolls
Photo via Flikr Creative common (dithie)
3. Coleslaw or Potato Salad…or both!
Photo via Flikr Creative common ( Feministjulie)
4. And if you NEED more vegetables (who has room with all the lobster and butter?), corn on the cob works well.
Photo via Flikr Creative common (Keith McDuffee)
And that is it! So simple, right? An amazing meal with very actual little food prep required. However, if you are going to host a TRUE lobster dinner, there are a few essential tools you’ll want to have for the table.
1. The shell cracker: The claw shells can be pretty hard so a few shell crackers are important. The one is from Canadian company Paderno.
2. The seafood pick: Forks won’t cut it when trying to get that last last teensy bit of lobster out of the shell (and lord knows you CANNOT leave anything behind). You need a seafood pick. I like this one from Crate and Barrel because it has a pick AND a scoop.
3. A large bowl: For the shells. You can’t make room on your plate for more lobster with the shell(s) still sitting there now can you? This one from Emile Henry will do the trick.
4. Napkins: You are eating in large part with your hands. You’ll need napkins like these from Pier 1 Imports.
5. The butter warmer: This may be the most important tool. What is lobster without warm melted butter? Sure, you can throw it in the microwave every 10 mins to keep it warm, but why not use a butter warmer right on the table (like this Crate and Barrel one)? Then you can stay at the table and enjoy your feast!
6. and 7. The lobster bib and tablecloth: As noted above, this meal can be messy, which I think is part of the fun. However, less fun if you ruin your shirt. Therefore, the bib is essential for me. And how AWESOME are these ones from Canadian textile designer Avril Loretti? Love. And on the mess topic, if you are going to bother using a tablecloth, I would go with a plastic/vinyl like this one. If you use a cloth one make sure it is washable.
And there it is for you, the lobster dinner basics. AND now I’m hungry.