HOW TO EAT ROCKPORT LOBSTERS

After the body shell has been removed, the only inedible part in the body cavity of the cooked lobster is the stomach. This is located toward the front of the body cavity and resembles a sack.

The only other unpalatable parts are the shell, gills, intestine and eyes. The greenish richly flavored tomalley (soft digestive gland), which fills the body cavity of cooked lobsters, is not only edible, but is considered by lobster lovers to be a real delicacy. The red roe (developing eggs), which extends from the body cavity down through the tail meat of female lobsters, is edible.

The crusher claws of mature male lobsters are larger, and have slightly more meat, than those of the females. Meat can also be found in pockets in the body just above where the walking legs attach to the body. The body can be split, and the meat can be picked out. The segments of the legs that carry the claws (knuckles) can be disjointed, and the meat can be picked out using a lobster pick.

After separating the tail from the body, the easiest way to extract the tail meat is to squeeze the tail shell towards the middle in order to break the hardened ridges that cross the underside of the tail, and then peel the shell off in the opposite direction. Lobsters may be partially prepared to make them easier to consume prior to serving by pre-cracking the claws and by splitting the lobster and removing the stomach. Hot lobsters should be served with hot, melted butter. Serving the hot butter in a pre-heated, heavy walled, ceramic dish or butter pot kept heated with a tea light will keep the butter hot.

Fresh cooked lobsters may also be served chilled with a mayonnaise, cocktail or other cold seafood sauce for dipping. Fresh cooked lobsters may be re-heated for serving by boiling in water for 1/2 of the normal cooking time (for example, boil a 1 lb lobster for 6 - 7 minutes).

Just follow these easy steps and you're sure to get the most in taste variety and satisfaction from every mouth-watering, lobsterlicious morsel!

1 - Grasp the body and twist off the large front legs and claws. Separate the claw from the knuckle.

2 - Break the hinged part off the claw and remove the meat with a fork or pick. Cut the claw from one side to the other with lobster shears or hit with a sharp knife. Be careful to crack the shell only, and not damage the meat inside. Cut the knuckle lengthwise on both sides.

3 - Twist the tail piece away from the body.

4 - Cut the tail on both sides or grasp it tightly and squeeze until it cracks. Snap off the tail flippers.

5 - Pull out the meat in one piece. Peel back the flap on the upper side of the tail piece to expose the vein. Remove and discard.

6 - Unhinge the back from the body and remove edible green tomalley. Tomalley and the roe of female lobster are extremely tasty and are considered a delicacy.

7 - Open main body section by cracking apart. The delicious meat in the section can be dug out with a fork or pick. Discard the dark sac located between the eyes (since this is not edible) Twist the walking legs from the body. Clench between teeth and nibble meat from legs. The same method can be used to extract meat from tail flippers.