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How many kinds of lobsters are there in this country, and why
are different varieties
Two kinds of lobster-like crustaceans exist in United States
waters. The "true" lobster (the American lobster) is designated as
such to differentiate it from the other form found here, the spiny
lobster. The two, from different families, display two differences:
The true lobster has claws
on the first four legs, lacking in the spiny lobster; the spiny
lobster has a pair of horns above the eyes, lacking in the true
lobster. To avoid confusion over common names, it is best to call
the true lobster the "American lobster," and the spiny lobster just
that. The item marketed as "lobster tail" usually is a spiny
lobster. The spiny lobster is found in warm waters off Florida, in
the West Indies, and off southern California. Record weight for the
American lobster is 45 pounds.
How old is a one-pound lobster?
No one knows exactly, but aquarium studies suggest 5 to 7
ow many one-pound lobsters are needed for a pound of lobster
Five, on the average.
How long can a
lobster live out of water?
Several days if kept in a cool, moist environment. The
lobster is a gill-breather, and moisture is essential to survival.
Can a lobster be kept alive in fresh water with ice?
No. Fresh water is lethal to a lobster. The animal has salty
blood and tissue, which require a seawater environment if life is to
Why does a lobster turn red when cooked?
The red pigment is the most stable component of the coloring
in a lobster shell. The greens and browns which darken the shell in
a live lobster are destroyed by cooking.
How can one tell if a boiled lobster was alive when cooked?
Upon the death of a lobster the tail loses its elasticity
and ability to curl under the body. When plunged into boiling water,
a live lobster curls its tail under. It remains in that position
during and after cooking.
Have people been poisoned by eating lobsters that were allowed
to die before being cooked?
Is it true that a dead lobster deteriorates very rapidly?
What happens when a live lobster is frozen?
Lobsters are not poisonous if they die before cooking, but
cooking should not be delayed. Many lobsters sold commercially are
killed and frozen before cooking. Lobsters and other crustaceans do
spoil rapidly after death, which is why many buyers insist on
receiving them alive. If the lobster is "headed" before or soon
after death, the body meat will keep fresh longer. This is because
the so-called head includes the thorax, the site of most of the
viscera and gills, which spoil much more rapidly than claw or tail
meat. Freezing slows deteriorative changes and harmful chemical
actions that follow death.