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All About Lobsters

Before the Lobster Pot
Before the Lobster Pot
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Have you ever noticed those cases at your local store with live lobsters and wished you were brave enough to take one home for dinner? While it can be intimidating to think about buying a live lobster, there are some things you should know that just might make you a bit less unnerved by the idea.

First of all, you don't have to take them home alive. Nearly all locations that sell live lobsters will be more than happy to steam it for you. Then all you have to do is warm it back up and dig in! It can be an exciting experience, however, to brave the task of dealing with a live lobster. It can be a fun family experience as well. The typical way to handle cooking a lobster at home is to fill a large pot with water about 3/4 full and add a couple tablespoons of salt. When the water comes to a boil, carefully lower the lobster into the pot head first. Cover the pot and boil the lobster for about 15 to 25 minutes once the water comes back to a boil. A smaller 1 lb. lobster will take about 15 minutes and a large 2-3 lb. one about 25 minutes. You'll know it is done when the lobster turns a bright red color, although a really large lobster may turn color before it is done so cook it a bit past that point.

Lobster is a wonderfully tasty treat so you should definitely give it a try sometime. It is well worth the price tag and the effort. They are also quite good for you as they have less saturated fat, calories and cholesterol than beef, chicken and pork. They also include a nice amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin B and B12.

One thing to remember is that if your lobster didn't survive the ride to your home, as long as you have kept it cool for the drive you can still cook it. Many people believe if it dies you cannot eat it, but as long as it hasn't been too long and it didn't get hot, you do not need to toss it out.

While we're on the subject about lobster myths, let's debunk a couple more myths. Some people have the idea that lobsters are an endangered species. This is not the case at all. There are strict regulations in place about legal size and not obtaining egg-bearing females that keep their numbers strong. It can take a lobster more than 5 years to get large enough to provide a decent meal. They have a very long life as long as they don't end up on a dinner plate. They will keep molting their shell as they grow larger and it can take a number of months for the new shell to harden. You can sometimes find these soft-shelled lobsters for sale. They are generally less expensive and some people enjoy them because they are easier to crack open, although the taste is somewhat different.

So get brave and try a live lobster today! You won't regret it!

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