My Lobster Tale: From Sea to Table
Have you ever prepared fresh lobster? I am referring to the kind so fresh you can almost taste the salty Atlantic Ocean. Or where the white meat is so succulent it practically melts in your mouth. This preparation process involves taking lobster from the sea (perhaps not personally) and somehow getting it on your table for a meal. I am proud to say that I now have experienced both the freshest lobster and have cultivated the necessary skills in preparing it! Sit back, relax and let me take tell you my lobster tale!Check out Andrea's first lobster making adventure! Click To Tweet
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in Halifax, and I was nervously anticipating my first lobster making endeavor. This June day was my last of a four-day visit with my wonderful friend Sarah. As an avid traveler, I find the best way to immerse oneself is to experience the local cuisine! Up to this point, I had been blown away by the maritime hotspots like climbing the granite rocks of Peggy’s Cove, sauntering through the Citadel ruins and exploring the highlands of Cape Breton Island. Now was the time to literally roll up my sleeves and explore my love for seafood by making my very own fresh lobster!
My lobster adventure begins with first finding our little friends. Sarah had a clear vision for my lobster making experience. She stared me straight in the eyes and said confidently, “We need to pick up lobster from a place where you can shake the hand of the fisherman who caught it”. This sounded ambitious, but a million times better than picking it up from Sobeys!
Since it was a Sunday, we were lucky to find a quaint local fishery open. We happily approached what looked like a warehouse to pick up our four brown freckled friends. The lobsters were submerged in water and stored in large plastic bins that were neatly organized into lanes. We met three fishermen, placed our order and then the fishermen swiftly pulled out a plastic bin filled with about 10 lobsters. The fisherman plucked out four lobsters like a farmer selecting ripe peaches from a basket. “Would you like ice with that,” the fisherman asked politely. “Yes please” Sarah replied, seeing that we still had a 1.5 hour trek ahead of us. I was given the bag of live lobsters to hold as we left the fishery. I looked down at the clear plastic bag, noticing that yes, these lobsers were all very much alive with their squirming claws clamped shut with a thick blue rubber band.
When we finally arrived back to Sarah’s place, she happily took the reins in directing our lobster making escapade. She first ensured that we had a large pot of water brought to a boil. She then added a pinch of sea salt.
To introduce me to our new lobster friends, Sarah picked up a lobster and drew my attention to the anatomy. “Notice how the eyes retract with danger” she stated as the eyes moved inward when her hand approached the lobster’s tiny body. In order to have the authentic experience, I knew I too had to touch the lobster! I slowly and reluctantly reached into the stainless steel sink. Picking up this little crustacean would prove to frighten me immensely. When my fingers touched his back I immediately lifted him up and to my surprise, the lobster expanded his spindly arms and claws backwards and outward, almost like an enthusiastic morning stretch. I screamed like a little girl and placed the lobster back in the sink. I was terrified I would either drop the lobster or that he would attack me. After all, wouldn’t you try to attack the person who would later plunk you into the world’s hottest bathtub?
Our next step was to submerge our little creatures into the salty water. The water was now a rumbling boil and the lobsters were unsuspecting of their impending doom. According to lobster making experts, you cook lobster for eight minutes per pound of lobster. Our lobsters were 1.5 pounds so would require about 12 minutes to cook.
DYK: You cook lobster for 8 mins per pound; so a 1.5 pound lobster = 12 mins to cook Click To Tweet
I would be lying if I said that I did not experience remorse for what would come next. After all, these were innocent and simple creatures whose life would soon end for our nourishment. Without further delay, I picked up the lobster and as instructed, I placed him face first into the salty water. I recall looking away while the lobster practically jumped when he hit the water. When I looked back at the large pot, he was comfortably settled. This was all part of cooking an “authentic” Maritime meal.
After the designated cooking time, Sarah used metal tongs to remove our now cherry red sea creatures from the water. It was amazing to see the transformation from a brown speckled creature into the siren red shellfish. Our lobers were now fit for a Red Lobster commercial!
The hard part was over and the delicious part was yet to begin. When the lobsters cooled, I was given step-by-step instructions to remove the different parts and access the most succulent meat. After disassembling my lobster like a lego house, I dipped the fresh white lobster meat into the melted butter. Wow! It caught me by surprise when it practically dissolved in my mouth like cotton candy. I was eager to discover more succulent lobster meat from the crunchy shell exterior. The freshness of the lobster is without a doubt something I had never experienced before!
Thinking back my first authentic Nova Scotia lobster lunch it still makes my mouth water. Next time you have the opportunity to explore a new place, I urge you make to also make it a culinary experience! Start by discovering where your food comes from and get yourself involved in the entire cooking process. This way, you will have your own story to tell. I hope you enjoyed my lobster tale, I know I did!