Maine Lobster: Colors, Textures and Stuff

When that last ‘scream or hiss’ leaves a Maine Lobster, a number of changes to its body – colors, textures and stuff – starts to set-in. Careful attention must be given to make sure that freshness during this Maine Lobster’s Afterlife is given to assure that you still enjoy its succulent white meat to the fullest.

But to keep your Maine Lobster alive, never put them in fresh water or even in ice. Just store them in a place with just the right-sea coolness and a lot of moisture.

One surefire test to determine whether your Maine Lobster is still alive is to touch its eye and watch for any movement. If there is no reaction, well don’t despair. You can either store it inside your fridge uncooked or pre-cook it to lock-in its freshness and then store it inside your refrigerate for not more than the recommended three days.

Still, when you’ve cooked your now-lifeless Maine Lobster — whether the one you self-preserved or the one you bought or ordered from the market – check whether the lobster’s tail curled and, more importantly, the consistency and texture of its tail meat.

If you observed the tail has indeed curled-up after cooking, then you have an incredibly fresh lobster! Also, when the meat appears firm and fleshy, then go ahead! Chow! But should your cooked its tail meat feels like a cottage cheese texture – very watery, loose and already mushy – between your fingers, then obviously you should not risk eating it.

Do not worry if you noticed some clumps of red balls around your lobster’s tail. They are immature eggs that a female Maine Lobster failed to release before her capture. They are called “coral,” or “roe,” or “Lobster caviar.” They appear black when the lobster is still alive or is undercooked.

The white substance covering your lobster’s meat is actually its cooked blood. Maine Lobsters are equipped with a very primitive circulatory system with colorless blood. After they are cooked, their blood congeals, thus, turns white.

Also, there may be some white foamy stuff that you might find around the meat. Some are found in the cooking water where you boiled-off your lobster. This stuff is referred to as “Lobster fat or protein.”

Moreover, the green stuff that you will easily notice when you separate the lobster’s body from its tail is called a “tomalley.” It is the liver part of your lobster and considered to be one of the yummiest parts by Maine Lobster lovers.

All in all, it is best to call a local expert or your market dealer should you find anything wrong with your Maine Lobster. But if not, then go ahead start digging-in and enjoy!

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    • valerie williams
    • September 12, 2008

    regarding lobster’s immature eggs:

    it is my understanding that it is illegal to harvest a female lobster with a clutch of eggs still attached and that she must be notched and thrown back. your cavalier inclusion of female lobsters is troubling to me as a maine native and proponent of responsible fishing habits.

    • Virginia B.
    • June 21, 2010

    I have been cooking lobster all my life but cooked one yesterday where the eggs – many, many of them – were black. the lobster was cooked perfectly so not undercooked. We tossed the black eggs but salvaged the rest of the lobster and no one is sick yet. I even ate some of the bright red coral that was under the black stuff. Everything smelled fine. Any ideas on what that was and was it really safe to eat?

    • Meaghan
    • June 26, 2010

    @ Valerie Williams–Actually, they are referring to the eggs INSIDE the lobster, inside the tail. You can’t see them from the outside of the lobster–these eggs are too immature. You are required by law to release a female lobster that has mature eggs on the outside of the tail.

    • Jack
    • October 20, 2011

    He was saying just a few eggs may have stayed on this isn’t illegal. If there was a big clump with thousands of eggs you have to release. However I would e suspicious if any eggs were found on a lobster. They may have scraped them off and left a few.

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