Buying good Lobster

   Buy from a reputable dealer, so you know the lobster has been freshly caught. "Fresh lobster is good lobster. You want to be as close as you can to Uncle Ernie picking it up over the side of the boat," says Rodney Clark, owner of Rodney's Oyster House in Toronto.
   Then look for a feisty fellow that shows lots of movement and puts up plenty of fight.
   Are both antennae there? Both claws? Great – that's a sign your dinner hasen't been scrapping with other lobsters, says Clark.
   What happens when you remove the elastic from the claws? Are there visible lines or dents left behind? Chances are the lobster has benn in captivity for a few days. Elastics won't leave marks on a newly captured crustacean.
   Check the shell. If it's cracked, don't buy it. Chipped shells are acceptable, but cracked lobsters are damaged and will be leaking fluid, says Clark.
   Aunt Jenny sent you fresh lobster from P.E.I., but one shows up dead? It still may be edible, says Clark. He claims you can cook and eat a lobster up to 15 hours after it has died, provided it has been kept packed in ice or refrigerated. "If it's dead, but the tail curls back in quickly, it will still be of good quality," he says. "When lobster meat is no good, the tail flops loose."
   Peak lobster season is May through to the beginning of July. Prices are at their lowest, and the lobster's meat is full and firm inside the shell.

Cooking Live Lobster in 6 Steps

  1. Fill a large pot with salted water (use ½ cup of salt per gallon of water).
  2. Place the lobster head first into the boiling water.
  3. When the water has returned to a boil, cook a 1 lb. lobster for 18 minutes (1 ½ lb lobster for 21 minutes, 2 lb. lobster for 30 minutes)
  4. Once cooked, turn off the heat and place a quantity of cold water in the pot and let stand for five minutes to draw the salt water into the lobster and seal in the flavour.
  5. Remove the lobster and submerge in cold water for 10 minutes
  6. The lobster is fully cooked when the lobster is bright red and the meat is easily removed.

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