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What Was In My Wife's Lobster??

Davwud May 13, 2007 05:28 PM

Hey Hounds.

Last night we had lobsters for dinner. Fresh steamed in my kitchen of course.
Anyway, when my wife tore the body from the tail, she found this huge black....thing... inside it. It ran most of the length of the thorax and just into the tail.

Any idea of what it was??

It was boy lobster if that's any help.


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  1. j
    Jimmy Buffet RE: Davwud May 13, 2007 06:23 PM

    Doggone it, just when I had almost worked up enough nerve to eat my first lobster in 53 years of life on this earth....

    Did she eat it?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jimmy Buffet
      Davwud RE: Jimmy Buffet May 14, 2007 05:21 AM

      She ate the lobster. No problems. Tasted great.
      It was like a large black liver or something.

      JB you should just go ahead and try one. They're awesome. Nothing like a food fresh as it can possibly be.


      1. re: Davwud
        Jimmy Buffet RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 08:53 AM

        I just have a hard time getting past the fact that they are more than kissin' cousins to insects.

    2. Rubee RE: Davwud May 13, 2007 06:28 PM

      Hmmm...definitely a male lobster, huh?

      I've seen black jelly-like stuff when I've parboiled a female lobster with roe or "coral" (this turns red when it is fully cooked).

      4 Replies
      1. re: Rubee
        Davwud RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 05:23 AM

        It didn't have the feathery legs thingies. They were the harder spikier ones.
        Perhaps it had a full stomach of something.
        It didn't affect that taste and it was some sort of sac or something. You could remove it all in one piece.


        1. re: Davwud
          Rubee RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 09:19 AM

          This is so curious, I'm intrigued. Yep, definitely a male.

          The stomach/head sac/grain sac is found behind the lobster's eyes/mouth, so that couldn't be it. Not the liver/tomalley because that is green.

          Maybe some unusual blockage of the thin tube-like digestive tract/intestine, since a "huge black thing" like a sac is different than a dark vein. But then again, the intestine runs all the way down the tail, not "the length of the thorax and just into the tail". Hmm...

          1. re: Rubee
            bac528 RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 09:30 AM

            definitely poop...sorry to say it.

            1. re: bac528
              spabettie RE: bac528 May 14, 2007 02:31 PM

              that's what I was going to say... you know, like shrimp.

      2. Emme RE: Davwud May 13, 2007 06:39 PM

        Q: What is the black vein in the tail and should you remove it before you eat the tail?

        A: The black vein in the tail is the intestine, which is part of the digestive system. Even though it will not harm you, yes you should remove it before you eat the tail.

        1. Infomaniac RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 08:59 AM

          Are you sure it was a male lobster, because the roe in female lobsters will be bright orange-red and firm when cooked. If it is a dark greenish-black, with an oily tar-like consistency, the lobster is under cooked.

          1. b
            bac528 RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 09:00 AM

            Sounds like some sort of digestive sac...it was waste material!!

            1. h
              Hungry Celeste RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 09:43 AM

              To use the Louisiana colloquial term for the analagous structure found in a crawfish, it was the "poo vein". Yes, I said it. All she found was the digestive tract.

              1. jfood RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 09:45 AM


                Looks like its just a vein. Several websites reported that answere but here is a link to a website and hopefully is correct:


                "Using a sharp knife, slice the lobster down the middle (easiest to cut legs side up). Remove the black vein from the tail, the greenish tomalley from the body and the sand sac located near the head. Baste the lobster meat with some oil or melted butter."

                3 Replies
                1. re: jfood
                  Rubee RE: jfood May 14, 2007 10:04 AM

                  Except the OP described it as a "huge, black...thing", and it looked like "some sort of sac". ?

                  1. re: Rubee
                    jfood RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 10:19 AM

                    When jfood cleans shrimp and removes the digestive track mrs jfood says "what are those things?" Will await to hear from D on whether it looked like a sac or a vein.

                    1. re: jfood
                      Rubee RE: jfood May 14, 2007 10:42 AM

                      That's why I'm so curious - above DT did say

                      "It didn't affect that taste and it was some sort of sac or something"

                2. Veggo RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 10:26 AM

                  I am surprised that only the poster and none of the postees- thus far - has had this experience. I have had the "black goop" surprise at least 20 times. It has nothing to do with cooking time. Roe is red, liver is green. This is black as squid ink, and a volume equal to a ping pong ball, in a 2 pounder. Whatever sac it had been contained in is torn apart when the tail is twisted off from the body, and the goop is loose. I just scrape it off from the strands of the tail with the dull side of a knife. No doubt it is unpooped poop. Hey, we eat clams and oysters without the luxury of separating tomorrow's fertilizer. The most unsavory aspect is that this season, you have paid at least $16.50 a pound for a Maine lobster.

                  55 Replies
                  1. re: Veggo
                    Rubee RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 10:49 AM

                    We parboil lobsters often (about 5-1/2 minutes for a 2-pounder) for baked stuffed, pan-roasted with cognac sauce (my favorite Jasper White recipe), Newburg, lobster thermidor, etc. If it is a female and there are unfertilized eggs, it is an inky-black or sometimes greenish-black, jelly-like substance that only turns red when it and the lobster is fully cooked. I scrape out this black stuff, and use it to flavor the butter or cream sauce over low heat, which then turns pink.

                    Oddly enough, this post, even with this talk of black goop, has made me decide to go out and pick up a couple of lobsters for dinner tonight. ; )

                    1. re: Rubee
                      Veggo RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 11:05 AM

                      My cooking rule of thumb is 3 minutes for the first pound, 2 minutes for each additional pound. (After the water returns to a boil). And I deal with red, green, and black, as the cards are dealt. My mother loves the red and the green. The black? Her momma didn't raise no stupid children.

                      1. re: Veggo
                        Rubee RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 11:15 AM

                        Hey, us New Englanders take our lobster (and I my intelligence) very seriously.

                        Your cooking time explains it - 5 minutes for a 2-lb lobster is not fully cooked. I boil a 2-lb lobster in heavily salted water for 14-15 minutes.


                        A Guide To Lobster 'Stuff' By Color
                        Black Stuff - An uncooked or undercooked female lobster may be harboring eggs, also known as roe or lobster caviar. These eggs prior to cooking appear thick, shiny and black, and may be found throughout the tail. If you have cooked your lobster and still see the black stuff, cook them longer and the black stuff will turn into...
                        Red Stuff - Once the above mentioned female lobster is fully cooked, those eggs turn bright red in color.

                        (though OP's lobster was male so this wasn't it).


                        1. re: Rubee
                          Veggo RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 11:43 AM

                          Rubee, I hoped that science would trump my ignorant hunch about the black stuff, but I remain stubborn in my ignorance. Why is it always either all red and firm, or all black and oozy, and never in between? (actually, the black has a hint of dark green as I scrape off the last vestiges from the tail). I have eaten hundreds if not a thousand lobsters in part because they are as easy to cook as a hard boiled egg. Your cooking time seems like a lot, and lobster gets tough if overcooked. But it works for you. I cannot imagine what sort of metamorphosis would befall my black goop if I let it cook a little longer.
                          P.S. I'm a transplanted New Englander, so we're on the same side here:) But we all suffer from sticker shock this year.

                          1. re: Veggo
                            Rubee RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 11:51 AM

                            I hear ya re: sticker shock - Yikes, I heard $31 for a lobster roll at B & G.

                            Actually, my husband just walked over to J. Hook to get us our lobsters. It will be interesting to see what we get (female with roe, a dark thick intestinal tract, etc). I'll take pics in the name of CH research.

                            (BTW - my lobster bible is Jasper White's "Lobster at Home" - the information, cooking tips, times, guidelines, and diagrams in the Lobster Primer section takes up the first 40 pages alone. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good lobster cookbook. It has all the classic recipes from lobster stew to Newburg, but also contributions from various chefs like Robuchon, Puck, Bayless, Kinkead, Bouloud, etc. I've probably made half the recipes from the book, and they've all been winners).

                            Previous CH discussion (along with baked stuffed recipe I'm making tonight)


                            1. re: Rubee
                              Veggo RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 12:14 PM

                              90% of the time, you won't have the green-red-black surprises, especially this early in the season. Buen provecho!
                              I usually get deleted when I offer up factoids, but I'll try one more time. In the 1700's until the civil war, slave owners in South Carolina had a gentleman's agreement not to feed lobsters to slaves more than four meals a week, because they were considered to be trash food.

                              1. re: Veggo
                                mardy RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 02:19 PM

                                I must ask: Where did slave owners in South Carolina get these lobsters? Off the Charleston coast? Those are not lobsters, any more than the ones caught and served in Florida.

                                Crayfish, perhaps, but not lobsters...

                                1. re: mardy
                                  Veggo RE: mardy May 14, 2007 02:29 PM

                                  Spiny lobsters and langostinos have broad definitions, and ranges. In Australia, ask about "morton bay bugs" and you'll also get a wide range of input. You have hurt some feelings in Florida...but we heel... like ..lobsters.

                                  1. re: Veggo
                                    mardy RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 04:56 PM

                                    I am in Florida. And what is sold as "lobster" around the state is not what is widely known to be lobster. Vacationing Floridians who eat lobster along the New England coast are pleasantly surprised.

                                    Which is why they spend large $$$ to have the real item shipped south...

                                  2. re: mardy
                                    JMF RE: mardy May 14, 2007 08:25 PM

                                    Maine lobster, also called the American lobster, grow as far south as North Carolina.


                                    1. re: JMF
                                      Davwud RE: JMF May 15, 2007 04:22 AM

                                      From what I understand, the colder the water, the better the meat.
                                      If that's true, they can't be all that good.


                                      1. re: Davwud
                                        mardy RE: Davwud May 15, 2007 05:56 AM

                                        You are correct. Lobsters caught off Rhode Island's coast don't seem as flavorful as those caught further north off Maine's coast.

                                        I've eaten a lot of lobster over the decades, and would not bother with those caught in the warmer waters south of Cape Cod.

                                        Nor would I order swordfish in a Kansas restaurant....

                                        1. re: mardy
                                          Davwud RE: mardy May 15, 2007 06:02 AM

                                          We're fortunate to get NS and NF lobsters here (TO). Not only that, if you pick them up at THE market, a lobster bought on Friday was most likely swimming in the Atlantic on Wednesday.


                                  3. re: Veggo
                                    thinks too much RE: Veggo May 16, 2007 09:41 AM

                                    My research indicated that this anecdote pertained to Massachusetts (Yes, there were slaves there too) and it also applied to prison inmates and indentured servants.

                                    1. re: thinks too much
                                      Veggo RE: thinks too much May 16, 2007 12:07 PM

                                      My Port Clyde buddy, who is a bit of a history buff, volunteered that there was a prisoner revolt in Maine during the 1850's, for having been served too many lobsters. He also said the price at the dock today is back up to the $8-9/lb. range.

                                  4. re: Rubee
                                    9lives RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 12:27 PM

                                    We went to Hooks on Sunday...prices have come way down in the last few week..1 1/2 lb are 11/lb..larger are $12/lb..also live and kicking softe shell crabs.

                                    I steam 3-3 1/2 lb about 25 mins.

                                    1. re: 9lives
                                      Rubee RE: 9lives May 14, 2007 12:56 PM

                                      Yep - 2-lbs + going for 11.99 a pound.

                                      1. re: Rubee
                                        aurora50 RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 01:12 PM

                                        Yessir - that's my babies!!! (YYYYYUUUUUMMMMMM)

                                        1. re: Rubee
                                          Rubee RE: Rubee May 15, 2007 04:30 PM

                                          Here are the 'after' pics ; ) (BTW, they were both male)


                                    2. re: Veggo
                                      QueenB RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 11:52 AM

                                      "When cutting a cooked lobster tail lengthwise, we can sometimes see a large red line. Those are the ovaries with unfertilized eggs. They can be eaten. Sometimes, there's a black slimy substance. This is due to egg resorption. Those are eggs that were about to be laid when the female was caught. Instead of being laid, they were liquefied. The vitello-proteins contained in the eggs were re-circulated in the blood, giving it a black color. It is not very appetizing but the lobster is good nevertheless. It simply needs to be rinsed."


                                      1. re: QueenB
                                        Veggo RE: QueenB May 14, 2007 12:06 PM

                                        I like it. Anything but poop. I wonder if the trauma of being trapped causes a natural change to the egg laying/development process, or if it occurs anyway anywhere. Marine biologist- hounds, please weigh in.

                                        1. re: Veggo
                                          clamscasino RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 02:12 PM

                                          Not a marine biologist, but I highly recommend the book: The Secret Life of Lobsters. Also, the authors web-site is great: www.thesecretlifeoflobsters.com

                                      2. re: Veggo
                                        Rubee RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 02:34 PM

                                        "Your cooking time seems like a lot, and lobster gets tough if overcooked. "

                                        Yes, I've been cooking lobster for 20 years, so actually have had a lot of practice. Believe me, raised in Massachusetts and eating it and cooking it as often as I have (and eating out just as frequently), tough lobster does not appeal to me. I do remove the dark vein/intestinal tract, and never overcook it. Contrary to your insistence, I do not serve friends and family overcooked tough stringy lobster accompanied by pink poop. ; )

                                        I'm just trying to explain what you said earlier, that you were "surprised that only the poster and none of the postees- thus far - has had this experience. I have had the "black goop" surprise at least 20 times. It has nothing to do with cooking time. Roe is red, liver is green."

                                        But since your technique is 5 minutes for a 2-lb lobster - under-cooking your lobster has everything to do with it. When I've boiled a 2-lb lobster for only 5 minutes and it's a female with unfertilized eggs, the roe is ALWAYS black. The intestinal track that runs down the length of the tail appears usually as a dark vein and different from a green-black mass of 'jelly' mostly located in the thorax. Quick way to tell - roe turns red and firm when it's cooked. Nothing wrong with the fact that you prefer your lobster with "gelatineous sweet translucence"- However, that lobster is not fully cooked, and it's not long enough to cook all the roe.

                                        "Roe (found in some female lobsters) will be bright red and firm. If it is black and oily the lobster is undercooked."


                                        The reason I've seen it so often is because I make a lot of dishes using under-cooked/partially cooked lobster, and then finishing in the oven, sauces, pasta, etc.

                                        Of course, this doesn't explain the OP's lobster, but explains why you see that so often if you cook yours for such a short time.

                                        1. re: Rubee
                                          aurora50 RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 02:46 PM

                                          Not to mention, if you like to eat the tomalley, it would still be black and inedible if undercooked, right?

                                          1. re: Rubee
                                            Veggo RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 02:58 PM

                                            Rubee, I defer to your knowledge of the subject. But I don't see how 10 more minutes in the pot will turn tar into rose petals. I guess it's one of those Tom Petty things you can never explain, like an angel in tears, or a runaway train.

                                            1. re: Veggo
                                              Rubee RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 03:03 PM

                                              LOL. This summer I'll have to take before after pics......

                                            2. re: Rubee
                                              Veggo RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 09:27 PM

                                              I had an e-mail from Madagascar with a message that nothing with "gelatineous sweet translucence" is there. Gives one pause. I think I will water all the plants first thing tomorrow, and say a little prayer.

                                          2. re: Rubee
                                            beetlebug RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 01:26 PM

                                            I'm more on the same page as Rubee. 5 minutes for a 2 lb lobster is a bit undercooked. I usually buy lobsters about 1 3/4 lb and cook them in between 10-12 minutes and they are not overcooked at all.

                                          3. re: Veggo
                                            Niblet RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 11:34 AM

                                            For a standard lobster - we're not talkin' crawfish heah - you need to at least triple that cooking time. Lessin' you're making sushi.

                                            1. re: Niblet
                                              Veggo RE: Niblet May 14, 2007 02:03 PM

                                              I would move mountains for sushi, were they not so heavy. There is a critical moment during the cooking time line for tuna, lobster, pompano, boquinette, swordfish, shrimp, and others, where the flesh loses its delicious gelatineous sweet translucence and becomes a stringy, opaque mass of bland whiteness. Just my opinion.

                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: Veggo May 14, 2007 05:41 PM

                                                I'm way on the same page with Rubee and beetlebug here ... and 10-12 min for a 2/2.5 lb-er, easy.
                                                Not quite sure about the OP.
                                                (As an aside ...
                                                Omaru-ebi (Maine lobster),
                                                Ise-Ebi ( spiny lobster, similar to Caribbean),
                                                Uchiwa-ebi (slipper lobster - Morten Bay Bugs)

                                                1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis
                                                  Davwud RE: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis May 15, 2007 04:27 AM

                                                  4, 1 1/4 lb boys steamed for about 10 minutes.
                                                  It sounds to me like a lot of you cook yours less that I do but I've been told, 8 mins/lb. I've had no complaints.


                                                  1. re: Davwud
                                                    TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: Davwud May 15, 2007 04:38 PM

                                                    At that weight and timing I usually follow-up with additional, brief, cooking.
                                                    I've cracked the thorax of such beasts and have pulled partially "set" roe.
                                                    I usually like to get "Maine"s between Father's Day and the 4th, before they molt.

                                                    1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis
                                                      aurora50 RE: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis May 15, 2007 05:01 PM

                                                      While we're on the subject, what's the deal with hard-shell lobsters? They're so damn hard to crack, we use hammers!!! Where we live in Southern California, it's hard to tell what the hard-shell and soft-shell seasons are. I'd like to never get a hard-shell again - for you Hounders back east, what is the best way to ensure that?

                                                      1. re: aurora50
                                                        slacker RE: aurora50 May 15, 2007 05:15 PM

                                                        Once I had to carry the lobster out to my front steps to pound away at it with a hammer. Didn't want to risk damaging my counter or kitchen floor.

                                                        1. re: aurora50
                                                          Veggo RE: aurora50 May 15, 2007 05:18 PM

                                                          Lordy, keep that hammer and be glad to have the need for it. Hard shell means the critter has had a chance to bulk up in it's new, larger home, and the flesh is so much firmer, and more of it. Soft shell, generally toward the end of summer when they molt again, the claws are mostly filled with liquid and the mushy flesh can be a third of the customary mass. My friend in Maine was explaining to me why lobsters have been more scarce since winter- the cold water currents have been much further off shore, and the warmer water "tricks" the lobsters into molting prematurely. Trust me just this once- hard shell is what you want.

                                                          1. re: Veggo
                                                            TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis RE: Veggo May 15, 2007 05:51 PM

                                                            You're "on the beam" here ...
                                                            ... turn those hard-shells on their back and with a "good" kitchen knife you're set.

                                                            1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis
                                                              slacker RE: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis May 16, 2007 01:42 PM

                                                              No kitchen knife can get crack those claws.

                                                              1. re: slacker
                                                                Davwud RE: slacker May 18, 2007 07:18 PM

                                                                Turn it over and use the back side of your chefs knife to break it open. It'll leave a long thing hole it it. Do it both sides.
                                                                All that said, I've only seen it demonstrated. I use channel locks.


                                                                1. re: Davwud
                                                                  aurora50 RE: Davwud May 19, 2007 12:21 AM

                                                                  What are channel locks????

                                                                  1. re: aurora50
                                                                    Davwud RE: aurora50 May 22, 2007 07:18 AM

                                                                    See picture below


                                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                                      Veggo RE: Davwud May 22, 2007 07:30 AM

                                                                      A diligent answer to an innocent question, but somehow I am laughing uncontrollably that it came to this.When we set the table, do these go above the soupspoon, or to the right of the butter knife? I'll google Emily.

                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                        Davwud RE: Veggo May 22, 2007 10:28 AM

                                                                        At Alton Brown's table, they go on the inside of the "C" clamp for opening nuts.


                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                          aurora50 RE: Davwud May 22, 2007 10:42 AM

                                                                          Actually, that really might not be a bad idea for the lobster - I'm really considering buying one and keeping it just for that purpose!!

                                                                          1. re: Davwud
                                                                            Veggo RE: Davwud May 22, 2007 11:29 AM

                                                                            For as many stone crab claws as I eat, I suppose by now I should have some device a little more table-friendly than a claw hammer, but it sure does work!

                                                                            1. re: Veggo
                                                                              aurora50 RE: Veggo May 22, 2007 11:34 AM

                                                                              What's a claw hammer, now??? ; P LOL!!!
                                                                              You're right, this is funny!!!

                                                                              1. re: aurora50
                                                                                Veggo RE: aurora50 May 22, 2007 12:05 PM

                                                                                Yo! Davwud! We need a little more help here with your camera and your toolbox! If one goes with the "concussion" method of the hammer, rather than the "squeeze" method of the channel lock, one should place a small towel over the item to be whacked, forming it around the hump of the target area, to control the flyaway shells and splatter from an "overstrike". When one correctly evaluates the formidability of the shell strength, and calibrates the exact force of the blow required, and delivers it so that the shell is broken but the meat is not smashed in the process, one enjoys a warm, fleeting moment of accomplishment. This thread is wandering somewhere between This Old House, and a Mark Bittman demonstration:)

                                                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                                                  Davwud RE: Veggo May 22, 2007 06:52 PM

                                                                                  I also have a small pair of needle nose pliers for picking pin bones out of salmon steaks.


                                                                                  1. re: Davwud
                                                                                    Veggo RE: Davwud May 22, 2007 07:48 PM

                                                                                    That would be the Channellock #326 which I use for grouper cheeks. Your photo was, for different purposes, of course, the Channellock #430. My preferred tool for whacking both lobster claws and stone crab claws, is the basic Channellock plier #349, second to the claw hammer. I know this sounds goofy, but if anyone can ever find fault with the facts in any of my posts, I will buy every hound a beer.

                                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                                      Davwud RE: Veggo May 23, 2007 05:47 AM

                                                                                      What fault??
                                                                                      The right tool always makes the job easier.


                                                              2. re: Veggo
                                                                slacker RE: Veggo May 16, 2007 01:41 PM

                                                                Thanks, that's good to know. Still have the hammer.

                                                              3. re: aurora50
                                                                Rubee RE: aurora50 May 15, 2007 05:35 PM

                                                                Hi Aurora!

                                                                I think the season for soft-shells is late June through early September.

                                                                (Also, if anyone is interested in shipping, soft-shells have a higher mortality rate.....)

                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                  Veggo RE: Rubee May 15, 2007 05:51 PM

                                                                  By the way.. your dinner looked delicious. Remind your husband that if he ever "stubs his toe", if you will, others are lined up to step into his shoes:)!

                                                                  1. re: Rubee
                                                                    aurora50 RE: Rubee May 16, 2007 09:34 AM

                                                                    Thanks guys, for the hard-shell/soft-shell info. I guess I should be glad -- although the claws are still be a son-of-a-b___tch to crack --

                                                                    1. re: Rubee
                                                                      9lives RE: Rubee May 23, 2007 10:37 AM

                                                                      Late last summe in New England, select size hard shells were going for $10-11/lb. Soft shells were about $6/lb and not worth it..imo

                                                                      If I'm serving lobster indoors, I'll generally crack the claws in the kitchen..back of a chef's knife or a Chinese cleaver..also food for separating the knuckles..first wrap the claw in a towel to keep the splatter down.

                                                                      The channellock works well also; and I use that if I don't have the other tools handy..especially on larger lobsters with thicker shells.

                                                  2. j
                                                    jackrugby RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 10:42 AM

                                                    While we're on the subject, does anyone out there eat the tomalley?

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: jackrugby
                                                      clamscasino RE: jackrugby May 14, 2007 10:52 AM

                                                      Absolutely. The tomalley is great! I'm always so disappointed when my lobster has little tomalley in it.

                                                      1. re: jackrugby
                                                        aurora50 RE: jackrugby May 14, 2007 10:53 AM

                                                        I do, but I think it's definitely a matter of personal taste. I crave the whole lobster (except, of course, for the poop!) and I eat everything and anything I can, including tomalley, roe, legs, the body --I'd eat the shell if I could!!! ; )

                                                        1. re: aurora50
                                                          laylag RE: aurora50 May 14, 2007 03:15 PM

                                                          Absolutely. Tomalley is considered a delicacy. I know the very term delicacy brings to mind some very odd foodstuffs from different cultures, many such delicacies I'd never go near. But lobster tomalley is delicious and since I'm not innately averse to the concept of eating it, I savor every bit when I'm lucky enough to get a fair amount.

                                                          1. re: laylag
                                                            Rubee RE: laylag May 14, 2007 03:23 PM

                                                            I've never made it, but there is a recipe in "Lobster at Home" for "Tomalley Toasts" with tomalley butter - toasted baguette slices spread with a mixture of tomalley, garlic, butter, parsley and chives, baked a few minutes until bubbling. Sounds good, doesn't it?

                                                            1. re: Rubee
                                                              aurora50 RE: Rubee May 14, 2007 04:19 PM

                                                              It sounds delicious. : )

                                                              1. re: Rubee
                                                                laylag RE: Rubee May 15, 2007 07:42 AM

                                                                Sounds incredible but making it means I'd actually have to save up the tomalley and not devour it immediately. A challenge...

                                                        2. QueenB RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 11:28 AM

                                                          Yes, I'm the dork looking up lobster anatomy.

                                                          Anyway, I believe what you saw was stomach. And a full one, at that. Take a look at these diagrams:

                                                          The intestine runs the length of the tail to the anus. There is a second stomach attached to the intestine, and I'm thinking if the lobster ate recently, perhaps this is what you saw?

                                                          1. Davwud RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 01:03 PM

                                                            Thanks Hounds.

                                                            I went into this feeling that it was just a full tummy or a back up in the intestinal tract. Most seem to confirm this.
                                                            It WAS NOT ROE as this creature was a male. Either that or a freak of nature.
                                                            It WAS COOKED as were the others. All delicious I might add.

                                                            And for those of you lamenting the cost of the bugs. The local Dominion grocery store had a mothers day weekend special on. $7.99/lb. Treated my mom to lobster dinner.


                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Davwud
                                                              bryan RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 09:57 PM

                                                              Well, yeah, it was poop. That's why lobsters sit in tanks in restaurants for a few days. So they purge themselves. Of course if they get they hungry enough... they'll eat a weak lobster. It's put my sister off lobster forever. She works in a seafood place.

                                                              1. re: bryan
                                                                aurora50 RE: bryan May 15, 2007 09:26 AM

                                                                Yeah, they'll cannibalize each other if they get the chance. More than once, I've seen some munching on a recently deceased compadre in our neighborhood store's tank. We alert the seafood man to remove the offending (dead) guy.

                                                            2. Veggo RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 01:20 PM

                                                              I just phoned my old bud in Port Clyde, Maine, who runs a few hundred traps. He said the cold water currents were much further offshore this past winter, and that bait/ fuel /travel time were more onerous than ever. Conditions are correcting as we speak, and the price at the dock is $6/ lb. today. Bodes well (at least better) for we crustacean eaters this summer!

                                                              1. s
                                                                sdoby22 RE: Davwud May 14, 2007 03:35 PM

                                                                Wouldn't that be the intestines and stomach? I must have only had girl lobsters.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: sdoby22
                                                                  aurora50 RE: sdoby22 May 14, 2007 04:23 PM

                                                                  Why, because you've only had roe? Incidentally, not to insult anyone, but we do know how to tell the difference between boy and girl lobsters, right? If anyone does not know, I'm sure us "lobster people" would be glad to share the info!

                                                                  1. re: aurora50
                                                                    bryan RE: aurora50 May 14, 2007 09:58 PM

                                                                    Female lobster generally are wider in the upper dorsal tail region. This allows room in the tail to store the premature eggs. Females can also be distinguished by their soft, thin set of first pleopods (swimmerets). Males have a hard, thicker set of first pleopods, and have smaller hard appendages (masculina) attached to their second set of pleopods.

                                                                    1. re: bryan
                                                                      aurora50 RE: bryan May 15, 2007 09:29 AM

                                                                      Right. : )

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