Nowadays, fresh live lobsters are shipped all over the world and form the basis of a global seafood market that generates over 1 billion US dollars each year! You can buy them at your local supermarket, order them online or ask for them at a restaurant. They can be steamed, stuffed and baked , or made into soups, sandwiches, dips and quesadillas!
However what of the quality of their meat? Any lobster connoisseur will tell you, to answer that question one must look at the shell because as it goes without saying around here; the softer the shell the sweeter the meat!
Lobsters, once caught, are classified as old-shells, hard-shells and soft-shells. Due to their molting process one single lobster will pass through all of these stages many times within their long lifecycle. Lobsters can live over 100 years! As the skin molts off the lobster their shell becomes soft and thin, their meat sweet and delicious. However due to their delicate shells, they can not be shipped very far and therefore are only sold in local restaurants at distances that can accommodate their soft shells. A hard-shell lobster, whose shell has strengthened after molting, is durable enough to survive a journey from Boston to San Francisco yet their meat will never compare to that it’s the soft-shelled cousins. The old-shell lobsters have yet to shed their shells and are by far the strongest of the three surviving journeys to Europe, Asia and even Australia if need be. Although they make excellent traveling partners their meat is less inspiring.
Woodman’s is fortunate enough to serve the freshest, yummiest lobster around, including the soft-shell variety. Yet, from working many-a-clambake, I have come to find that the soft-shells are the most unappreciated bunch of the three. Although their meat is by far the highest quality, people are unimpressed by the quantity. Please come and enjoy a soft-shelled lobster this summer (usually from late June to early September) and let us know what you think.