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Distinctly Rare and Unique Lobsters
August 19, 2009 7:41 AM   Subscribe


 
"Our world is full of amazing and beautiful creatures. These lobsters are just some of them."

I....this.....so much....okaygivein ;askjdf;ljasd;flkjas;ldfkj;askjdf;akjsdf;kjasd;fj!

Whew.

posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:49 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Our world is full of amazing and beautiful creatures.

And many of them are quite tasty with butter and lemon.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:55 AM on August 19, 2009 [8 favorites]


Related Music
posted by Del Far at 7:55 AM on August 19, 2009


So beautifully, beautifully peculiar. Would a 'squeee!' be completely inappropriate for the Blue?

...

*shrinks from the force of several thousand poisonous glares*

Oh.
posted by psychostorm at 7:56 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having eaten Balmain bugs in Australia, I can tell you that slipper lobsters are delicious.
posted by drdanger at 7:59 AM on August 19, 2009


God, lobsters are hideous. But delicious. We just ate a bunch last night; they're wicked cheap right now.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:01 AM on August 19, 2009


It doesn't say which one is the most delicious.

So I'm going to assume it must be those cool rare ones I've never seen before.
posted by zennie at 8:03 AM on August 19, 2009


Later, he fights a yeti lobster.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:08 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now you know the true reason for the human invasion in Starship Troopers.

Buenos Aires, my ass. Those bugs are tasty.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:11 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pinchy!!!!!!

Don't forget the garlic butter!
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:11 AM on August 19, 2009


who told you
posted by stresstwig at 8:14 AM on August 19, 2009


I'm also fairly confident this is just a viral for Pokemon.
posted by stresstwig at 8:15 AM on August 19, 2009


You heard wrong.
posted by DU at 8:15 AM on August 19, 2009


Life... is so beautiful. For some, more than others. Every breath. Every day of our lives. Ahhh, lobsters.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 8:16 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Woody and Dianne
posted by caddis at 8:16 AM on August 19, 2009


Thanks for this. My nightmares have become a little ho-hum lately.
posted by HumanComplex at 8:23 AM on August 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


uncleozzy: God, lobsters are hideous. But delicious. We just ate a bunch last night; they're wicked cheap right now.

That's like saying, "you know that thing you like so much? It sucks and it's gross. But delicious. So much so that I DEVOUR their insignificant corpses en masse!"

That tiny lobster made me squee with delight. The Slipper Lobster is pretty cute, too.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:26 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perhaps this would be the place to link to the current location of "The Verbose Surrealist's 7,483 Things to Do with a Lobster and a Lightly Soiled Pair of Lederhosen."
posted by ocherdraco at 8:28 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am in awe of the first guy who said, "Okay, it looks like a bug, it pinches like anything and catching it is a whole magillah, but lets cook this mo-fo and see if we like it."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:29 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having seen both blue and yellow lobsters on more than one occasion, I can safely say that they have pulled the 1 in 5 million and 1 in 30 million ratios directly from their butt. Also, there is nothing distinctly rare (at least not yet) about spiny or slipper lobsters, as they are landed by the millions of pounds commercially every year. Anyone who has ever eaten at a Red Lobster has probaly eaten these.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:30 AM on August 19, 2009


That Blue Spiny Lobster looks like a jumble of kick ass.
posted by elmer benson at 8:30 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


*probably
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:31 AM on August 19, 2009


I DEVOUR their insignificant corpses en masse!

That's pretty much it, yep. With butter.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:31 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I heard you like lobsters.

...so I put a lobster in your car so you can...uh...OK, sorry Xzibit, don't know where you're going with this one.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:32 AM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


kuujjuarapik, anecdotes are not fact.

Also, these are cool.

Also, it is 'So I herd you liek lobsterz'.
posted by kldickson at 8:34 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]




anecdotes are not fact.

Then show me the facts. All I read were unsourced numbers.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:39 AM on August 19, 2009


I am in awe of the first guy who said, "Okay, it looks like a bug, it pinches like anything and catching it is a whole magillah, but lets cook this mo-fo and see if we like it."

I'm never surprised anymore.

Japanese cuisine was invented through a centuries-long game of "I dare you to eat that."
posted by zennie at 8:39 AM on August 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


I am in awe of the first guy who said, "Okay, it looks like a bug, it pinches like anything and catching it is a whole magillah, but lets cook this mo-fo and see if we like it."

According to Maine folklore, when New England was settled by Europeans, lobsters were so plentiful that they were easy pickings at low tide. And I assume the first people to eat them were hunter-gatherer Native Americans who first settled the Northeast. They didn't have butter, so they probably didn't like it very much.

That said, I'm from Maine and I think lobster is disgusting.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:40 AM on August 19, 2009


I'm so insanely jealous of their awesome exoskeletons that I try eat their fleshy goodness at every opportunity.
posted by ob at 8:42 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


A lobster is a bug. A lobster is a bug. A LOBSTER IS A BUG!
posted by contessa at 8:43 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, apprentices in Massachusetts used to add to their apprenticeship documents limits on the number of times they could be served lobster per week (because it was so cheap and easy to get that their masters were all 'Let's feed the apprentices lobsters' and they got sick of it).

I, too, picked up the true Swamp Yankee's hatred of lobsters as food when I was a child, but I find them fascinating to watch. I kind of want one of those fuzzy blind albino lobsters as a pet now.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:45 AM on August 19, 2009


According to Maine folklore, when New England was settled by Europeans, lobsters were so plentiful that they were easy pickings at low tide.
It's still pretty much like this on Guam. If you go to the right beach at night, the rock lobsters (the ones with no claws but a giant tail) helpfully come up on the beach for you to shoot with a speargun. Tasty, but coconut crabs are so much sweeter (and will peench your finger off if not careful.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 8:48 AM on August 19, 2009


Obligatory World of Warcraft link.

Technically not a true lobster. Uh, technically, not even real. So, uh, well, ok.
posted by Xoebe at 8:49 AM on August 19, 2009


A lobster is a bug. A lobster is a bug. A LOBSTER IS A BUG!

Yes, and bugs are delicious.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:49 AM on August 19, 2009


And to continue with what Mayor Curley said, Trevor Corson wrote in The Secret Life of Lobsters (it's either that or it was in The Lobster Coast, another favorite book of mine) that servants and convicts in colonial New England once petitioned to NOT be forced to eat lobster more than 3x a week -- it was considered cheap and readily available and therefore suitable for them to eat.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:52 AM on August 19, 2009


(And on preview -- yeah, what Sidhedevil said) -- but really, can't recommend any two books more highly, they're both a great read.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:53 AM on August 19, 2009


I actually loves me some tasty lobster. In Florida, I grew up thinking of it as a luxury food and always thought of lobster as such until I met my ex-girlfriend. On one of our early dates, I tried to surprise her with a fancy lobster dinner. Her response? "Oh dear god, please no lobster." She grew up on the South Shore near Boston. Hers and other families were so poor that their only source of protein was the lobster that they caught in their traps, so for her, lobster is an uncomfortable symbol of shame and poverty and she eats it only if she absolutely has to. Meanwhile, I still see lobster as this fancy-shmancy, super expensive treat. The dichotomy blew my mind.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:56 AM on August 19, 2009


A lobster is a bug. A lobster is a bug. A LOBSTER IS A BUG!

Lobsters and bugs are both in the phylum Arthropoda, but saying lobsters are bugs is like saying iguanas are panthers.

Here are some closer lobster relatives.
posted by zennie at 9:06 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am in awe of the first guy who said, "Okay, it looks like a bug, it pinches like anything and catching it is a whole magillah, but lets cook this mo-fo and see if we like it."

I'm more in awe of the first guy who looked at a durian and said, "Okay, it's covered in large, sharp, hard spikes and smells strongly like rotting ass even from a distance, but let's open up and eat this mo-fo, see if we like it."
posted by Lush at 9:07 AM on August 19, 2009


Holy crap, there *is* blue food!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:07 AM on August 19, 2009


Yo dawg we herd you like lobsters so we put a disgusting lobster in your cute lobster so you can eat it with butter while you squee.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:14 AM on August 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


A lobster is a bug. A lobster is a bug. A LOBSTER IS A BUG!

It is a crustacean, not an insect.
posted by kldickson at 9:16 AM on August 19, 2009


Just to share a neat story, my bf & I went over to our friends' house for dinner over 4th of July weekend. Our girl friend was 9 months pregnant and READY to let it all out. They had gone to a dinner the night before, where another friend had told them that lobsters induce labor. So we figured, "hey! Let's test that theory!" We got two big guys, seen here, and Mark pithed, seasoned, and grilled them. They were delicious and Sharese went into labor the next morning.

Same link as above, leads to a set of photos, including all stages of the process, up until dinner (sorry, no labor folks). Watching someone you know kill animals with knives for the first time is always an interesting experience.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2009


And yeah, Lobster is insanely cheap right now, like hovering around $3.00 a pound or something like that. Between this and the heroin explosion, Maine is kind of hurting right now, I think.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Won't someone consider the lobster(s)?
posted by fixedgear at 9:30 AM on August 19, 2009


ME-Fi
posted by Pollomacho at 9:31 AM on August 19, 2009


Our nearby Seacoast Science Center has a blue lobster. He's wicked cool looking.
posted by Miko at 9:32 AM on August 19, 2009


Between this and the heroin explosion, Maine is kind of hurting right now, I think.

Not to mention red tides which closed the clam flats for most of the summer.
posted by Miko at 9:33 AM on August 19, 2009


The big problem right now is because of the low lobster prices and the territorial nature of lobstering there are lobster wars here in Maine that have resulted in one shooting and the sinking of a few boats.

Add that to the rough conditions lobstermen work in and it's not a really great way to make a living.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:44 AM on August 19, 2009


I was kind of sorry that the "fun facts" section did not include: "Lobsters communicate by peeing at each other. No, really."

Which turns out to be a lot more interesting than most people would like to admit -- see The Secret Life of Lobsters (as per bitter-girl.com, above). The communication and reproduction habits of lobsters (plus their life cycle) is way odder than almost anything in science fiction.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:46 AM on August 19, 2009


This one looks Cthullicious.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:57 AM on August 19, 2009


...so I put a lobster in your car so you can...uh...OK, sorry Xzibit, don't know where you're going with this one.

So I put some lobster in your lobster so you can Mmmmm while you Mmmmm.
posted by ryoshu at 10:03 AM on August 19, 2009


I like hairy lobsters.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:12 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


ryoshu: whoa, they should call that New England Haggis!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:13 AM on August 19, 2009


Mmmm, science. Delicious, delicious, steamed in the rocks on the sand science.
posted by TomMelee at 10:33 AM on August 19, 2009


I was kind of sorry that the "fun facts" section did not include: "Lobsters communicate by peeing at each other. No, really."

Somehow, picturing a lobster that resembles R. Kelly is worse for my appetite than picturing them as a bug.
posted by Pragmatica at 10:37 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm more in awe of the first guy who looked at a durian and said, "Okay, it's covered in large, sharp, hard spikes and smells strongly like rotting ass even from a distance, but let's open up and eat this mo-fo, see if we like it."

Okay, you topped me. Durian makes a more disgusting first impression than lobster does.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:56 AM on August 19, 2009


LOBSTER LIBERATION!!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:02 AM on August 19, 2009


Sidhedevil:
Yes, apprentices in Massachusetts used to add to their apprenticeship documents limits on the number of times they could be served lobster per week (because it was so cheap and easy to get that their masters were all 'Let's feed the apprentices lobsters' and they got sick of it).


I believe a large part of it, too, was that lobster is actually pretty terrible if you don't cook it in the proscribed method (i.e., boiling alive). If you kill it and then cook it at some later point, it's apparently about as good as eating rats.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:04 AM on August 19, 2009


Throw on a pair of googly eyes, and the yeti lobster would make a great Jim Henson puppet.
posted by homuncula at 11:47 AM on August 19, 2009


Magnet made of iron, lobster made of MEAT
posted by FatherDagon at 12:04 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Because it seems like relatively few people know it, I here present: The Secret To Cooking Really Good Lobster.

Ready?

Steam it over seawater.

That's it! Using seawater makes it taste about 1000x (non-scientific estimate, backed by plentiful anecdotal evidence) better. If you have no nearby source of fresh seawater, add a half cup of salt per gallon to your steamer. And don't boil them -- steam them. There's no point in waiting forever for a whole pot full of water to boil, and boiling just makes them super watery.
posted by rusty at 12:05 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am new to this site just joined today.This was a very interesting artical, with amazing pics and video's it was nice to see something so interesting on the site ! Well done. I do not eat them! but have done in the past sad to say. But after seong this page all the more reason not to, smiles
posted by Paladon at 12:38 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


lobster is an uncomfortable symbol of shame and poverty

Similarly, there was a CBC radio story once about people growing up in the Maritimes in the 1950s, who were so poor they had to bring lobster sandwiches to school. Meanwhile, what was the status-symbol protein in the sandwiches of the rich kids? Baloney.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:42 PM on August 19, 2009


Steam it over seawater.

Oh hells yes. Used to go diving down in Mexico, and steam them bugs right on the beach over fires built into 55-gallon drums.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:48 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


You "lobsters are not bugs" people are being too precise. Merriam-Webster defines a bug as "1 a : an insect or other creeping or crawling invertebrate (as a spider or centipede) b : any of several insects (as the bedbug or cockroach) commonly considered obnoxious c : any of an order (Hemiptera and especially its suborder Heteroptera) of insects that have sucking mouthparts, forewings thickened at the base, and incomplete metamorphosis and are often economic pests —called also true bug"

I think 1.a. is in pretty common use, in fact I'd say most people mean that as opposed to 1.c. when they say bug. A lobster is definitely a "creeping or crawling invertebrate". Also, gross.
posted by wildcrdj at 1:08 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


In addition to the steaming, the best place to buy lobster is on the water from a lobster boat. Barring that, on the dock. I may be purely in my head, but my mom ground the thought into me that sitting in the tank makes lobsters lose their taste.
posted by Hactar at 1:20 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was little, my brother told me lobsters were giant sea cockroaches. I've never been able to enjoy them since.
posted by cazoo at 1:32 PM on August 19, 2009


My mom sent us lobsters for Valentine's Day. I don't have a lot of experience in killing my own food, so I looked it up on the internet. Some people recommend sticking a giant knife through the lobster's head, which sounded like it'd be worse for me and worse for them. Some people recommend putting them in the freezer to stun them, but our freezer's warmer than our refrigerator, which is barely below room temperature. The poor guys had been shipped in dry ice, so they were groggy and I felt bad about them gradually coming to their senses as we waited for the water to boil, so I called a buddy of mine. He said, "they've been convicted of the crime...of deliciousness." Into the water they went. I felt bad at first, but they were super tasty.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:52 PM on August 19, 2009


Hactar: I'd adjust your buying rule to: 1) From a lobsterman, or 2) From a place with a direct source of seawater. So, a fish store on a dock is fine, if they're circulating the lobster water in and out from the adjacent ocean. A lobsterman's garage is fine, because he hauled those bugs in that morning. A supermarket is out, unless it's sitting on a dock for some reason.

Lots of "freshly caught" lobsters are actually coming in from a lobster pound on a raft somewhere, but they're corralled in the ocean, so for my money, it's the same thing as freshly caught. The standalone supermarket tanks, though, are no good.
posted by rusty at 2:19 PM on August 19, 2009


kirkaracha: The knife in the head thing is a myth. Lobsters have independent nerve clusters all over their bodies. At best, a knife through the "brain" (such as it is) might paralyze it. Kill it, it does not.

Just drop them in a hot steamer, people. They're not sentient like you or I.
posted by rusty at 2:28 PM on August 19, 2009


Similarly, there was a CBC radio story once about people growing up in the Maritimes in the 1950s, who were so poor they had to bring lobster sandwiches to school.

A friend of mine from the Maritimes was paid in lobsters for tutoring! I was so jealous.
posted by emeiji at 2:33 PM on August 19, 2009


Consider the lobster.
posted by jtron at 2:56 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Confronted with a site celebrating the beauty of animal species many of immediately react with expressions of self-delighted and -satisfied gluttony.
posted by mistersquid at 3:18 PM on August 19, 2009


I like Lobster Johnson.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:23 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing about dropping the lobster in the hot water is that they don't die right away. The temperature of the lobster itself brings the pot of boiling water's temperature way down, and so they suffer for a bit until they cook to death. Pithing them with a knife through the head is much more humane (and dare I say, kind of impressive to watch).
posted by iamkimiam at 3:24 PM on August 19, 2009


One problem with pithing lobsters: they have a tiny brain, which is deeper into their body than you might expect. [Reference Image]

It's not clear to me that pithing will result in less suffering, given the amount of rooting around that must be done to reach the brain, as well as the difficulty in determining how the lobster experiences pain from intense heat, as opposed to stabbing.

Also, it's worth considering that the overwhelming majority of lobsters die while quite small, probably just swallowed and digested whole by fish. The older ones get to be torn apart. Lobsters have a variety of adaptations that allow them to survive serious mangling (e.g. they can eject limbs with little permant damage) and therefore such a death is probably pretty slow. In any case, a painful death is pretty much set in stone.
posted by Humanzee at 3:50 PM on August 19, 2009


To be clear, they don't "eject" limbs. But when limbs are torn off, the wound seals up rapidly and if the lobster survives, it can grow a new limb.
posted by Humanzee at 3:52 PM on August 19, 2009


As a person who has both stuck a big-ass Wustoph through a lobster's head and stuck a lobster in a pot of boiling water, I can tell you that there is there is no difference in taste. I wanted the boiled alive suffered like a martyr lobster to be not as good, but no.
posted by fixedgear at 3:55 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm more inclined to think it's humane to run a current of several hundred amps through a lobster to kill it.
posted by kldickson at 4:06 PM on August 19, 2009




The blue ones taste like mangos.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:02 PM on August 19, 2009


I have a retrospective collection of Julia Child cooking with famous chefs. There's one particular one where she and a chef from Seattle are preparing his pan-seared lobster with white wine. The bastard doesn't even boil the lobsters first. He just splits them down the middle (all the way, mind you) tears out their tails and begins to cook.

Hard, frickin, core.
posted by Severian at 9:59 PM on August 19, 2009


The bastard doesn't even boil the lobsters first.

Yep. Jasper White cooking lobster on a grill [YT]. Not for the squeamish.

I prefer this Swedish recipe.
posted by zennie at 10:31 PM on August 19, 2009


Jasper White cooking lobster on a grill [YT]. Not for the squeamish.

Indeed! I could hardly take a minute and a half of his puffing and panting. Does he have his heart attack during the video, or immediately after it? Get that man a Lark.
posted by rusty at 7:43 AM on August 20, 2009


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