The American Lobster, also known as Maine lobster, is found in the waters between North Carolina and Eastern Canada. Maine lobsters are easily distinguished from the spiny lobster, also known as fresh lobster, by its large and heavy claws.
The spiny lobster has tiny claws and is home along the southern Atlantic Coast and the coast of California. Maine lobsters are the world’s most prized catch because of their sweet, tender and delicious meat.
Right after Maine lobsters molt, they are fragile and soft until their new shell has hardened. Molting is the process by which a lobster sheds its shell in order to grow larger. A soft-shell or new shell lobster is one that has recently molted.
The quality and price of soft-shell lobster is less on both counts when compared to hard shell lobster. They have less meat and the texture of it is softer than hard-shell meat.
The minimum legal length is 3 1/4 inches. Any lobster under that length is called a short or a snapper and must be thrown back into the ocean. As a way to indicate that those thrown back were too small to keep, lobsters crabs fishermen will place a V-shaped notch in their tail.
Minimum sizes are strictly enforced to make sure that the lobster is mature and able to breed at least once before it is harvested. A minimum sized lobster will weigh somewhere around 1 pound.
The maximum legal length of a lobster is 5 inches from eye socket to the beginning of the tail. A larger lobster is called a jumbo. The reason for a maximum size limit is because it protects the breeding stock.
A maximum sized lobster will weigh between 3 to 4 pounds. The most popular and plentiful size of Maine lobster is from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each. That size is around a one serving size.
Maine lobster is not only great tasting, it is really healthy. Of course, too much butter can negate any health benefits, so go easy. It’s hard to believe, but live Maine lobsters have less calories, cholesterol and saturated fats than lean beef, pork or skinless chicken.
It is a fantastic source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to reduce the hardening of the arteries and to lower the risk of heart disease. A 1-2 pound whole crustacean serves one person a lobster dinner.