How to Eat a Lobster, According to a Professional Chef
Or, why juicy, buttery, drippy, clawed crustaceans are the best date food ever.
Chef Jesse Vergen’s Guide to Eating Lobster
You can tell a lot about someone by how they consume lobster. Do they handle it with reckless abandon or treat it like a chore, freeing all the flesh before eating it? Here’s how Jesse Vergen, executive chef at Saint John Ale House, N.B., recommends eating yours on a hot night out. Tip: lose the plastic bib!
- Start with the legs. Rip off legs. Suck meat slowly from leg ends, pulling with your teeth to haul out flesh.
- Move onto the knuckles. Work knuckles with lobster cracker and pick out every morsel.
- Then the claws. Tear off claws. Clamp lobster cracker around thickest part—just not too hard, or you’ll be spitting out crushed shell fragments later. Push meat through larger opening with a finger or pick.
- And the tail. Snap tail ends off and use a wine bottle to roll out flesh, or put pieces into your mouth, biting at one side and sucking at same time to free last morsels.
- Get romantic. Wrapping your hands around your date’s and helping them break their tail open is more exciting than eating oysters by moonlight. Crack tail by pushing your hands together in prayer position, with shell sandwiched between them. Dig your fingers into sides of tail; pull shell apart—flesh will pop right out. Remove grey strip running down back—the digestive tract—before eating meat.
- The final rip. Grab lobster by head and tail. Pry apart shell back, covering body cavity with your fingers and exposing torso. (Taking the trouble to dig out shreds from the tiny pockets within the exoskeleton shows your date you’re commitment-minded.)