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Preparation Of Lobsters

The shellfish, LOBSTERS, CRABS, and SHRIMP, come under the head of crustaceans; that is, animals consisting of jointed sections, each of which is covered with a hard shell. Their flesh is similar in composition to that of other fish, but it is tougher and harder to digest. However, it is popular because of its unique and delicate flavor. In fact, whenever these varieties of fish can be obtained along the seacoast or within a reasonable distance from the place where they are caught, they are considered a delicacy.

If they can be shipped alive to any point, they are perfectly safe to use, although quite high in price because of their perishable nature. Unless such shellfish can be procured alive in the markets, the use of a good brand of any of them canned is recommended. In fact, canned lobster, crab, and shrimp are very satisfactory and may be substituted for any of the fresh cooked varieties in the recipes that follow. Lobsters, crabs, and shrimp are very similar in composition, shrimp being slightly higher in protein and total food value than the others.

It must be remembered that the ptomaine poisoning that is sometimes caused by eating canned foods is not due to the fact that the foods come in tin cans, but that they are allowed to stand in the cans after they are opened. Upon their being exposed to the air, putrefaction sets in and causes the harmful effect.

To prepare a lobster, which should be alive, grasp it firmly by the back, plunge it quickly, head first, into a kettle of rapidly boiling water, and then submerge the rest of the body. Be sure to have a sufficient amount of water to cover the lobster completely. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes; then lower the flame or remove to a cooler part of the stove and cook slowly for
1/2 hour. Remove from the water and allow to cool.

After being prepared in this way, a lobster may be served cold or it may be used in the preparation of various made dishes. If it is to be used without further preparation, it is often served from the shell, which is usually split open. Mayonnaise or some other sauce is generally served with lobster. The flesh is removed from the shell with a small fork as it is eaten. The majority of the dishes made from lobster require that the flesh be removed from the shell.