The American Lobster also known as the “Maine” or “Canadian Lobster” is found on the East Coast of the United States as far south as North Carolina and North through Canada. They are known for their two very distinct claws, the “crusher” which is larger claw used to crush its prey and the “ripper” which is thin and pointed, to rip the meat out after it has been crushed. Lobster molt 3-4 times per year and after they molt their shell is larger than their body, so the swell with water in order to fill the shell. These are called soft shelled lobsters and are less expensive although the meat does not cook properly and is often mushy. Hard shell lobsters have fully filled their shells and usually catch a higher price although the quality of meat is well worth it.
The American lobster has sweet firm meat that is rich and full of flavor. The “Corral” is the eggs or the roe of the lobster, which turns a deep red when cooked. The “Tomalley” is the pancreas, liver and other internal organs of the lobster that is often mixed up and used as a sauce to dip the meat into.
Lobsters are caught by the pot method, they are not always sold immediately and are often held in man-made salt-water ponds or tanks before they are sold. Each area where lobsters are legally caught is subject to its own season. The duration and seasonality for each opening is synchronized with the molting period of the lobsters in an effort to protect this natural resources.