Here’s one good thing about summer coming to an end: as the weather and the water get cooler, lobsters get meatier.
Typically in July and August, when water gets to that perfect summer temperature, lobsters begin to shed their shells. They do this as they grow—which lobsters do very slowly. It takes a lobster five to seven years to get to one pound (legal size) and a three pound lobster might be between 15 and 20 years old.
With the cool weather we have had this summer, many lobsters started the process of molting late. It was late August before we began to see an abundance of soft-shell lobsters, and now, with cooler days ahead, they won’t be around much longer. It’s getting to be prime lobster time.
We spend a large part of our summer days sorting lobsters. The main thing is to make sure every lobster we cook at our clambakes or sell in our stores is the best possible product. But people want to know which lobsters are “shedders.” They’re known for having sweeter meat. And because the shells aren’t as full, we price them a little less per pound. Lobsters that are too soft get cooked and used for meat (including in our famously sweet lobster salad).
We’re happy to cook your lobsters for you, at no charge, in our stores. But it really is simple to cook your own. The main thing to know is it’s best steam them in just a few inches of salted water. That way very little water comes out when you crack their shells.
Oh and don’t worry: lobsters don’t actually feel pain. They do not have a cerebral cortex, which is the part of the brain that allows us to feel pain. And that noise you hear coming from the pot? Well it’s not actually the lobsters screaming, it’s just air escaping their shells.
Another question we get a lot: what do those different colored rubber bands mean? Those are up to the lobstermen who put them on the lobsters’ claws. Maybe they’re the captain’s favorite color, but otherwise, they don’t mean a thing.
Looking for a change of pace? With 24-hours notice, we’ll prepare your lobster with our homemade seafood stuffing so you can serve baked stuffed lobster at home.