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Cook456

Female Lobsters

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I will be preparing baked stuffed lobsters for Xmas Eve and the recipe calls for female lobsters. The roe of the female lobster is incorporated into the stuffing.

Anyone know of a purveyor that would have them in the northern NJ area?

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Go anywhere lobsters are sold and simply ask for females. They will have wider tails and the first pair of swimmerets closest to the body are soft and feathery on a female, rather than hard and bony on males. I usually always ask for females when I buy lobsters because I love using the roe.

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In Canada it is illegal for fishermen to land a berried lobster. These females with eggs attached get a v-shaped notch in a tail fin before returning to the ocean. This practice identifies the lobster as a breeder and will protect it next time it's caught wether there's eggs or not.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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In Canada it is illegal for fishermen to land a berried lobster. These females with eggs attached get a v-shaped notch in a tail fin before returning to the ocean. This practice identifies the lobster as a breeder and will protect it next time it's caught wether there's eggs or not.

Same in Maine. Might be one reason Maine has a very healthy number of lobsters.

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As I understand it, the roe is the unfertilized eggs in a female lobster, sometimes called the "coral."

Catching and selling egg-bearing "berried" lobsters appears to be widely illegal in the U.S. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), "Egg-bearing females are ... protected and if caught, must be placed back in the sea." http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/faq/fishfaq7.html

Furthermore, if female lobsters are illegally taken in the waters of a foreign country and imported into the U.S., that's also illegal under federal law.

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In Canada it is illegal for fishermen to land a berried lobster. These females with eggs attached get a v-shaped notch in a tail fin before returning to the ocean. This practice identifies the lobster as a breeder and will protect it next time it's caught wether there's eggs or not.

I assume 'berried' means carrying eggs on the underside of the body, correct?


James.

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In Canada it is illegal for fishermen to land a berried lobster. These females with eggs attached get a v-shaped notch in a tail fin before returning to the ocean. This practice identifies the lobster as a breeder and will protect it next time it's caught wether there's eggs or not.

I assume 'berried' means carrying eggs on the underside of the body, correct?

Correct, like this one I found at the market a couple of years ago:

20081002c.JPG

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That''s what I've done in the past, but for some reason the last few yrs, I've been having a hard time finding them. I also use the roe in the stuffing, with butter, breadcrumbs and tarragon. It's awfully good, that way.

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I assume 'berried' means carrying eggs on the underside of the body, correct?

Yes. A quick search, and I found statutes prohibiting the taking of egg-bearing lobsters in Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. That covers a large portion of the commercial lobster catch. There may be other state statutes, I just didn't find them this time around. As I mentioned, federal law comprehensively covers illegal takings of any fish or wildlife in foreign countries, and their importation into the U.S.

If someone gets the clever idea of brushing off the eggs and selling the lobsters, that's illegal, too.

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It appears that the red unfertilized eggs (coral) are legal to take and eat, while the black fertilized eggs are not.

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It appears that the red unfertilized eggs (coral) are legal to take and eat, while the black fertilized eggs are not.

The unfertilized eggs (coral) are inside the tail of a female lobster and not visible outside the lobster. Sometimes when you break off the tail of a steamed lobster, you'll see a bright red-orange thing inside. That's the coral. And yes, it is legal to catch these lobsters.

The lobsters carrying eggs externally, on the underside of their tails (like in the photos above), are protected in the U.S. by state and federal law. There is no distinction as to the color of the eggs in the state statutes that I looked at. Any lobster carrying eggs externally is protected.

The intention of the law is to save the breeders. Peter The Eater mentioned the v-shaped notch that Canadian fishermen are supposed to put in the lobster's tail fin. That's a requirement in various state laws here as well.

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The coral has always been dark green in every lobster I've ever processed (and it's into the thousands after the last few months), it only turns orange after cooking. We're getting our lobsters from Nova Scotia, is the colour a species thing?


James.

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The green stuff is indeed tomalley, and it's the liver more or less (though it apparently also functions as the pancreas). Since it serves as the organ of detoxification for the lobster just as it does for us, it can be less safe to eat if the lobster was harvested from waters where there is large presence of toxins. Given the thousands of miles that many lobsters traverse, it's most likely that it has, at some point in its life, ingested toxins such as PCBs.

That said, it's absolutely delicious! Consume in moderation.

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Tomalley has been described as grayish-green. I remember it as the distinctly green stuff when you open up a raw lobster. The roe or unfertilized eggs (coral) have been described as black or dark forest green when raw, that turn orange-red when cooked.

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The tomalley is easy to tell from the roe, as it's a much lighter green.

I've been using the shells and making a stock, then reducing it down from ten litres to about 150mls and using that to flavour the smoked paprika butter that we baste the lobster in under the salamander. It's absolutely amazing, and I'm forever scrounging bread to soak in the butter after the basting. Not healthy, but holy hell is it good.


James.

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Here's the recipe we have been using for many, many years:

2 lbs lobsters

1 cup breadcrumbs (soft, 2 slices)

14 lb butter (softened)

1 tsp salt

12 tsp pepper

1 tsp tarragon

2 tsps vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.

2. Split Lobsters in half lengthwise.

3.Remove dark strip if present.

4.Remove the coral and liver to a medium bowl.

5.To coral and roe, add bread crumbs and butter, salt, pepper and taragon.

6.Put mixture in cavaties of lobster, drizzle with vegetable oil.

7.Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.

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Yikes! 1/4 Lb butter... and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. lol


Edited by Cook456 (log)

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I liked it better with 14 lbs of butter, the pepper, not so much

OT: in an episode of Essential Pepin, Jacques was making various potato items, including his version of mashed.

he mention a Fr. restaurant in NYC where they use equal amounts of butter and potato, by wt.

tasty.

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