Everything You Wanted to Know About Lobsters

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Given that Maine is known for its lobster – and sometimes only for its lobster – isn’t it time you knew more about this tasty crustacean?

Ginny Wright, a very talented writer for Down East magazine, has stepped up to this task, writing The Maine Lobster Book, published this year by Down East. It’s a comprehensive guide to everything lobster from the creature’s fascinating sex life to lobster lingo.

The next time a tourist stops you on the road to ask directions to the nearest lobster roll, you’ll be able to start your answer with a couple of revelations about the lobster’s sex life. The female lobster woos the “guy with a reputation for toughness and strength,” by leaving him gifts – urchins, mussels, sea starts, at his front door.

Then they move in together and the story gets a lot racier! Ginny leaves nothing out!

Well, perhaps by the time you finish telling your story about lobster sex, the tourist seeking directions will have moved on – probably at a high rate of speed. Mission accomplished!

There is a ton of information here, including lots of great lobster recipes from some of Maine’s most famous chefs.

You’ll learn about the ongoing debate over whether to buy hard or soft shell lobsters. A 1-pound hard-shell lobster contains 4 to 5 ounces of meat while a 1-pound soft shell lobster houses 2 to 3 ounces of meat and a lot of water. Go with the hard shell. It’s a better buy.

You’ll hear about the battle between those who prefer their lobster roll with mayonnaise, and those who want melted butter – lots of it. Fortunately, Ginny doesn’t even try to claim that a Maine lobster roll is a healthy choice. But it turns out that parts of the lobster – including the shell – are nutritious. Bring it on!

I loved the inspiring story about Julie Eaton, the cover girl on the 2012 Lobsterwoman of Maine calendar, who recovered from a severe car accident that required intensive therapy for three years and left her with no short-term memory.

And I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Kristen Sawyer, the Maine Sea Goddess, who told Ginny, “my father is a pastor and our congregation is full of fishermen.” Amen.

From Diane Cowan’s fascinating lobster research, to Ben & Bill’s lobster ice cream in Bar Harbor, this book will entertain you, and make you hungry!

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