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 Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell

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Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Sun, 10/13/13 4:41 PM (permalink)
Since I was going to Maine this week, I was checking price's on lobster.  I noticed that soft shell is about 30% cheaper than hard shell.  I asked why and was told that there was more meat on hard shell.  If they charge by the pound and less shell, I am having a hard time understanding the huge price difference?
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
<message edited by Sundancer7 on Sun, 10/13/13 4:42 PM>

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    Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Sun, 10/13/13 5:06 PM (permalink)
    I am very surprised that they even have soft-shell lobsters in October.  Soft-shells occur in the summer when the lobster is molting.  They are always less expensive but the meat is not very good.  You will crack into a soft-shell and a whole lot of water will pour out and there's not much meat.  Do not get a soft-shell lobster!!!!  Trust me, I was in the lobster business!  Get a good hard-shell lobster.  The meat will be firm, sweet and delicious.  Actually the best, best, best lobster is found in March and is called, in the business, a "Western Novi" which means it comes from Nova Scotia.  The water in March is SUPER cold, the shells are SUPER hard and the meat.........absolutely the best lobster on the planet.  Enjoy Maine.  Go to Casco Bay if you can, it's beautiful there.

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      Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Mon, 10/14/13 9:04 AM (permalink)
      Some people have tried to convince me that the meat on the soft shell lobster is more tender. They may be right, but, as one who has had waitstaff in restaurants ask me, "What happened to the rest of the lobster ?"(I get EVERY bit of meat from it, although, alas, in current polluted times, I regretfully no longer eat the tomally), I prefer to have meat that doesn't stick to the shell (as often happens with soft shell lobsters). I have stated in other threads that my local (less than 1/4 mile away) supermarket often gets phone orders for lobsters that don't get picked up, and sells them for a (for New Jersey) bargain price (or one that can be negotiated; I will usually pay $5 for a chick); I use them for lobster rolls or lobster salad (although, in college, one of my dormmates was a member of the family that ran Brooklyn's Blue Ridge Farms, and he always had a big bucket of langostino "lobster" salad handy, which he shared liberally with his friends). In any case, I'm not quite as picky with those as I am when I pay full price.

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        Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Mon, 10/14/13 10:31 AM (permalink)
        Lisa,  I bought lobsters a couple of weeks ago at one of my local supermarkets and didn't even think to ask if they were hard shell or soft. I assumed they were hard. They weren't. I usually buy 3 or 4 lobsters, cook and deshell them and put in a container in my fridge so my family can make their own lobster rolls or however they want to eat the meat. With soft shells I feel like I get about half the meat!

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          Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Mon, 10/14/13 10:40 AM (permalink)
          Yes, you were getting half the meat!  When the lobsters molt, they not only loose their shells, they loose body mass.  Back in June our supermarket had a lobster special........just in time for my birthday!  The gal that was in charge of the lobsters seemed kind of squeamish about touching those critters so I offered to pick my own out.  They were nice hard shells......small, 1 1/4 we got 6 and they were really good.

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            Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Mon, 10/14/13 1:47 PM (permalink)
            All this talk about lobster got me hungry for one.  I'm getting a new range delivered tomorrow.......what better way to christen it than to cook lobsters!  I just called Commercial Lobster in Boston (I ran their retail mkt. Yankee Lobster Fish Market) and ordered 2 two pounders.  They will ship tomorrow and we'll have them Wednesday. 

              • Total Posts: 3305
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              • Location: Near Grand Rapids, MI
              Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Mon, 10/14/13 2:24 PM (permalink)
              I really want lobster now, too. Unfortunately, unless I pay ridiculous amounts of money at a restaurant, my option is "fresh-frozen" lobster meat. I can't think of anywhere around here that still has a tank.
                ann peeples

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                Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Tue, 10/15/13 7:58 AM (permalink)
                Lisa-happy christening! If I lived closer-you would have had to order an extra 2 pounder!

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                  Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Tue, 10/15/13 3:42 PM (permalink)
                  It would be an absolute pleasure to order an extra lobster for you!

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                    • Location: Chelsea, ME
                    Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Tue, 11/12/13 7:57 PM (permalink)
                    lleefchef--I absolutely agree with what you said about soft vs hard shelled lobsters. I often have had someone say they prefer "sweet" shedder meat to hard. I disagree! Go figure. I like the texture and flavor of hard over the watery, mushier shedder meat. The hard shells are more expensive but are worth it.
                      I have also heard people rave about getting 3# or larger lobsters, too. Bigger is not better! Think rubbery or the very few times I've had them. I prefer 1.25--1.5. Lobster cooking is a very primitive business. Lobster and crab are only things I have ever cooked that start out alive.
                       My dad came from Vinalhaven, Maine, which is an island in Penobscot Bay, and the home of some of the best lobsters. He came from a long line of fisherman, was one himself for a time, went to college and became an accountant. When he retired, he got a 34' lobster boat and went fishing again. He went fishing early in the morning on the day he died, and his last meal--supper--was two lobsters I cooked for him. A perfect last day--out on his boat for a while and his favorite food. The only thing that would have made it more perfect--that I had baked one of his favorite pies--apple or custard.

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                      Re:Hard shelll lobster vs. soft shell Wed, 11/27/13 10:27 PM (permalink)
                      I agree with Lisa. I have noticed that when I've gotten live lobsters with a soft shell, they are usually watery and bland. I will have to start making sure they are hard shells!
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