How to cook a Nova Scotian lobster – the friendly way!

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After the yacht’s guests visited a lobster export factory in Arichat Harbour, Nova Scotia yesterday; a box of 7 live lobsters arrived in the galley. So guess what was on today’s lunch menu? Yes, lobster which meant that Chef Cedric had to get started early with the lengthily cooking process.

Many people feel it’s cruel to put live lobsters into a pot of boiling water which is to ensure that this seafood delicacy is served fresh. As somewhat of a seafood activist, preparing lobster is not one of Chef Cedric’s most enjoyable activities. It’s not advisable to kill a lobster by stabbing it with a knife as it will lose all its liquid when you boil it. Chefs therefore vary their method such as suffocating the lobsters in vinegar before boiling them. Cedric, however, prefers to put the live lobsters in the freezer for 20 minutes before boiling them. The icy cold chamber almost sedates them so that they are frozen in motion when taken out. Cedric then places them in a pot of boiling water and they instantly turn a bright red. I mean, if someone stuck me in a pot of boiling water I would also turn bright red within seconds. Poor little guys!

Once the lobsters have been cooked to a red crisp, they need to be cracked open. This timely process is not as easy as it looks. Cedric used scissors, seafood crackers and his natural strength to retrieve the lobster meat. There actually isn’t that much flesh to consume inside a lobster’s hard shell which makes you wonder whether it is worth all the effort. Cedric persevered and negotiated the white flesh out of its protective skeleton. The Swedish engineer, Rolle, offered some assistance with a pair of cutting pliers from the engine room that Cedric used to crack the shell (or ‘smack the crab’ for my former M/Y Ilsole crew). After numerous chips of shell were flung across the galley floor, the lobster flesh was rinsed and ready to be included in a lobster dish.

Lunch is served! Cedric served the fresh lobster with garlic butter accompanied with a light salad for the guests and crew. After witnessing the entire process and not being the biggest lobster fan; I tried a tiny piece but couldn’t eat anymore. I guess humans are at the very top of the food chain and it’s a shame that the process seems a bit inhumane. Lobsters don’t really make great pets though so at least they serve a purpose 😉 (Katie smacks her wrist). Lobster is a typically Nova Scotian and New England dish that you should try. When in Nova Scotia… If you have a say in how it’s prepared, try do it the friendliest way possible.

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