A while ago, lobstermen would use wooden pegs to keep the claws shut but this was halted as pegs would cause an open wound on the lobsters and if the wound became infected, this infection could easily be spread between the lobsters causing shrinkage.
To keep damage to a minimum on the soft-shelled lobster claws, lobstermen will use various grades of rubber band. Soft-shelled lobsters should use a flexible rubber band now known as a lobster bands and a tighter rubber band will be used for hard shells.
Lobsters are cooked live as with other shellfish they have harmful bacteria in their flesh and once dead, these bacteria can multiply quickly releasing toxins that cooking may not kill. By cooking the lobster live you minimise the possibility of food poisoning. The lobster can be cooked with or without the lobster bands.
A sweet and light white wine is recommended to accompany your lobster as red wine is said to be too strong. A traditional hot lobster dish should be enjoyed with an oaky Chardonnay or when served cold enjoyed with a dry white wine, possibly a Muscadet.
A selection of dinner party facts:
- Lobsters can be left and right handed like humans. This is determined by what side the larger claw is on.
- Of the more than 10,000 eggs the female will lay, only ten may make it through the first month of life.
- A lobster will shed its shell several times a year.