Lobsters eaten in Jersey and the Channel islands are the European clawed lobsters Homarus gammarus. These are a cold water species of Lobster that live in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Lobsters have blue blood so really are the royalty of sea food. Lobsters when they are raw are usually a dark green or greenish-brown colour but they can be many other colours and even multi coloured. The thing you can rely on is that all lobsters will turn a bright reddish orange when cooked.
Cooking a Lobster
To cook a lobster simply boil it in water or steam it for 7 minutes for the first pound and then an additional 3 minutes for each extra pound in weight. It is very important that lobsters are cooked when still alive to avoid food poisoning. To check you make sure the lobster’s tail curls when it is cooked that the meat in the tail is firm and in one piece then you know it was coked from fresh.
Cooked Lobster ready to eat.
Jersey Lobsters are caught in the rough seas around our coast which are some of the cleanest waters in the world, by traditional potting methods. The fishermen supply Jersey with fresh lobster daily to the Fish Market where they are stored until they are needed alive in fresh running sea water. They are then cooked to order and sold ready cooked or raw in the Fish Market. The Lobsters caught off Jersey in the Granville Bay can now officially be called sustainably caught Lobsters as they are now accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council. This shows the sustained effort by Jersey and French fishermen to maintain breeding stocks of Lobster. Granville Bay had the first-ever international fishing treaty in 1839.
Landing fresh Lobsters
Lobsters are caught using a baited one-way trap called a Lobster Pot which is marked with marker buoy so the fishermen can find the Lobster Pot and retrieve it. The waters in which lobster is fished in Jersey is one and five hundred fathoms. The pots are these days made of plastic or plastic-coated galvanized steel but traditionally they were made of willow or wood. A Jersey lobster fisherman may use as many as two thousand Pots to catch enough Lobsters and Crabs to make a living.
Holding a Fresh Lobster
Not all Lobsters meat is white and some lobsters contain a green liver called “tamale” which be eaten, and is considered a delicacy by many lobster gourmets. Not everyone likes the green and brown parts of Lobster or Crab so be carefully if you have not eaten much Lobster before. Females lobsters may contain eggs which may be red and stiff or black and soft and the eggs are also edible but as before if you have not eaten much lobster go easy on the eggs.
Lobster served ready to eat
Lobsters are a very healthy to eat and are a low cholsterol food which has even fewer calories and saturated fats than turkey or chicken. To eat a lobster pull off the claws and crack them with a hammer or even the back of a heavy handled knife. When the claws are cracked you can get to the white meat. Next you pull off the tail and peel like a prawn or chop the tail in half and serve open.
A chef cooking a Lobster
You can also cut the top shell in half to get at the dark meat taking special care to throw away the grey feathery gills. The body part where the legs and claws were attached contains more white meat and you can easily spend a long lunch picking the last white meat from a succulent lobster. Often served with mayonnaise and cold salad or cooked as a hot meal and eaten with new potatoes there is really not a healthier and better tasting meal than a Jersey lobster.