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Types Of Lobster (And How To Cook)

Lobster is one of the most expensive things you can find on the menu in seafood restaurants. However, once you try the juicy, tender meat of this crustacean, you’ll understand why. 

When looking at the price, you may be wondering if all types of lobster cost the same and whether there are any differences between them. 

This article is going to outline the different kinds of lobsters that are available, and whether this contributes to their price at all.

Types Of Lobster

What Exactly Is A Lobster? 

Lobsters are decapods, which means they have 5 sets of legs. They are omnivores, so their diet consists of other fish, plants, and other crustaceans, and they feed during the night. 

They are carried by their mothers for an entire year before venturing off into the wild on their own, and they can live for up to 50 years! 

Interestingly, they chew with their stomachs, taste with their legs, have their brains in their throats, and have kidneys in their heads. Therefore, it’s safe to say that these creatures have rather strange anatomy. 

How Are Lobsters Cooked? 

You may have heard that lobsters are cooked alive, and there’s a pretty good reason for this. Once a lobster dies, they decay very quickly, and bacteria can multiply very rapidly.

This bacteria may not able to be killed off by cooking, so to ensure that lobster is safe for consuming, they are cooked alive. 

Boiling A Lobster

Boiling a lobster is very straightforward. Simply bring a pot of salted water to boil, and place the lobster head down into the pot. 

Once the lobster turns bright red and is cooked through, let it cool and serve with a side of melted butter. 

Steaming A Lobster

If you prefer to steam your lobster, simply heat up around 4 inches of water in a pot until it boils. Then add your lobster and cover with the lid and let it cook. 

While this method takes longer, the meat may be more tender. 

Warm And Cold Water Lobsters

Both cold water, and warm water lobsters exist, based on their anatomy and where they have been born.

One way to differentiate them is by looking at their claws. Cold water lobsters have large claws, whereas warm water lobsters don’t have claws, they are more like antennae. 

Cold Water Lobsters

As mentioned above, cold water lobsters are known as ‘clawed’ lobsters, as they have three sets of claws. 

These lobsters are more sought after, as claw meat is a lot more popular than tail meat. Therefore, cold water lobsters are a specialty around the globe. 

Types Of LobsterHard Shell Soft Shell Cold Water Warm Water
Maine LobstersYes NoYes No
Canadian LobstersYesNoYesNo
French Blue LobstersYesNoYesNo
California LobstersNoYesNoYes
South Africa Lobsters Caribbean LobstersNo
Australian LobstersNoYesNoYes
New Zealand Lobsters NoYesNoYes
Tristen LobstersNoYesNoYes

Maine Lobsters (New England Lobsters)

These lobsters are known as some of the best available, as they have very juicy claw meat, and firm, fibrous tail meat.

They have a sweet, succulent, pronounced flavor, and their meat is incredibly tender, which is what makes them so popular.

This is evident in their price, as you can expect to them to be around $50/lb in stores. In restaurants, you can expect the price to much higher than that! 

Canadian Lobsters 

Canadian Lobsters 

These lobsters are the same species as our friends above, the Main lobsters, but Canadian lobsters live in much colder water. As a result, they have harder shells and meat that is denser and less sweet. 

However, these beauties are relished for their delicious claw meat, which is ever so tender. You’ll also have the benefit of them being slightly cheaper than Maine lobsters, as they are less in demand. 

French Blue Lobsters 

French Blue Lobsters 

These beauties are wonderfully blue, that is until you cook them, and their shell turns right red! 

They normally come from Ireland and Scotland and as they are shallow water lobsters, they have a relatively firm meat, with a seriously fishy taste! 

Many refer to these creatures as the ‘seafood-lovers lobster’, as they really do taste like the ocean!

Warm Water Lobsters

Warm water lobsters are also known as ‘spiny lobsters’, or ‘false lobsters’. This is because technically they are a type of crawfish. 

As mentioned earlier in this article, they do not have any front claws, they have a set of antennae. 

They are normally harvested during the winter months, and can be found around California and the Caribbean. They also tend to be less expensive than cold water lobsters, due to the lack of claw meat.

California Lobsters

California lobsters are very large and can grow to around 24 inches long. These creatures are often shipped to China, making them the most economically important lobster on the West coast.

They have a pleasant taste that is sweet, creamy, and nutty, making them a very popular option for lobster-lovers. 

South African Lobsters

South African Lobsters

While these lobsters live in cold water, they are classified as warm water lobsters due to their lack of claws. 

However, what they lack in claws, they make up for with their extremely muscular tail that has a gorgeous flavor.

When buying this lobster in supermarkets or restaurants, you’re guaranteed to experience lobster of the highest quality, as the South African government strictly manages the fisheries. 

Caribbean Lobsters

These lobsters can be found throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the North American coast. 

They are another type of lobster that is known for their tail meat, as it is very succulent and unique, with a sweet, delicate flavor. 

Australian Lobsters

Australian lobsters are very versatile, and work well with all kinds of cooking and recipes! 

Their taste is relatively fishy and salty, and their appearance is very striking as their shells have vibrant shades of red and green. 

As their name suggests, they can be found around the northwest coast of Australia. 

New Zealand Lobsters

New Zealand Lobsters

These beautiful creatures have a deep red-colored shell, and enjoy the deep water in the South Pacific coast. 

They are known for their firm, white flesh, and sweet, smooth meat that almost melts in the mouth. 

Tristan Lobsters

In the most inhabited island in the world, Tristan da Cunha, you’ll find these beautiful lobsters.

They have green shells that turn red once they’re cooked, and their meat has a unique texture due to their low fat content. 

Final Thoughts 

While lobster is very expensive, the meat from these sea creatures is like no other. There are different kinds of lobsters available, and cool water lobsters are the most expensive due to their meaty claws. 

However, despite the fact that warm water lobsters have no claws, many of them are known for their delicious, muscular tails! 

Jess Smith