How to tell if lobster is fresh

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How to tell if lobster is fresh

Postby Bruce M » August 25th, 2013, 9:19 pm

When buying a dead Spiny Lobster, how can you tell if it is fresh?

In order to describe what I saw, I will use the word "scale" to refer to the series of C-shaped shell segments which overlap along the top of the tail.

I was in a seafood deli where all the Spiny Lobsters were on ice, but with the tail pulled about 1 inch out of the shell yet still attached to the body. This exposed the forward-most "scale" on the tail, the scale which normally would be under the aft end of the carapace. In a few cases, the tail was pulled out even further exposing about 1/2 inch of tail flesh as well, but the tail was still attached to the body.

I asked the proprietor why this was done. He said it shows that the lobster was fresh. He said that the forward-most scale turns green when the lobster has been dead too long to eat. Yet several of the scales were greenish on the lobsters for sale. Perhaps he meant VERY green and not just greenish.

How green can the first scale be and still be good? Does any green on the second scale mean throw away? Can anyone educate me on this? Thanks!
Bruce M
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Joined: August 25th, 2013, 8:53 pm

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