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How to Eat a Lobster Like a Local

You've come to Maine, polled all the locals on their favorite spot for fresh lobster, and now it's time to dig in. Staring at the crustacean arranged on your plate, you may ask yourself, "Where do I even start?" or possibly "What have I gotten myself into?" Don’t worry, once you dig into that oh-so-delectable lobster, all your questions will melt away.

A Lobster Bib is Your Friend

It’ll protect you from sauce splashes and stray lobster bits. Lobsters are slippery, especially when dipped in butter. And you’ll be using your hands. If you're eating a soft-shell lobster, just use your hands to crack open the lobster and dig the meat out. But if your lunch comes in a hard shell, it’s time to break out the specialized tools.

Claw Crackers & Lobster Forks

True card-carrying Maine lobster pros travel with their own cracker, mallet and gloves for handling so they're always prepared. As a visitor, this won’t be expected of you. At most eateries, along with your bib, you’ll find a claw cracker and the lobster fork by your plate. Think of the claw cracker like a nutcracker. It's meant to split the tough shell open, so you can access the delicious meat inside. The lobster fork is your excavation tool, used to dig inside crevices and hard-to-reach areas so you can devour every last briny morsel.

Getting up close and personal with your meal is a vital element of the Maine experience. Peek into any restaurant or stroll by any shack and you'll see that grabbing a lobster, cracking it open and savoring the rich flavors is a required Maine activity.

Take a Lobster Home

If you'd rather eat a lobster in the comfort of your own home, no worries! Simply ship live lobsters straight to your door or bring them as a carry-on on your flight home. Most lobster pounds in Maine will pack up live hard or soft-shell lobsters in a box with some frozen gel packs and seaweed to make the journey cozy. Soft-shell lobsters only live for up to eight hours out of the water, but hard-shell ones can make a 24-hour journey by Fed-Ex, if necessary.

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