Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Food and drink: Back to the future past

A good ol’ lobster dinner can traverse time and place



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So are you ready to grab one up and cook your own? To steam it, you only need an inch or two of salted water at a rolling boil in the bottom of a big kettle. Put in your live lobsters one at a time, head first — and, no, they don’t scream. If you hear anything, it’s steam escaping from the shell.

My fishmonger recommends cooking a two-pounder for eight minutes on one side; flip it over and cook it for five more minutes on the other, then turn off the heat and let it sit five minutes.

Alternatively, you can boil them, allowing about 2 1/2 quarts of boiling water salted like the sea. Dunk in the live lobster, bring it back up to a boil, then cover and simmer it for about 10 minutes a pound. It’s done when you can easily pull out the antennae.

If you only eat the tail and claw meat, no worries. You can gather up the rest to make a lovely lobster bisque with cream, sherry and butter. Depending on what you’re channelling right now, it will take you right back to either the East Coast or the 1960s, but then maybe they’re one in the same thing.



True lobsters are found in all the world’s seas except polar ones. Because lobsters kill each other in close proximity, they aren’t the greatest candidates for aquaculture, but we were promised that the Nova Scotian lobster fishery is sustainable.

SeaChoice rates the Atlantic lobster fishery as “yellow”, that is, as having some concerns for sustainability.

Although the spiny lobster really isn’t a lobster, you can eat it with a clear conscience if it comes from Australia, the U.S. or Baja California.


Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer who just made her first lobster bisque, a taste of ambrosia.