Treat Yourself to a Live Maine Lobster

By: Sherry Shantel


Live Maine lobsters have been harvested from around the coasts of Maine for many generations. It's hard to believe that in the beginning, people placed no value in lobster meat. Only the poor ate it. Over the decades, however, tastes changed, turning lobsters into expensive delicacies to be enjoyed by the wealthy in America's finest restaurants. By the 1840s the Maine lobster trade had become so lucrative that the first commercial lobster fishery opened for business.
People today thoroughly enjoy the extravagant taste of fresh live Maine lobsters. With many foods, the adage that if it tastes good it can't be good for you holds true. Lobster meat is an exception to the rule. It is a very healthy food with fewer calories, less fat, and relatively about the same amount of cholesterol as a skinless chicken breast.
Per one lobster canning company's nutrition fact sheet, a three ounce serving of lobster contains 98 calories, only 5 of which come from fat. This same 3 ounces contains 300 mg. of the essential mineral, potassium. It also contains the following percentages of the daily requirements of these vitamins and minerals:
1. Vitamin A - 2% 2. Calcium - 6% 3. Riboflavin - 4% 4. Iron - 2% 5. Vitamin E - 6% 6. Niacin - 4% 7. Vitamin B6 - 4% 8. Vitamin B12 - 45% 9. Magnesium - 8% 10. Selenium - 50% 11. Manganese - 2% 12. Phosphorus - 15% 13. Zinc - 15% 14. Copper - 80%
Just imagine getting all that nutrition out of one tiny three ounce piece of lobster. You might try comparing these figures with those on any other canned good in your cupboard. That will show you just how impressive these numbers are.
Live Maine lobsters are harvested by independent boat captains with possibly an assistant or two. Most harvesting is done during day trips that go out no farther than 10-12 miles from shore. An individual harvesting operation can maintain as many as 800 traps by following a daily schedule of setting new traps and hauling in filled ones. Harvesters mark their traps with buoys containing their own state-registered designs.
Inclement weather doesn't halt the lobster harvest in Maine which operates twelve months a year. Lobsters are most active between late June and late December, and that's when the majority of harvesting takes place. Although the catch is smaller during the other months of the year, that doesn't stop harvesters from making their daily rounds.
Although all live Maine lobsters are of superior quality, new shell lobsters are the finest of the lot. When the adult lobsters molt once a year, they rid themselves of their old outgrown shells which are replaced with softer, larger ones that harden over time. It's at the point when the shells are softest that connoisseurs are most anxious to pay the highest prices for them. New shell lobsters have delicate, succulent meat unparalleled by the meat at any other time of year, and the soft shells can be cracked easily with the bare hands.
Any chance you have to indulge in the succulence of a live Maine lobster, you should grab it. Not only will the taste wow you, but you'll be eating something that is extremely healthy for you. What a winning combination!

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