Gracefully eating a lobster

Are you able to gracefully eat a lobster when dining out? Or do you feel uncomfortable and decide to opt for another dish that you consider ‘safe’ to eat?

Fear not anymore! We’ll share with you a few tips to avoid any form of embarrassment you may feel although it would be wise to steer away if you are invited to a business dinner and you are trying to close a deal. In that case, choose wisely. Your focus should be on your client and not on the lobster.

First, we’ll start with the tools you are going to need:

Lobster fork – The lobster fork is made with one long narrow tine that ends with two hooks or with a long, narrow centre tine and two hooked tines on either side. Both are used to spear the lobster served in a shell. It is approximately 6¾” to 8” long.

Meat cracker – You will be needing this to crack through the claws.

Fork and knife – At the end, you’ll be eating away the meat with these.

Some restaurants also provide bibs but they are not necessary if you know how to do it right.

Secondly, here are the tips you can easily follow:

1. Detach the claws where the knuckle meets the body. For easy access to the meat inside, separate the claws at the joints.

2. Crush the claws by using the meat-cracker provided.

3. Extract the meat with the lobster fork. Do the same to extract the meat from the smaller claws and legs.

4. Next, remove the tail. Twist it in the opposite direction of the lobster body and pull slightly sideways. You may either detach the shell away from the meat or simply cut the under-shell off.

5. Break off the tail flippers and gently slide the meat out of them.

6. There are a few parts of the lobster that not everybody would savour. The tomalley for example, green in colour and strong in taste is traditionally considered a delicacy, however not all people want to eat it. If you are not comfortable with it, simply discard it.

7. The vein which is dark in colour is the lobster’s digestive tract so this is obviously discarded.

Enjoy the meat by dipping in melted butter. To put your mind at rest, you may like to know that because the lobster shell is held in one hand and the lobster fork is held in the other hand, the utensil is used only in informal dining and therefore you will seldom be served a lobster in a formal dining setting.

Ramona Galea

Ramona is an International Etiquette Coach and an avid believer of the importance these soft skills have nowadays. This passion kicked off from a young age when she questioned why elbows couldn’t stay on the table and her inquisitiveness continued and she founded First Class Etiquette, to address the developing need for people’s understanding of the importance of international business and social etiquette. It really is not just about elbows but confidence, attitude, assertiveness and knowing the how, the when and the why we do things. Amongst her hectic schedule, her two biggest indulgences are travelling with her family and reading with an Aperol Spritz in quiet surroundings - just being away from it all to de-stress.

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