To ensure optimum freshness, most chefs prefer cooking with live Australian Southern Rocklobsters, which are also known as “green”. When buying live lobsters it is advisable to follow these guidelines:
- Always buy from a reputable seafood retailer;
- A live lobster should be highly active, flapping its tail when picked up;
- The weight should feel heavy in relation to its size;
- Check the flesh has not come away from the shell;
- Fresh lobster should smell sweet (with no ammonia-like odours);
Buy and cook your lobster as close to serving time as possible.
- Look for a specimen that is tightly curled and flips back into a curl after being straightened out. This snap indicates freshness and that the lobster has been handled correctly. An unfurled tail indicates the lobster died some time before being cooked, which means the digestive track will have started breaking down, releasing enzymes that spoil the flesh;
- A reputable seafood retailer will have marked lobsters if they are fresh cooked, frozen or thawed – do not re-freeze;
- Never buy lobster with a musty or pungent, ammoniated smell.