How do you eat a lobster?

We had the great luck to be invited to a seafood meal with fisherfolk. They didn't bother with silver hammers etc - but it was so much better than crabmeat. They obligingly halved the lobsters for us. Delicious! And maybe they also obliged by taking the more shielded parts aside for themselves : )

My question is - if we'd had a lobster in a restaurant, is there a technique? Are there recognised non-edible parts? Should anyone only politely break into the main shell? Is it considered wrong to ask for fingerbowls? We made do with slices of lemon. I'm asking because I'm thinking that it would be a better dish than boring old turkey. At Xmas. Would really appreciate any tips! Thanks in advance.

First of all, don't ever order lobster with stuffing. Just plain old boiled on the plate is the New England way. The best lobster comes from there because the water is cold.

The lobster has two main edible parts [tail and claws], and some lesser pieces [legs]. Some people eat the red stuff inside the body [roe, or lobster eggs found only in the female] and/or the green tomalley, which is also inside the body. [It's the liver, obviously found in both genders].

Don't eat anything else you see inside the body.

Make sure that you have a nutcracker or pair of pliers for each guest, and a small fork or pick to help pull the meat out of the claws and "arms." Dunking dishes of warm clarified butter, and wedges of lemon should be set out for each person as well.

First, bend back the lobster's tail so it breaks off of the body. Look inside the body and decide if you're brave enough to try the roe or tomalley. If so, scoop them out onto your plate.

Now, twist off the claws and arms where they meet the body.
Twist off the legs. Set the body aside--you don't need that part anymore.

Using the pliers or a nutcracker, hold one arm and twist it off the claw. Use the pliers to crush or crack the arm joint so you can poke out the lumps of meat. Dunk the meat in the hot butter and eat it. Yum. [Some people strip the lobster then eat the meat all at once, but by then it's cold.]

Next, crack the larger part of the claw with the pliers, and pull the meat out. Dunk and eat. There's a little rubbery part in the smaller jaw of the claw. That's tasty, too, but harder to get out.

Before the grand finale--the tail--suck the meat out of the legs if you can. If the lobster is overcooked at all, this isn't worth doing.

Now pick up the tail in your hand. If you're lucky, you can push or pull the tail meat out in one piece. If this doesn't work, do this: with the red top shell in your palms [thumbs touching] and the white underside facing the plate, squeeze the tail hard [across] with both hands. The tail shell should crack down the center of the white underside. Don't cut yourself!

Carefully pry apart the tail shell and pull out the hunk of meat.
Remove the "vein" [a fat grey string down the middle of the tail] in one piece, and discard it.

Dunk the meat in the butter. Enjoy!

VIKING SILVERPLATE SHELL FRUIT SEAFOOD DISH MADE IN CANADA
VIKING SILVERPLATE SHELL FRUIT SEAFOOD DISH MADE IN CANADA
$49.99
Time Remaining: 2h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99

SILVER PLATED SHELL DISH
SILVER PLATED SHELL DISH
$9.99
Time Remaining: 3h 22m

Silverplate Footed Shell Dish Server Antique Vintage Collectibles Stunning
Silverplate Footed Shell Dish Server Antique Vintage Collectibles Stunning
$15.99
Time Remaining: 5h 28m

Lunt Silverplated Shell Nappy Dish
Lunt Silverplated Shell Nappy Dish
$3.95
Time Remaining: 5h 51m
Buy It Now for only: $3.95

WILCOX Silver Plate CADDY Shell Dish HandleHolder4 Footed HoofsQUADRUPLE3836
WILCOX Silver Plate CADDY Shell Dish HandleHolder4 Footed HoofsQUADRUPLE3836
$24.95
Time Remaining: 6h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $24.95

18TH CENTURY ENGLISH STERLING SILVER GILT SHELL DISHES
18TH CENTURY ENGLISH STERLING SILVER GILT SHELL DISHES
$660.00
Time Remaining: 6h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $660.00

VINTAGE WATSON SILVER PLATED DOUBLE CLAM DISH SHELL SCALLOPED EXCELLENT LARGE
VINTAGE WATSON SILVER PLATED DOUBLE CLAM DISH SHELL SCALLOPED EXCELLENT LARGE
$15.00
Time Remaining: 6h 32m

SOLID SILVER SET PAIR OF SHELL BUTTER DISHES  BUTTER KNIVES SHEFFIELD 1917
SOLID SILVER SET PAIR OF SHELL BUTTER DISHES BUTTER KNIVES SHEFFIELD 1917
$478.79
Time Remaining: 7h
Buy It Now for only: $478.79

55 VINTAGE SHEFFIELD SILVER PLATE CLAM SHELL BUTTER DISH  SERVING KNIFE
55 VINTAGE SHEFFIELD SILVER PLATE CLAM SHELL BUTTER DISH SERVING KNIFE
$40.95
Time Remaining: 7h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $40.95

VICTORIAN ROSE 1954 11 Clam Shell Serving Dish with Bowl W Rogers Silver Plate
VICTORIAN ROSE 1954 11 Clam Shell Serving Dish with Bowl W Rogers Silver Plate
$49.99
Time Remaining: 7h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99

ANTIQUE LARGE SOLID SILVER SHELL CAVIAR DISH 1922 SHEFFIELD BY JAMES DIXON SONS
ANTIQUE LARGE SOLID SILVER SHELL CAVIAR DISH 1922 SHEFFIELD BY JAMES DIXON SONS
$67.37 (9 Bids)
Time Remaining: 8h 57m

VINTAGE VIKING SILVER PLATE DISH EP BRASS SHELL DESIGN
VINTAGE VIKING SILVER PLATE DISH EP BRASS SHELL DESIGN
$12.00
Time Remaining: 9h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $12.00

1847 Rogers Bros Silver Plate Neptune Serving Dish Tray Shell Scallop 18
1847 Rogers Bros Silver Plate Neptune Serving Dish Tray Shell Scallop 18
$33.33
Time Remaining: 10h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $33.33

VINTAGE SILVER PLATED SHELL FORM BUTTER DISH + MOTHER OF PEARL BUTTER KNIFE
VINTAGE SILVER PLATED SHELL FORM BUTTER DISH + MOTHER OF PEARL BUTTER KNIFE
$33.58
Time Remaining: 11h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $33.58

FB ROGERS Silverplate Shell DISH Rare 1630
FB ROGERS Silverplate Shell DISH Rare 1630
$21.99
Time Remaining: 12h

Tiffany  Co Sterling Silver Scalloped Sea Shell Dish Genuine Candy Nut 567g
Tiffany Co Sterling Silver Scalloped Sea Shell Dish Genuine Candy Nut 567g
$129.95
Time Remaining: 13h 36m

Vintage REED  BARTON Silverplate Shell Shaped Relish Dish Serving Bowl
Vintage REED BARTON Silverplate Shell Shaped Relish Dish Serving Bowl
$24.75
Time Remaining: 13h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $24.75

VINTAGE STERLING SILVER MACIEL SCALLOP SHELL DISH
VINTAGE STERLING SILVER MACIEL SCALLOP SHELL DISH
$50.00
Time Remaining: 14h 34m

Vtg Sheridan Silverplate Trout Fish Serving Candle Holder Shell Tray Dish Bowl
Vtg Sheridan Silverplate Trout Fish Serving Candle Holder Shell Tray Dish Bowl
$19.99
Time Remaining: 15h 9m

Shell Serving Dish Sterling Silver 1940
Shell Serving Dish Sterling Silver 1940
$225.00
Time Remaining: 16h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $225.00

Art Moderne Shell Dish Reed Barton 1956 Sterling Silver Monogram W
Art Moderne Shell Dish Reed Barton 1956 Sterling Silver Monogram W
$295.00
Time Remaining: 16h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $295.00

Art Deco Philip Ashberry  Sons Silver Plate Large Shell Shape Dish With Handle
Art Deco Philip Ashberry Sons Silver Plate Large Shell Shape Dish With Handle
$55.61
Time Remaining: 17h 8m
Buy It Now for only: $55.61

STERLING SILVER ANTIQUE SHELL FOOTED ASHTRAY CANDY DISH TRINKET TRAY
STERLING SILVER ANTIQUE SHELL FOOTED ASHTRAY CANDY DISH TRINKET TRAY
$179.99
Time Remaining: 17h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $179.99

Vintage Silverplate Sea Shell Candy Dish Tidbit Server
Vintage Silverplate Sea Shell Candy Dish Tidbit Server
$23.74
Time Remaining: 17h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $23.74

VINTAGE SILVERPLATED SHELL CLAM SHAPE SERVING DISH MADE IN ENGLAND DRYAN
VINTAGE SILVERPLATED SHELL CLAM SHAPE SERVING DISH MADE IN ENGLAND DRYAN
$29.99
Time Remaining: 17h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $29.99

Set of 4 Revere Silversmiths Sterling Silver SHELL Candy NUT CUPS Dishes
Set of 4 Revere Silversmiths Sterling Silver SHELL Candy NUT CUPS Dishes
$179.00
Time Remaining: 18h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $179.00

c1900 REDLICH STERLING SILVER DISH w FLOWER  SHELL DESIGN
c1900 REDLICH STERLING SILVER DISH w FLOWER SHELL DESIGN
$940.00
Time Remaining: 19h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $940.00

STERLING SILVER SHELL DISH GEORGE JACKSON  DAVID FULLERTON 1915 1916 69 gms
STERLING SILVER SHELL DISH GEORGE JACKSON DAVID FULLERTON 1915 1916 69 gms
$45.00
Time Remaining: 1d 2h 32m

Baroque Silver plate Shell Shaped Nut Bonbon Candy Dish by Wallace  277
Baroque Silver plate Shell Shaped Nut Bonbon Candy Dish by Wallace 277
$7.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 51m

ANTIQUE STERLING SILVER SHELL DISH BOWL ATKIN BROS 1912
ANTIQUE STERLING SILVER SHELL DISH BOWL ATKIN BROS 1912
$838.30
Time Remaining: 1d 4h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $838.30

NICE c1950s CANADIAN STERLING SILVER SCALLOP SHELL DISH by BIRKS
NICE c1950s CANADIAN STERLING SILVER SCALLOP SHELL DISH by BIRKS
$360.00
Time Remaining: 1d 4h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $360.00

LOVELY c1890 SHIEBLER STERLING SCALLOP SHELL NUT CANDY DISH
LOVELY c1890 SHIEBLER STERLING SCALLOP SHELL NUT CANDY DISH
$354.00
Time Remaining: 1d 4h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $354.00

Set of Eight Vintage Small Silverplate Shell Nut or Salt Dishes
Set of Eight Vintage Small Silverplate Shell Nut or Salt Dishes
$19.95
Time Remaining: 1d 6h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $19.95

SILVER ORNATE SHELL DISH
SILVER ORNATE SHELL DISH
$49.95
Time Remaining: 1d 6h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $49.95

Antique English Silver 736 Shell Footed Serving Dish From Early 1950s
Antique English Silver 736 Shell Footed Serving Dish From Early 1950s
$34.00
Time Remaining: 1d 7h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $34.00

EXQUISITE 4 ESTATE BIRKS STERLING SILVER SCROLL SHELL BON CANDY NUT DISHES
EXQUISITE 4 ESTATE BIRKS STERLING SILVER SCROLL SHELL BON CANDY NUT DISHES
$270.00
Time Remaining: 1d 7h 57m

EXQUISITE 2 ESTATE BIRKS STERLING SILVER BON CANDY NUT DISHES SCROLL SHELL
EXQUISITE 2 ESTATE BIRKS STERLING SILVER BON CANDY NUT DISHES SCROLL SHELL
$270.00
Time Remaining: 1d 8h 7m

Vintage Sterling Silver Footed Shell Dish and 2 Cartier salt and pepper shakes
Vintage Sterling Silver Footed Shell Dish and 2 Cartier salt and pepper shakes
$59.00
Time Remaining: 1d 9h 41m
Buy It Now for only: $59.00

VntgFB Rogers SilverPlate Shell Dish w Candle HoldWarming Cup HolderFishFoot
VntgFB Rogers SilverPlate Shell Dish w Candle HoldWarming Cup HolderFishFoot
$35.95
Time Remaining: 1d 10h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $35.95

VINTAGE Baroque by Wallace Silverplate Clam Shell Dish Plate Ornate
VINTAGE Baroque by Wallace Silverplate Clam Shell Dish Plate Ornate
$18.99
Time Remaining: 1d 10h 53m

VINTAGE Silver Sea Shell Appetizer Tray Serving Dish Silver Platter
VINTAGE Silver Sea Shell Appetizer Tray Serving Dish Silver Platter
$35.00
Time Remaining: 1d 11h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $35.00

Made in England 4 scalloped shell dishes Vintage Silver Plate
Made in England 4 scalloped shell dishes Vintage Silver Plate
$8.50
Time Remaining: 1d 13h 10m

Vintage Silver Plate 1847 Rogers Bros Serving Dish Neptune Design Shell Design
Vintage Silver Plate 1847 Rogers Bros Serving Dish Neptune Design Shell Design
$18.97
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 51m

FINE SET 11 SHELL FORM STERLING SILVER DISHES 1 LARGE 10 SMALL by CURRIER
FINE SET 11 SHELL FORM STERLING SILVER DISHES 1 LARGE 10 SMALL by CURRIER
$600.00
Time Remaining: 1d 16h 51m

BAROQUE BY WALLACE  277 BON BON SHELL SHAPED DISH VERY PRETTY
BAROQUE BY WALLACE 277 BON BON SHELL SHAPED DISH VERY PRETTY
$19.00
Time Remaining: 1d 18h 7m

Wallace sterling shell dish set
Wallace sterling shell dish set
$463.38
Time Remaining: 1d 18h 34m

LEONARD SILVER MFG SILVERPLATED SHELL BUTTER DISH 826
LEONARD SILVER MFG SILVERPLATED SHELL BUTTER DISH 826
$20.00
Time Remaining: 1d 20h
Buy It Now for only: $20.00

VINTAGE WATSON SILVER PLATED DOUBLE CLAM DISH SHELL SCALLOPED WP2470
VINTAGE WATSON SILVER PLATED DOUBLE CLAM DISH SHELL SCALLOPED WP2470
$12.00
Time Remaining: 2d 4h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $24.00

Silver Plate Dish Shell French Vintage Kitchen  Home Serving Pieces Serving
Silver Plate Dish Shell French Vintage Kitchen Home Serving Pieces Serving
$49.00
Time Remaining: 2d 4h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $49.00

Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Hallmarked SHELL DISH ENGLAND Birmingham 1900
Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Hallmarked SHELL DISH ENGLAND Birmingham 1900
$50.00
Time Remaining: 2d 6h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $50.00

Boardman Silverplate SERVING BOWL  DISH  shell pattern FGC 10in diameter
Boardman Silverplate SERVING BOWL DISH shell pattern FGC 10in diameter
$9.99
Time Remaining: 2d 6h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99

UNIQUE SILVER SHELL WITH SCROLL HANDLE OPEN SALT CELLAR NUT MINT DISH DIP
UNIQUE SILVER SHELL WITH SCROLL HANDLE OPEN SALT CELLAR NUT MINT DISH DIP
$14.99 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 8h 31m

Silver plated LG HVY Poole Footed Shell Centerpiece or serving dish
Silver plated LG HVY Poole Footed Shell Centerpiece or serving dish
$19.99
Time Remaining: 2d 9h 24m

Beautiful Sterling Silver S Kirk  Son Footed 5 1 2 Shell Dish
Beautiful Sterling Silver S Kirk Son Footed 5 1 2 Shell Dish
$225.00
Time Remaining: 2d 9h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $225.00

VINTAGE SHELL SILVERPLATE SWEETS BON BON DISH TRAY CROWN  SHIELD MARK
VINTAGE SHELL SILVERPLATE SWEETS BON BON DISH TRAY CROWN SHIELD MARK
$30.00
Time Remaining: 2d 9h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $30.00

PAIR OF GENUINE OLD SHEFFIELD PLATE 6 BUTTER SHELL DISHES
PAIR OF GENUINE OLD SHEFFIELD PLATE 6 BUTTER SHELL DISHES
$38.64 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 10h 54m

Vintage Silver Plated Shell Dish
Vintage Silver Plated Shell Dish
$19.99
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $35.00

Beautiful Sterling Silver Shell Shaped Dish Shell Gorham for Cartier 1950s
Beautiful Sterling Silver Shell Shaped Dish Shell Gorham for Cartier 1950s
$166.00
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 7m
Buy It Now for only: $166.00

Silver Plate Clam Shell Dish with Glass Insert 4 3 4Dia 1920s
Silver Plate Clam Shell Dish with Glass Insert 4 3 4Dia 1920s
$2.99
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 7m

vintage clam shell butter dish
vintage clam shell butter dish
$5.00
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $7.00

SILVERPLATE SEA SHELL DISH BY NATIONAL SILVER CO
SILVERPLATE SEA SHELL DISH BY NATIONAL SILVER CO
$16.50
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $16.50

Antique Silverplate Shell Dish Fish Feet Engraved Winged Griffin 10 Dia
Antique Silverplate Shell Dish Fish Feet Engraved Winged Griffin 10 Dia
$14.99
Time Remaining: 2d 13h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99

Vtg LUNT Silver Plated Pair of Shell Nappy Candy Nut Dishes England
Vtg LUNT Silver Plated Pair of Shell Nappy Candy Nut Dishes England
$8.95
Time Remaining: 2d 13h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $8.95

vtg silverplate clam shell serving dish glass insert spoon
vtg silverplate clam shell serving dish glass insert spoon
$10.00
Time Remaining: 2d 14h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $16.00

Authentic Tiffany  Co Makers Clam Shell Ashtray Dish 925 Sterling Silver Mint
Authentic Tiffany Co Makers Clam Shell Ashtray Dish 925 Sterling Silver Mint
$227.85
Time Remaining: 2d 14h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $227.85

vintage SHERIDAN CLAM SHELL SILVER or Silver Plate DISH bowl w CANDLE HOLDER
vintage SHERIDAN CLAM SHELL SILVER or Silver Plate DISH bowl w CANDLE HOLDER
$7.49
Time Remaining: 2d 15h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99

Vintage Sheridan Divided Silver Plate Candy Dish Ornate Handle Scalloped Shell
Vintage Sheridan Divided Silver Plate Candy Dish Ornate Handle Scalloped Shell
$24.99
Time Remaining: 2d 15h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99

SILVER PLATE SHELL SERVING DISH ABOUT 5 X 5 1 2
SILVER PLATE SHELL SERVING DISH ABOUT 5 X 5 1 2
$3.00
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $3.00

Silver Plated Shell Shaped Butter Dish
Silver Plated Shell Shaped Butter Dish
$7.50
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 28m

Antique Gorham Sterling Silver Scalloped Shell Plate Dish Platter
Antique Gorham Sterling Silver Scalloped Shell Plate Dish Platter
$295.00 (9 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 40m

LEONARD BY TOWLE SILVER PLATED THREE SECTION SHELL DISH EUC WITH BOX
LEONARD BY TOWLE SILVER PLATED THREE SECTION SHELL DISH EUC WITH BOX
$14.99
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $14.99

Lot of 3 silverplate items compote bowl shell dish
Lot of 3 silverplate items compote bowl shell dish
$9.95
Time Remaining: 2d 17h 7m

Wm Rogers Victorian SILVER PLATE CLAM SHELL dish  footed silverplated BOWL
Wm Rogers Victorian SILVER PLATE CLAM SHELL dish footed silverplated BOWL
$4.99
Time Remaining: 2d 17h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99

Antique SILVER On COPPER SHELL FORM DISH BOWL Lion Rampant Crest SHELL FEET
Antique SILVER On COPPER SHELL FORM DISH BOWL Lion Rampant Crest SHELL FEET
$39.99
Time Remaining: 2d 17h 29m
Buy It Now for only: $39.99

Sheridan Silver Plate Clam Oyster Shell Footed SERVING DISH BOWL W Candle Holder
Sheridan Silver Plate Clam Oyster Shell Footed SERVING DISH BOWL W Candle Holder
$24.99
Time Remaining: 2d 17h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $24.99

Simon And George Rogers H silverplate Shell candy dish
Simon And George Rogers H silverplate Shell candy dish
$8.50
Time Remaining: 2d 18h 1m