All over the globe lobsters are celebrated and known as the crème de la crème when it comes to luxury cuisine.
This is no exception at Burger & Lobster which makes finding and eating these bad boys far more accessible with several swanky city restaurant locations dotted around London.
When it comes to lobsters, usually a strong image of a red crustacean with giant claws springs to mind which is accurate but not the only kind of clawed delicacy available. We’re going to explore the number of different lobsters that are edible, where they come from, how they taste and what they look like so keep on reading to find out more about this clawsome part of our culinary story.
Types of Edible Lobster
Usually served grilled or steamed, lobster is devoured in a number of ways including whole, half, within salads or even jam-packed in brioche buns, but did you know that there are various types of edible lobster?
Cold Water Lobsters
The most common edible lobster is the clawed lobster (within the Nephropidae family), also known as cold water lobsters and prized for their sweet and richness in taste. With origins in Europe and America, these are the most consumed and the type that almost always comes to mind first with their three pairs of snappy claws.
High up on the list for the best edible lobster are also Marine Lobsters well known as New England Lobsters. These are enjoyed for their juicy claw and tail meat and can be found in restaurants and supermarkets with prices varying depending on location.
Described as slightly less sweet featuring denser meat and a harder shell, Canadian Lobsters fall under the same species (Homarus americanus) as Maine lobsters, but the main difference is that they are located in much colder water. This type of edible lobster is praised for their claw meat.
French Blue Lobsters
Available all year around and renowned for their deep blue colouring which turns brick red when cooking, French Blue lobsters are also referred to as Breton, Bretagne or Brittany Lobsters. Located and imported from Ireland or Scotland, this lobster meat is firm with a strong taste of the salty ocean (much loved by seafood lovers!) thanks to their location living in shallow water.
Warm Water Lobsters
Known more commonly as the rock or spiny lobster, these are actually a type of large crawfish and do not fall typically under the lobster family Nephropidae. These kinds of lobsters are easily recognised for having no front claws but instead thick and oversized antennae. Less expensive than the kinds described above, Warm Water Lobsters are found on the California coastline and the Caribbean and are mostly harvested in the winter.
Within the warm water category, Caribbean Lobsters are found on the North American coast, and the Gulf of Mexico and are especially liked for their unique and succulent tail meat, within a hard shell often easily spotted due to their striking stripes and yellow spots.
One of the largest species of edible lobsters, California Lobsters can grow up to 24 inches long and around 95% of them are shipped to China who willingly pay up to three times more for them than local customers. Their flavour profile is described as Creamy, nutty, delicate and sweet.
South African Lobsters
Although classified as warm water lobsters, these live in cold water, but because they lack claws, they are part of the genus Palinarius family like other warm water edible lobsters. Thanks to their muscular tail these kinds have a unique flavour and are a huge hit. It is predominantly sold to US markets as frozen raw tails or frozen whole lobsters. South Africa has a reputation for producing high quality lobsters.
Australian Lobsters are well known for their fishy and salty taste and are harvested off the northwest coast of Australia. Red and green shades give them a noticeable look and their flavour is often described as smooth and delicate making them a versatile lobster suited to all types of cooking.
New Zealand Lobsters
Found in the South Pacific coast, New Zealand Lobsters come with a sweet and smooth meat taste featuring white fleshy meat. They have a beautiful scarlet-colored shell and there are two main types of these rock lobsters; the spiny lobster and the packhorse lobster. Although they’re marketed all over the globe, these lobsters are particularly popular in Asia.
An extremely remote lobster located in Tristan da Cunha, in the South Atlantic, Tristan Lobsters showcase very sweet meat and are often described as tasting clean thanks to having low fat content. The meat is rare as it has a very small flake, unlike any of the other lobsters described above. Another commonly recognised characteristic is the green shells turning red when cooking.