Lobster Lessons

August 22, 2013 2 Comments »


Nova Scotia’s fresh lobster – straight off the boat!

Dip anything in butter and I will like it. So the Lobster in Nova Scotia was a guaranteed delicious experience for me. And better yet – we were there in lobster season.

I still remember my first ever lobster experience – at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. I was 17 years old and thought it was my big moment to be sophisticated when my friend’s parents ordered us lobster. However I can’t say that I was in love with it at 17 years old. It was a bit more work than I was looking for. I didn’t really feel comfortable, as I didn’t know what I was doing. And then there was the icky factor of the innards that I was grossed out by.

Thank goodness that we get older and wiser. Somewhere in my late 20’s I lost all of my food hang-ups and decided that trying new things wasn’t icky – but good. It’s that attitude that has had me try foods around the world like guinea pig in Peru, rat and silk worms in Thailand, frog and baby duck egg in Vietnam, and lamb’s brain in Jordan.

It was about time that I revisited Lobster again and there’s no better place than Nova Scotia to get your lobster fix. When we arrived at Hall’s Harbor in Nova Scotia not only were we in for a beautiful view eating outside with harbor views of the Bay of Fundy, but we were also ready to try their famous Lobster in the Rough. A hands-on outdoor eating experience. First you choose your fresh, live lobster from one of the tanks based on size and then you walk the bin of lobster over via the ‘green mile’ to the cook who takes the bin from you and boils it up in Bay of Fundy salt water. I must admit there was a tinge of guilt walking my lobster to it’s death, but it was quickly forgotten when I got my tub of melted butter and plate of cooked lobster brought out to the outdoor picnic table. We feasted on our fresh lobsters while watching the Bay of Fundy tides drop in the harbor about 6 feet.

Live Lobster

A giant lobster at Hall’s Habor. It would have to be served with a tub of butter!

Lobster in the Rough

Me and my lunch…before the green mile.

Hall's Harbor nova scotia

Hall’s Habor. Thanks to the Bay of Fundy this little inlet would be dry in a few hours.

eat lobster

Mom enjoying her lobster outside at Hall’s Harbor.

In Guysborough at the DesBarres Manor Inn chef , Anna Nickerson, gave us the opportunity to get even more hands on. She had us cook our own lobsters! The lobsters were purchased directly off the local fisherman’s boat earlier that day, and now a few hours after catching them, they were going to be our dinner. We met Anna and some other DesBarres guests in the homey buttercup yellow kitchen to cook up our lobsters. As you would guess – it’s honestly pretty easy – boil water, add salt, pick up lobster by the back, clip the rubber bands from the claws, put in water for approx. 22 minutes depending on the size, remove from water, make sure tail is curled, crack the claws, snip the underbelly part of the shell, put on a bib, and you are ready to feast! We all had a great time though talking about the fishing industry in general as Anna’s husband was a tuna fisherman so we learned quite a bit about fishing in general as our lobsters cooked.

lobster boat

Lobster straight off the boat in Guysborough

lobster cooking

Chef Anna showing me how to pick up a live lobster.

eating lobster

Lobster carnage…and my mom still working on her last pieces.

That night I watched as my mom, who is scared of most things she’s not familiar with, slowly and methodically devour the lobster – an animal no farm girl from Nebraska should know anything about. The shell or having to work for it didn’t bother her in the least. In fact – her patience at getting every piece of delectable meat was impressive. We both agreed that it was the best lobster we ever had – maybe it was because it was so fresh, or because we had cooked ourselves. Whatever the reason – I think I would have loved Nova Scotia lobster even without the melted butter!

Lobster Season in Nova Scotia ranges from April to August but it varies on region in order to ensure that the area isn’t overfished. Before you go, check out this map for more details and then go hungry!

Disclosure – I was a guest of Visit Nova Scotia and Authentic Seacoast during my time in the region. However all of the opinions expressed here are my own.

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