SEVEN TIPS FOR BUYING LOBSTER

Every year for Christmas, editor Peter Meehan makes lobster rolls from Jasper White's Lobster at Home book. It's essential summer knowledge that will be useful for you all year. We've excerpted his tips—the first four are here, the rest are on the site: ow.ly/QLC3c
  1. 1.
    Buy lobsters the day you cook them, and transport and store them carefully.
    Make seafood shopping your last stop. If possible, have a cooler ready to store the lobsters in for the trip home. Refrigerate immediately upon returning. Keep lobsters moist, but never on ice. If you cannot avoid an extended moisture shortage, wrap lobsters in a damp sheet of newspaper. Do not store for more than thirty-six hours.
  2. 2.
    Locate the best source for the most recently caught lobsters.
    If you live near the coast of eastern Canada or New England, find a lobsterman or lobster company to supply you with local lobsters. Otherwise, choose the best seafood market in your area. If you do not live in lobster territory, consider purchasing by mail order.
  3. 3.
    Determine the right size of lobster for you.
    But remember to be flexible at the market. It is better to buy the best lobsters than to be stubborn about the size you want.
  4. 4.
    Choose a healthy, lively, freshly caught lobster.
    Look at the length of the antennae. If they are short or show signs of algal growth, the lobster has probably been stored in a pound for a long time and may taste bland. Hold the lobster up. If its claws droop, do not buy it. If the lobster shows a frisky disposition by flapping its tail and swinging its claws, buy it.