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"Mush" Lobster Tails?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
At least that's what I call them. Haven't run across one in awhile, you know just comes out really soft/mushy with an odd flavor. Some I've run across were worse than others. Have had them served to me in restaurants, but that's easy, send it back. But when buying for home, it can really mess up a good meal

Picked up 2 tails for our Surf and Turf dinner last night, and got one Of course let "her" have the good one

I see no difference in the meat when splitting/prepping to cook.

Can anyone tell me what causes this, and if there is a way of detecting this before being cooked


Cobbler for desert...

post #2 of 15
'dude,
Had it happen a couple of times. Never with a tail only though. I get my bugs whole. Once it happened when I got a bunch that had soft shells. I figure they had just molted (the shells were soft and rippable) and were growing into their new exoskeleton but I could be wrong on this - I'm not a lobstah biologist. The other time was during a lobstah bake and I don't think they (there were 3 out of 24) got the full benefit of the steam.

BTW - that cobbler looks excellant, peach or apple? Ice or whipped cream?

PaulH
post #3 of 15
Dude i find that happens mostly with warm water tails . seems like it's just before they shed like it is a peeler crab . Stick with the cold water tails and ya should have better results .

Better yet just cook a porter house !!!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by striper53:
'dude,
Had it happen a couple of times. Never with a tail only though. I get my bugs whole. Once it happened when I got a bunch that had soft shells. I figure they had just molted (the shells were soft and rippable)


BTW - that cobbler looks excellant, peach or apple? Ice or whipped cream?

PaulH
The "mush" tail had no signs of being a peeler, although the good one (and I'm talking excellent) had a "very" soft shell.

When I went to my fish monger across town, and was buying tails, I was buying 14-18oz tails, so if I got a bad one, one tail could make a dinner for 2 if need be. He never had a problem refunding for the bad tail, but never could tell me why they got that way either.

Peach/nectarine cobbler with French Vanilla Ice Cream

SR, they were cold-water tails...
post #5 of 15
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Found a couple of things:


Quote:







: Ok here is the deal!!! We do not have a calling for lobster all the time but when we do we go
: with the best!!! We ordered about 130 cold water tails... What makes the tail "Mush" after
: being cooked????? This is upsetting. A majority of people didnt have a problem. We did
: have five come back. I checked them and they have the consistency of a grainy paste. It
: is like it decomposed!!! My father who has done this since forever says that that means they
: are old... I had guests that think its from over cooking. Help me out here!!!

"I read your problem regarding your mushy Cold Water Lobster Tails. My first question would be are you sure you received “Cold Water†Lobster Tails? Many tails are sold as “Cold Water†type or North Atlantic Cold Water Lobster and many other names which are created to sell Lobster Tails. True “Cold Water†Lobster Tails come from South Africa, New Zealand and South Australia.

Now as to why the tails turned mushy-Lets start with the tails which are marketed as North Atlantic or Maine Lobster Tails. This species “Homarus Americanus†will produce a mushy tail if the tail is taken from dead Lobsters-It is true that these crustaceans are caught in cold water but they are not included in the “Cold Water†class.

Now for the “Warm Water†spiny Lobster Tails. These type of tails are the type in which mushy tails are most often found. The Lobster in order to molt (to shed an outer covering) has to remove and store the calcium which is in its shell. The removal allows its present shell to soften. The Lobster pumps in water between the softened shell and its new shell, which is soft. The old shell will split and the new shell will start to harden. The calcium which the Lobster has stored in the meat of its tail is used to help harden the new shell. If a Lobster is harvested while the calcium is stored in the tail, this tail will be mushy. It is possible to look at a Lobster and tell if the Lobster is ready to molt-a look at the eyestalks will be a good indicator. The eyestalk will be cloudy if the Lobster is getting ready to molt.

The producers of “Cold Water†Lobster have very good Quality Control-they will not accept any molting Lobsters-warm water tails are most often produced in countries which are interested in money “if you catch it we sell it, & the guy on the end of the line takes the hitâ€.

As you well know, be sure your supplier is giving you what you are paying for-it is very uncommon to get a mushy true Cold Water Lobster Tail. To Conclude, an over cooked Lobster Tail will not be mushy but will get tough as the muscle shrinks as the cooking time goes along."



And another:


Quote:







I knew of a study that suggested the superiority of post-rigor-mortis catfish. In this experiment, Washington State seafood expert John Rowley found that three-day-old catfish fillets had better texture and flavor than fillets from a freshly killed fish.

Might this be true, I wondered, for lobster as well? Would killing the lobster and then letting it rest on ice before cooking ensure a tender tail?

Because no one seemed to know if lobsters actually go through rigor mortis, we weren't sure how long to let them sit. (We also knew it couldn't be too long; bottom-feeding lobsters carry plenty of bacteria.) To play it safe, we killed six lobsters, refrigerated them, and cooked one every hour after their death, comparing each to one that was steamed live.





The results were varied, but generally the dead lobster meat looked dull compared to the bright, fresh-looking tail meat of the live-cooked ones. Many of the dead lobsters tasted "off," and most of them were mushy textured. We subsequently learned that at death, lobsters release gastric enzymes from the stomach sac that cause the meat to deteriorate. Although the meat was less tough, the attendant mushy texture was undesirable.

We were stymied, but undaunted. If the stomach sac releases destructive gastric enzymes, we decided to see what would happen if we took it out. Although the procedure may sound a bit excessive, the stomach sac is routinely removed when the lobster is split before broiling or baking. Located right behind the eyes, the sac is easily removed from a chilled lobster with kitchen shears. Removing the stomach sac also meant we were removing the brain, an organ many scientists (for humane reasons) thought should come out before cooking. This little operation, we reasoned, might save the tail meat from destructive gastric juices and guarantee the lobster would feel no pain.

Some scientists also suggested there might be gastric juices in the tomalley as well, so we prepared three different lobsters. We killed one lobster, then severed the tail from its body, thus ensuring that the tail was completely isolated from the stomach sac and the tomalley. For lobster two, we removed the stomach sac and brain, making sure the bulk of gastric enzymes could not deteriorate the tail. Lobster three was wrapped in wet newspaper and kept alive while the two dead lobsters rested on ice overnight. To our surprise the following day, each cooked lobster was equally delicious and tender. The results of this test finally made us suspect that the secret to tender lobster was not so much in the preparation and cooking as in the selection.




Which also brings me to another conclusion, that the "Canadian" tails I bought were "not" cold water tails. I always thought Maine and Canadian were considered "cold water" lobster

So no SR, they were "not" cold water tails...


And no, this has nothing to do with this post, but did you know...

"Fur Balls - To cut down on your cat spitting up fur balls onto your floor or carpet, try feeding him/her sardines in oil once a month. They say it helps smooth the passageways, allowing the hair a speedy exit, thus preventing the fur balls from forming."

post #7 of 15
'dude,
Great info. I'm inclined to believe my bugs that got mushy were probably dead. They say the same about cooking dead crabs as well.

As far as the hairball thingie - a little vasoline or KY on the roof of kitty's mouth once a month does the same thing. That is if you can yer finger down the dam cat's throat! A little oil on dry food does the same.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by striper53:
That is if you can yer finger down the dam cat's throat!
Nope, no fingers down their throat's, the dogs are afraid of them Of course she wasn't real happy with the lay around here neck Just give `em the hairball treats, but still going to happen once or twice a week




post #9 of 15
Wiz, those are two very hairy ******* you got there.
I'll wager the sound of "uck uck uck.... splat" is an everyday occurrence
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Sudsy:
Wiz, those are two very hairy ******* you got there.
Need to make one correction here...
They are "Her" two "very" hairy slap you when they feel like it *******

And Oh, that "squish" between your toes in the middle of the night is, well you know
post #11 of 15
Any of you guyz remember the "Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" underground comix? Fat Freddy had a cat that would leave "offerings" in Freddy's headphones, pillow, slippers etc. whenever he forgot to either feed the thing our clean out the litter box. LMAO

I'm babysittin' (yeah right!) my daughters cat now. She's a 2 year old all black shorthair American Tabby with double paws all around. Actually I don't mind here at all. Only eats dry food, doesn't try to trip me and, for an outdoor cat, has not tried to bolt outside even when the door's been open for a while (I live in a very rural area so predators are a problem). Some cats are cool.
post #12 of 15
Wow! Another serious hijackin'. From mushy lobstah tails to cats. I love this place.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by striper53:
Wow! Another serious hijackin'
Well after me posting...

Quote:
And no, this has nothing to do with this post, but did you know...

"Fur Balls - To cut down on your cat spitting up fur balls onto your floor or carpet, try feeding him/her sardines in oil once a month. They say it helps smooth the passageways, allowing the hair a speedy exit, thus preventing the fur balls from forming."
I sort of left the door wide open

We could change it to catfood...



Fishy... RIP
post #14 of 15
My brother fished lobsters out of Hampton NH for ?? 8 years. He says that soft tails are caused by one or two reasons; With a hole lobster chances are the lobster was dead before cooking. With tails (lobster parts) the reason is they were previously frozen. There are times when individual tails freeze within a lot. Some are closer to colder areas of frig.etc.
post #15 of 15
Hey guys...
To get back to the original post: Why do you get a mushy tail sometimes? As far as I know it is one of two reasons. The first is because the lobster was a "soft-shell". This happens due to shedding. Most wholesalers will not purchase softies, but they occasionally get through. I worked for a long island wholesaler for some time and have seen it first hand. Second, every lobster tail that you buy comes from a dead lobster. Unless you see it ripped from the body, it was from a lobster that died (very recently) either at the restraun or at the wholesaler. Lobsters go bad very quickly and they smell absolutely AWFUL when they do. The tail may have come from a lobster that was a bit "riper" than what you're used to. Chances are it was a soft shell.


Blitz
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