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Frequently Asked Questions


Q:
Why is buying from Lobster on The Wharf better than buying from other web sites?
A:

Lobster on The Wharf is a real business. We operate a lobster seafood market and a full service 200 seat restaurant in Charlottetown, PEI. Over two decades of experience in buying, storing, shipping and preparing lobster enables us to deliver quality seafood product on time to your door.


Q:
What do I do with the package when it arrives?
A:

As soon as your order arrives, please open the box and check the product.

Lobster
If you ordered live lobster, check it for liveliness. If the lobster is moving around, then it is OK. If the lobster is weak, for example, if it has a droopy tail or claws, then it should be cooked right away. If the lobster is not moving at all and if there is an ammonia smell present, then the lobster has died during transit and should not be eaten.

Mussels
On exposure to air, some live mussels may start to open; a tap should cause their shells to close. Discard any mussels that do not close.

Oysters
Fresh oysters should have shells that are tightly closed. A gaping shell usually indicates a dead oyster which is inedible. The shells should be clean and not damaged.

If you have any questions on the condition of your order, please call 1-877-919-9311.


Q:
How do I store the products once it arrives?
A:

The best way to keep your seafood until you are ready to begin cooking is to place them in a refrigerator to keep them cool.

Lobster
Cover them with a damp newspaper to keep the gills moist and allow them to breathe.

Mussels
Store mussels in the coolest part of the refrigerator and cover with a damp cloth or wet newspaper. Do not rinse the mussels until you are ready to use. Mussels will leak a small amount of liquid each day, which must be drained off regularly or the mussels will drown. For this reason avoid direct contact with ice.

Oysters
Keep oysters in a humid atmosphere at a temperature of 2-5ºC (35-40ºF). Keep the deep side of the shell down.


Q:
How do I cook live lobster?
A:

The traditional way to eat lobster is straight from the shell, fresh cooked at home. However, while the convenience of today's packaging means many people do not eat their lobster this way, we've included a few tips, just in case, to help you make the most of a home-cooked lobster meal.

    Cooking Live Lobster
  • First, prepare a pot of boiling salted (25 ml / 2 tbsp. of salt per litre/qt of water), using enough water to completely cover the lobster. Grasp the lobster by its back with your hand or tongs and plunge it headfirst into the water. Cover and return to a boil, and then lower the heat to a bubbly simmer. Lobsters die within seconds of being immersed in boiling water.
  • Lobster will cook in 12-20 minutes depending on the size. Smaller lobsters will cook in 12-15 minutes, while larger lobsters will require up to 20 minutes or more of cooking time. Timing should start only after the water has returned to a boil.
  • Pull the front leg and if it pulls out easily, the lobster is cooked.

A lobster boil has been proven as the best method to retain flavor and the texture of the lobster.

P.S. Lobsters are invertebrates, not humans…they do not scream and, as far as we know, they die within seconds without pain.


Q:
How do I cook live mussels?
A:

To steam mussels, first rinse under cool running water. Steam in 125 ml (1/2 cup) of water in a covered pot over medium heat for 7-10 minutes for 1 kg (2 lbs) of mussels until the shells are wide open, and the meat is coming loose from the shell. Add a touch of wine, chopped celery, carrots or onion for extra flavour and colour.

For the microwave, just place the mussels on a shallow pan, add 50 lm (1/4 cup) of hot water and cook at high temperature for 4-5 minutes for 1 kg (2 lbs) of mussels.


Q:
How do I serve mussels?
A:

To serve mussels as an appetizer allow 250 g (1/2 lb) per person or about 12 mussels. Allow 500 g (1 lb) per serving as a main course.

500 g (1 lb) of mussels will yield approximately 250 ml (1 cup) of shucked mussel meat, which can be used in a variety of dishes.


Q:
How do I prepare oysters?
A:

Prince Edward Island Malpeque oysters are best known for their fresh-in-the-shell flavour. Microwave your oysters to make opening easy. "Zap" an oyster for about ten seconds or until the shell gapes slightly at the lip. Insert a knife to separate the oyster from the shell.


Q:
How do I eat lobster in the shell?
A:

Be prepared to dig in…you'll find it well worth it. The tail, claws, legs and body all contain superb lobster meat. So, with just a little work (it's all part of the experience), you really can 'make a meal of it'.

step1

1. To start, twist claw and knuckle from the body.

step2

2. Crack shell with a nutcracker or heavy knife and remove meat with a fork or small pick.

step3

3. Twist tail to remove from lobster body.

step4

4. Break off flippers and push out meat. The dark vein in the center of the tail flesh should be removed before eating the meat.

step5

5. The shell covering the body can be removed by grasping the body itself and prying the shell away. Inside you will find additional white meat. For a final morsel, break off small legs and nibble or squeeze out the meat.


Q:
How can lobsters survive out of water?
A:

Lobsters can extract oxygen with their specialized gills, for as long as two days, provided lobsters are kept cool (gel packs) and the gills remain damp.


Q:
Why do lobsters turn color when they are cooked?
A:

Lobsters have a pigment in their shell called carotenoid. When lobsters are cooked in boiling water, the carotenoid is released and the lobster turns its natural color, which is red. Live lobsters from PEI are naturally dark greenish and black until they turn red upon cooking.

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