Even though lobsters are enjoyed year-round here in New England, the summer months are known for their seasonality. More lobstermen are out and about during the summer and typically prices are cheaper than the dead winter, but there is something else that goes on in the summer months. Lobster’s shed their shell annually depending on the temperature of the water, meaning once the ocean starts to warm up at the end of June to mid-July, lobster’s will start to shed their old shell. We know those shells as hard-shell lobsters, and once they shed, they become soft-shell lobsters. The season of soft-shell lobsters lasts from mid-July to October usually, as it takes some time for their new shells to harden. There is a lot of misconception around the idea of soft-shell lobsters, starting with poor quality meat. This is all based around taste preference. Since their new shell is softer, there is more room for water inside making the meat gain a saltier and more “lobstery” taste than usual. A lot of people prefer the taste of meat that is found in soft-shell lobsters. Compared to hard-shell lobsters whose meat is tougher, soft-shells have softer and sweeter meat. For a hard-shell lobster, there is typically 20-28% of its weight in meat, while the soft shells only have about 15-20% of their weight in meat. However, this does not mean you won’t enjoy a soft shell just as much thanks to their sweeter and stronger flavor! Another “bonus” to the soft-shell lobsters is that they’re super easy to crack open. In fact, you may not even need tools to help you crack open the shell! As for Boston Sword & Tuna’s lobster situation, many of the lobsters we sell here are offshore lobsters that are technically hard shell but give off the look and feel of a soft or firm shell lobster. These offshore lobsters do not have new shells and contain a generous amount of meat compared to a soft shell! Any lobster dinner is a special treat, but these soft-shell lobsters have such a sweet taste, you won’t be disappointed when giving them a try! Whether you’re local to the area or visiting New England this summer, you definitely need to get your hands on a soft-shell lobster before the season is gone.
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