In a recessionary economy it may be immoral to mention the word 'lobster,' but someone was overgenerous this Christmas and presented me with two pounds of flash frozen fresh lobster tails. He must have recalled my promising to make lobster bisque or lobster pies if somebody would spring for the ingredients, so we've worked it out in trade, my labor for his lobster. He also remembered my endless gushing about the quality of lobsters coming from the cold waters of the north Atlantic, so he splurged on the best of the best -- firm-textured, sweet-tasting, snow-white lobster tails from Maine. Cold-water meaty lobsters from Maine will cost more than the less-substantial warm water lobsters of the Caribbean or Latin America, but when you're planning a celebratory event where the food is as important as the occasion, don't set yourself up for disappointment by choosing a product of poorer quality. Large lobster tails are more expensive than smaller ones, but even small lobster tails are costlier than whole lobsters. When shopping for a lobster to make a particular recipe, it can be difficult to judge just how much meat a lobster will yield, so as a guide, know that one eight-ounce lobster tail will yield about one-half cup of lobster meat and a one-pound lobster will give you about two-thirds cup of meat. Whether you consider lobster an expense too naughty to ignore or a taste too nice to forget, many of us, including me, have celebrated Christmas and some of the happiest occasions of life with it. May your Christmas and the new year ahead be filled with many lobster days -- too plentiful to count, too numerous to eat.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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