Eating Lobster and Steamers is an art form, but an easily mastered art form. I have been eating this fantastic meal since I was a kid, and I have taught many a friend how to get the most out of their meal. So without further ado, here is the NYCNomNom Guide to Eating Steamers and Lobster.
Go to Maine.
(this is the spot we got engaged: Pemaquid Point Lighthouse)
Find yourself a lobster “shack” in the middle of nowhere, preferably on a beautiful body of water. Waterman’s Beach Lobster in Spruce Head is a fine choice. (I also like Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast and Beal’s Lobster Pier in Southwest Harbor, but there are plenty of options all along the coast)
Choose lobster and steamers from the menu. A 1 1/4 pound lobster and 1/2 pound of steamers is usually the perfect amount for 1 person. The typical “dinner” comes with some form of potato chips and butter, and depending on your location, a piece of corn or a roll. (Steamers are another name for Steamed Clams)
Choose a picnic table and soak up the sea breeze while you wait. (Tip: Bring a jacket. Even in mid-summer, being on the water in Maine is a chilly enterprise).
View your clams, but not for long, that sea breeze will cool them off quickly.
Choose your clam and remove it from the shell (sometimes it requires a little tug to remove it from the “foot,” which is the bit of clam left in the shell when you yank it out).
Identify the “sock” which is the uglier portion of the clam (yes it’s all ugly, but the sock is the ugliest) on the stem-like portion of the clam and remove it. It will roll off the tip of the clam (it is impossible to avoid this sounding like a condom reference, so just accept that you are taking an ugly condom off a clam and move on).
Hold clam by the stem-like portion and dip it into the briny water (if supplied). This helps remove any sand that may be remaining on the clam.
Continue your stem holding and dip it in the melted butter then shove the whole thing in your mouth and chew. Yes, they are an acquired taste. A taste worth acquiring. Keep eating.
Turn sites to lobster. Break off the smaller legs on the underside of the lobster and suck lobster meat out like they are straws. Also remove meat from the claws (shoulders up) and the tail (twist it off the rest of the body). You can eat everything except the body and head (and advanced lobster folks know that there are even some hidden pockets of meat in there!) If you have trouble getting into anything, use the nut cracker and poky stick to achieve lobster greatness.
Once you have mastered the art of removing your lobster from its shell, challenge yourself to lobster greatness by trying to remove the claws of the lobster in full.
Super Secret Bonus Step:
Do not tell anyone I told you this. I will deny that I do this to my grave so keep your lobster eating trap shut. But there is nothing quite like ending your lobster meal by dipping your potato chips in the now lobster infused butter. Thank me later.
And in the end, you will be a mess. You will be sticky (they usually provide you wet naps) possibly sliced up from sharp pieces of shell (you will heal) and thinking to yourself that you have never worked so hard for a meal that someone else prepared. It is worth it.
I hope you have enjoyed your tutorial. Now have you booked your trip to Maine yet?