Loving Lobster

Lobsters are arguably one of the most delicious seafood treats of the summer. The American lobster is the sweetest, most flavorful lobster around. Lobsters have been an integral part of the coastal region for generations.

When it comes to sourcing these delicious Responsible Choice lobsters, Hy-Vee looks no further than the coast of Maine. The strict management practices enforced there ensure that the lobsters will be around for future generations.

Lobsters are graded as soft-shell (new shell) or hard-shell (old shell). So what’s the difference?

Lobsters will periodically shed their shells as they grow. This can happen as many as 25 times before they are 6 or 7 years old. After that, males shed every year and females shed every two years. When lobsters become very large, molting is less frequent. After they shed they have a paper-thin shell, which can take up to two months to harden, and are called soft-shell, new-shell or shedders. The debate goes on as to which is most tasty, though the soft-shell are definitely easier to crack! Either variety is welcome on our dinner table!

To make the more than 1,000-mile journey to the Midwest, Hy-Vee must source hard-shell lobsters. The more delicate soft-shell lobsters simply will not make the trip.

Upon arrival at our perishable warehouse in Ankeny, Iowa, the lobsters are counted and checked thoroughly before they are placed in our state-of-the-art lobster tank where they sit in holding for 24 hours before being shipped. This ensures that they are hearty and healthy enough to ship.

Then the lobsters make their way to our Hy-Vee stores, where they are often placed on display much to the delight of Seafoodies and children alike. If you have any questions about preparation or how to eat lobster, just visit with your local Hy-Vee seafood counter team. They’re happy to share their knowledge to allow you to enjoy fresh and delicious lobster right in your own home!

Author: John Rohrs

I’m John Rohrs, seafood purchasing manager at Perishable Distributors of Iowa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hy-Vee established in 1982 to provide a central distribution system for perishable products to Iowa stores. In my job, I work with stores to help create more sales and educate employees on seafood. Through Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative I’ve enjoyed meeting and communicating with vendors and creating the friendships that make our partnerships work.