How to Eat a Nova Scotia Lobster

By Claudia, staff member, Halifax Central Library 

Fresh lobster is a Nova Scotia favourite. But have you ever wondered how to get the most out of eating it? The following is a guide to how to enjoying your lobster-eating experience.

What you'll need:

  • Nut cracker or fancy lobster cracker
  • Lobster pic
  • Scissors
  • Fork and knife (optional)

Eating lobster is not for the faint of heart—prepare to get messy! Make sure you have a bucket or large bowl, and a roll of paper towel nearby.


Step 1: Claws and legs

Start by removing claws and legs from your lobster. Next, break the legs and suck out the meat.

Claws are full of great meat. You will need a nut cracker to open both the knuckles and claws. Note that one claw is larger than the other. For the small claw, a lobster pic is useful.

Step 2: Tail, eggs, and tomalley

Remove tail by breaking it from the body with your hands. If you have a female lobster, a bonus treat for many is the pink coloured roe (eggs). The tomalley (liver/pancreas) is green in colour and can also be enjoyed. 

TIP: avoid the area behind the eyes. The sac (stomach) may contain shells and bones. And, the digestive juices in the sac are not very tasty. 

Step 3: Body

Use your scissors to cut through the body, crack it open, and find the succulent pieces in the joint area where the legs were removed. Many people miss these delicious pieces.

Step 4: The best part!

The tail is typically considered to be the best meat—it is certainly the area with the most meat. There are many ways to remove the tail meat. One way is to use scissors to cut down the middle of the tail and crack it open. Using this method, the meat will release in one piece. 

Don't forget, open the meat down the middle and remove the black vein (digestive tract) before consuming.

Step 5: Eat and repeat

For purists, eating lobster is all about the meat with no additions required; however, lots of people choose to dip their lobster meat in melted butter.

If you'd like to add some sides to go along with your lobster, coleslaw and buns make great accompaniments. 


To enhance your lobster-eating experience, you may want to "check out" the following e-books:

Did you know...lobster fun facts:

  • Lobsters "taste" with their legs
  • Lobster shells were often plowed under farm fields and used as a natural fertilizer 
  • Lobster shells were used to make golf balls—really!
  • The largest lobster ever recorded, opens a new window was caught near Nova Scotia, and weighed a whopping 44 pounds.