Small lobsters under 2 pounds are the most delicate and desirable. Larger ones tend to be tough. The tail carries the great part of the good meat. The white flesh of the claws and the body, the roe, and the liver of the lobster are all edible. The shell of a live lobster is a mottled green and red, which turns to a bright red when cooked.
There is a great difference between the North Atlantic Coast lobster and the so-called lobster or Langouste of the Gulf and the Pacific Coasts, the most obvious deference being in the claws. An Eastern lobster has large, meaty claws, while the Langouste’s are small.
Bring a large pot of sea or salted water to a rolling boil. Add two tablespoons of salt for each quart of water. If sea water is available, even better, skip the salt. Grasp the life lobster by the middle of the back and push it into the boiling water headfirst. Cover the pot and simmer 15-20 minutes. The lobsters will be a clear, bright red when done.
To serve boiled lobster, which may be eaten hot or cold, arrange lobster halves on serving plates or a platter, removing the claws and cracking them lightly with a nutcracker. Discard the dark vein, spongy tissue, and the sac near the head, but save the green liver and coral, if any. They are considered a delicacy. Hot boiled lobster may be served with melted butter, parsley butter, Hollandaise sauce, or a Sauce Mousseline.