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How to Tell the Sex of a Lobster

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Most people don’t know (or care) what sex a lobster is when they buy one for dinner. But if you’re making the Lobster Bisque from Fine Cooking #115, it’s worth hunting for a female because it will have bright-red roe, called coral, which adds flavor and deep-pink color to the soup. Use these pointers to tell the difference.

 
The top set of swimmerets (or feelers) on a female’s tail are soft, translucent, and crossed at the tips.   A male’s swimmerets are bony, opaque, and point up toward his body.
     
 
A female lobster has a broader tail to accommodate the roe.

Photos: Scott Phillips

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