This is my final post in a 4-part series about bareboat sailing in the Caribbean – I’ve saved the best for last, our lobster feast!
Imagine yourself floating on this pristine turquoise water, nowhere to be, nothing you are required to do.And up to your sailboat pulls one of these guys, flashing some 3-5 pound spiny lobsters.They’re different than lobsters you get elsewhere, most notably their brightly colored shells and their lack of fat front claws.You strike a deal – 30 EC (about $12) a pound is usually the going rate – and you start picking out your lobsters.He’ll weight them up and hand them to you to put in a bag and drag in the water until you’re ready to cook them. I actually never liked lobster – despite growing up with summer vacations at my grandparent’s on the ocean in Rhode Island – until I was 50. I’m so happy I developed a taste for it before this trip.I highly recommend pouring a little bubbly to enjoy while you cook.And by all means, wait until you’ve enjoyed the sunset over the Caribbean waters to start working.When you’re ready, lay a lobster out flat. I always try to soothe them a bit first……and then, as is most humane, quickly insert a knife directly into the brain to kill them instantaneously.You’ll only be eating the tails of these lobsters, as that’s the only part with any meat. The body is thrown back into the ocean to decompose naturally.I like to split the tails before grilling them because they are so huge it helps the middle cook at the same speed as the rest of the tail. It also makes the meat easier to remove from the shell.All you need is some simple garlic butter to enjoy them. We actually had a salad and some potatoes with the lobster – but my husband, who usually can’t eat that much, skipped everything else and ate an entire tail himself.The leftover lobster made for a sinfully good, albeit simple, pasta dish the next night.We had a fabulous time on our trip and enjoyed great meals all over the small islands from St. Lucia to Grenada. But of everything we had, the spiny lobsters were most certainly the highlight!
Fresh spiny lobster can be bought from locals direct at $13EC a pound, which is about $4.85 US a pound. This is what we paid this morning. Also, there is lots of fabulous meat in the head, base of antennas and other various places that should be harvested and enjoyed in salad, chowder or soup. Once completely cleaned out, boil the shell and legs (but try to suck the meat out first, it is tender and sweet) again in the original water to get every bit of flavor out. Strain out the shell and floaty bits and you have the base stock for amazing coconut lobster bisque, or curry lobster chowder with chunks of potato and carrots. We waste nothing and eat well for days on two lobsters every time we come to our little island here in the Caribbean.
The famous “Simon,” in Tyrrel Bay in Carracou sold us a beautiful Spiny Lobster today for $20EC per pound. Yeah, it’s a splurge, but tonight we will make an event out of it. I found your site in preparation for this event. Fortunately Simon also had some nice Chilean Red to sell us.