Joined Apr 28, 2009
I made a large lobster tail this evening and although I may have overcooked it a tiny bit (it was still slightly frozen so I gave it a few minutes more). When I got down to enjoying it, I noticed there was a faint hint of an "off" aroma and i was wondering what this could be. It wasn't mushy or discolored but wasn't as buttery smooth in texture as I was expecting, and this "off" aroma bothered me.

Any ideas...?

Joined May 5, 2010
Hello Queens, NY.....lived there for 15 years a very long time ago......I remember something about 71st and Utopia Pkwy????

Anyway, since I can not see the lobster tail you speak of, it's hard to comment. The "off" odor could be many things.

If the texture was compromised it could have been old (as in the age of the lobster) or old (as in left on the shelf too long)

The larger the tail the more possibility of texture issues.  Wish I could help more.
Joined Apr 28, 2009

The "off" aroma reminded me of ammonia.

I purchase most of my larger tails from a wholesaler and have never had issues before.
Joined May 5, 2010

The "off" aroma reminded me of ammonia.

I purchase most of my larger tails from a wholesaler and have never had issues before.
As with most crustaceans when the ammonia smell starts to happen....it means they are starting to decompose.
Joined May 29, 2006
AMONIA Equals Bad, not fit for human consumption. Most likely it was thawed and left out then refrozen. I would go back to fish monger and complain. The fact that you say it was slighty frozen means it was not your fault it came like that.
Joined Oct 3, 2013
Yes, it sounds like the tail was going bad.  Ammonia smell is not a good sign. Live lobster from online sources can be good, especially if you are away for stores that carry them.  They come overnight, packed with freezer bags.  My favorite source guarantees them fresh, they are the source, no middlemen.

Joined Dec 23, 2000
Slightly off topic, except it's still lobsters...

I've been reading that the dockside price of lobsters on the East Coast has been so low recently that many lobstermen are staying home or seeking other catch, because their earnings won't cover the crew and their fuel. That has shown up only fitfully here in Flyover Country. We were able to find them, live, once for $5/lb at a grand opening sale of a local Shop & Save, a Pittsburg-based economy supermarket chain. At the local Super H-Mart store, an Asian chain, they have been sometimes about $6/lb. on special. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif   We've become re-acquainted again with home-made lobster rolls after years of just looking at the $12-13/lb  specimens.

Sorry for the excursion.  I'm an economist, I can't help it.

Joined Aug 11, 2013
Maybe your freezer lost power for a day and you didn't notice, happens to the best of us :)


Joined Jul 2, 2008
if you noticed nothing else amiss (more gore on that later....) likely is that the tail was mishandled temperature wise 'somewhere'

there are things one never quite gets to figure out:  I bought a bag of IQF sea scallops.  when I opened the bag from the freezer to use a couple, they reeked of ammonia.  now, IQF "on board" - still "individual" - i.e. no evidence the bag had thawed and been refrozen.  but they did not get eaten....

so how did that happen? - the only possibility is the got their "reek" prior to on board IQF but that seems very unlikely.

how a fresh live lobster gets to retching-reekness:

if you grew up on a dairy farm, in the spring all the cows get their hooves trimmed before release from their long winter pent up quarters.

trim a hoof, gag-gag-gag - the cow has a problem - rotting feet / other (typically) circulatory issue / illness.

if exposed, you will never miss that gag reflex as long as you live.

fast forward couple decades,,,, fine dining seafood joint in Newport, Rhode Island - gotta do a lobster - pick one out of the tank, etc.

pulled the tail and all but lost my tummy contents - the exact identical reek to a rotting cow's hoof. 

very end of tail meat dark and ultra-stinky - sick lobster?

dunno, but it can happen.

had to leave the table - and multiple nearby diners were sniffing about wondering who passed that bad gas . . . .
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Shrimp used to be extremely expensive. The market was controlled by organized crime. In New York Rudi Gulianni cleand up the whole Fulton Fish Market. Lobster cartel is controled by many fisherman associations who normally set the price based on supply and demand. Weather is a big factor in price of lobsters.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
Lobster is $4.99/lb this week locally - we are  definitely having some one night.

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