why do we not need to devein lobster tails?

Mods, not sure if this is culinary or biological/anatomical; feel free to move to Cafe society if you prefer.

Standard practice for preparing shrimp tails that are larger than, um, “tiny” is to slice them open lengthwise and remove the digestive tract.

Question: why is this not necessary for lobsters? Given that they are typically far larger than shrimp, I would have expected their digestive tract to be correspondingly much larger, but I’ve never seen anything of note when dining on lobster.

Must be standard someplace, I guess, but it sure isn’t in Spain (nor, from what little I’ve seen of shrimps there, in France or Italy, but like I said I don’t exactly go around looking for shrimp). Then again, one of the differences in restaurant categories is whether the shrimp gets peeled or not; peeling them often removes the black line without any specific work. Note that I said “peel”, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that was sliced.

Nm. Mistaken info from faulty memory.

It’s not necessary to remove the tomalley in shrimp either as much it is necessary in lobsters – it’s more a choice.

Some people claim that you should remove the digestive tract in both lobster and shrimp, due to the fact that it’s the lobster/shrimps faeces and contains pollution and is not healthy.



I’ve frequently removed the digestive tract from lobster tails while eating them. Standard Homarus Americanus, steamed or boiled, you can almost always find the tract pretty easily.

You don’t have to remove either. It’s done for appearance. When cooked the contents are harmless. Restaurants may remove the digestive tract from lobsters before serving, but not alway if the lobster is served whole. With lobsters the bug is usually kept alive for a while without food and the tract will be empty and not noticeable (although in females it may be full of roe). Shrimp aren’t kept that way and need to be deveined for appearance, or if to be eaten raw.

Toxins ? How would toxins accumulate. It all moves through in no time.
Toxins like heavy metals accumulate in flesh, but of course they only get up to high levels (dangerous to humans) in top of the food chain fish like shark .

One of the reasons is because shrimp can be sliced before cooking, obviously the lobster shell is too hard. Some lobster cooking methods involve a 2-3 minute dunk in hot water and then slicing the beast in half lengthwise to remove the vein, and then finishing the cooking.

Another thing is that lobsters are stored live (and probably not fed?) and in the tank cleanse themselves. Shrimp are frozen on the spot (?) although I am not sure on this… just observations from watching shows about massive fishing boats.

Can you go into this a bit more?

I’ve been told by artsy-fartsy butchers how it’s better to use organic/natural/raised on unicorn feed chickens and pork whenever I use their livers for pates, etc, because “that’s where all the bad stuff filters, and stays there.”

People are worried about all sorts of things. Personally, I am not worried about toxins in my lobsters/shrimps tomalley as such.
The only reason for removing the tomalley for me is the thought of it being the poop-chute – but then again, sometimes it doesn’t bother me - It’s a choice.