I saw this cool Instagram from last week's Fancy Food Show and had to investigate. To my knowledge, it's not possible to get raw lobster meat out of its shell without doing some damage, right? Losing a chelipod or two? I discovered the shell-less speciments of Rougié, a French brand that might make the lobster bib a thing of the past.
Rougié's new technology could bring seasonal lobsters to the market year-round, and maybe more importantly, eliminate the tedious, messy process of cooking and shelling them entirely. They use a highly pressurized water hose to blast the meat away from the shell enough so that manually opening it simply releases the meat.
Fished off the Scottish and Irish coasts during prime season (May to September), the shelled lobster is immediately vacuum-sealed and frozen, preserving its flavor and texture. Rougié even recommends it for carpaccio, and that's saying something.
So while you personally can't get raw lobster meat out of its shell, you now have access to some of the most hardcore über-fancy presentation points this side of the Iron Chef Kitchen Stadium. Oh, and a bit of French nerdery: "rougié" means "blushing," such as a raw lobster when you cook it. We can only hope this time-saving meat-maximizing technology makes it to Maine.
More wonders of the lobster world on Food Republic: