Toxic Tomalley

Ben at Walking the Berkshires and the Cape Cod Times (and its excreble daily video show CapeCast) are sounding the tocsin over that-which-should-not-be-eaten, Tomalley, or the vile green goo found inside the bodies of lobsters.

Apparently lobsters, who personify the term, “bottom feeder”  are utter scavengers who dine on whatever lands on the bottom, store a lot of toxic crud in their tomalley, which is essentially a two-organs-in-one deal for the lobster, playing the role of both liver and pancreas.

Lobsters lying in state
Lobsters lying in state

Sorry, but I don’t know about you, but I tend to use my liver to deal with stuff like toxins. Indeed, back in my glory years when tequila shots were my bane, anyone who ate my liver, Prometheus style, would have been struck dead faster than a spy biting on the cyanide molar implanted in their jaw.

My mother, a native of the New Hampshire sea coast, gets more mileage out of a lobster than a parasite. We’re talking Outer Limits/Twilight Zone sort of behavior — with much meticulous sucking and picking away until there is nothing but a red husk on the plate. She is one of those whack jobs that declare “tomalley” and its nasty red twin, “coral”or the roe, to be a delicacy. Ben’s mom apparently is the same way. Me, I believe tomalley is a soft, meconium sort of substance that one usually finds on a dock after a flock of sea gulls meets the fleet on a hot day.

So when the State of Maine health department and then the Massachusetts BOH declare tomalley to be bad for you, I’ve got to ask: “Who in their right mind ate it anyway?”

Check out the photo on this Cape Cod Times story. Hungry? And my respects to anybody who would brush their teeth with tomalley, you are my hero.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

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