When choosing a seafood dish, you might wonder what the difference between two of the most popular dishes are.
Both lobsters and crabs are crustaceans, found in and around the sea. Both contain meat used in a variety of dishes, or can be eaten on their own. Both are often served with their shells intact, to be cracked by the consumer at the dining table.
However, despite their similarities, these two sea critters offer differing experiences, providing a range of culinary purposes.
The difference between lobster and crab comes down to price, flavor, and nutrition. While lobster is pricier and less fishy tasting, crab is cheaper and on the sweeter side.
To better understand the difference between lobster and crab, let’s break the two down.
Crab meat offers a slightly sweet taste, though it often contains more fishy notes than lobster. Lobster, on the other hand, contains savory meat. Much of it is stored in the tail where strong muscles provide a tasty meal. Crab contains most of its meat in the claws and legs. Crab meat is also soft, whereas lobster tends to be a little chewier.
Lobster’s edge is that it is more savory than crab, with a salty flavor. It’s also firmer, providing a more tough mouth feel. In the end, crab wins out for its tender quality. Ultimately, however, it depends on the preparation. Crab on its own pales in comparison to crab made with the right spices and sauce. It’s all about versatility with crab.
Lobster carries a notoriously high price tag. Crab, while no cheap dish itself, is more affordable than its crustacean brother. This is because lobster is more difficult to farm. The creature grows slowly, succumbs to disease easily, and lays fragile eggs. These result in higher farming costs which get passed onto consumers.
Crabs don’t carry these additional overhead costs. While a lobster dish weighing 1 to 1.5 pounds generally runs between $30 and $45, crab runs as low as half that. However, that also depends on the type of crab. Some crab meat runs much more expensive, up to over $70 per pound.
That said, the affordable options abound with crab and not with lobster. With regard to price, crab wins again.
Nutritional Value Differences Between Lobster and Crab
Crab contains more calories than lobster, but beyond that, the two seafood favorites actually feature many similarities. A pound of lobster contains about 115 calories, while crab has nearly as many in 3 ounces. Neither match the calorie count of other meats, like beef or pork, making either a healthy option. But they have other benefits, too. An interesting fact about pork, marshmallows have pork in the form of gelatin.
Lobster is known to provide considerable vascular health benefits. Studies show it helps boost the immune system as well as blood vessels and arteries. Crab similarly offers certain advantageous qualities. Crab meat is known to stimulate digestion, helping the stomach and bowels. It also assists the growth of skin, nails, and hair.
Crab and lobster meat contains several nutritional vitamins, including A, B, and C. They both also are a great source of protein. When it comes to nutrition, both crab and lobster prove great options.
While both lobster and crab are popular dishes, the price and flavor profile of crab gives it the edge over lobster. Of course, lobster is considered a luxury food item and when prepared by a master chef makes for a memorable meal. That said, crab is a cheaper option with a more robust flavor and softer, more enjoyable meat.