The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat langoustine. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What langoustine etiquette is

Langoustine etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat langoustine. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve langoustine to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat langoustine at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat langoustine

What you should know about langoustine

Langoustines are a type of crustacean that belong to the lobster family. They are also known as Norway lobsters or Dublin Bay prawns.

Langoustines have a slender, elongated bodies with a hard, reddish-brown shells. They have small claws and long antennae. The meat is sweet and delicate with a texture that is firmer than shrimp, but softer than lobster. The flesh is usually a pale pink or cream color when cooked, and has a sweet and slightly nutty flavor.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat langoustine

1) How to store langoustine

Langoustines should be stored in a cool environment, ideally between 32-39°F (0-4°C). To store in the pantry, place them in a paper or mesh bag in a cool, dry place. In the fridge, keep them in a covered container or wrapped in damp paper towels in the coldest part of the refrigerator. In the freezer, seal them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Langoustines can last up to 24 hours in the pantry, up to 3 days in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Cooked langoustines can be stored in the same way as raw langoustines. Sliced langoustines should be consumed immediately or stored in the fridge for up to 1 day.

2) How to clean langoustine

To clean langoustines, rinse them in cold water and remove the head by twisting it off. The tail can then be easily peeled by gripping the shell and pulling it away from the meat. Be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edges of the shell or claws. There is a risk of foodborne illness with any raw seafood, so be sure to handle and prepare them safely.

Signs that langoustines have gone bad include a sour or ammonia-like smell, a slimy texture, or discoloration of the meat.

3) How to prepare & cook langoustine

Langoustines can be eaten raw or cooked. To prepare for cooking, rinse them in cold water and remove the head and shell. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, grilling, or sautéing. Common utensils and appliances used to prepare and cook langoustines include knives, seafood forks, pots, and pans. Some popular recipes include langoustine risotto, langoustine skewers, or langoustine in garlic butter.

Popular dishes that feature langoustine include paella, bisque, and various pasta dishes. Langoustine can also be a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches.

Langoustine is not suitable for vegan, keto, or paleo diets.

4) How to serve & present langoustine

Langoustine can be served on formal or informal occasions and can be incorporated into any meal, including breakfast, brunch, or as snack. They can be served as a side dish, appetizer, or main course.

It is best to serve langoustine at a temperature of 32-39°F (0-4°C). You can present it on a plate or in a bowl. Utensils such as seafood forks, knives, and spoons can be used for serving. It is polite to provide a finger bowl with warm water and lemon for guests to clean their hands after eating.

Langoustine can be accompanied by a variety of sides and seasonings, including lemon, garlic, butter, and herbs. Some popular side dishes include steamed vegetables, rice, or potatoes.

5) Food and wine to pair langoustine with

The best food pairings with langoustine include flavors such as garlic, lemon, parsley, and thyme. Condiments such as aioli, mayonnaise, and hollandaise sauce also complement the delicate flavor of langoustine. Spices such as black pepper and paprika can also be used to enhance the flavor. Vegetables that pair well with langoustine include asparagus, peas, mushrooms, and fennel. Fruits such as citrus fruits, mango, and pineapple can also be used to add a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish. It is best to avoid pairing langoustine with strong and overpowering vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.

Langoustine goes well with cheese and dairy, and the best pairings include creamy cheeses such as brie and camembert, as well as parmesan and gruyere. Cream, butter, and crème fraîche are also good dairy pairings. It is best to avoid pairing langoustine with strongly flavored cheeses such as blue cheese.

Langoustine can pair with meat, but it is best to avoid strong and overpowering meats such as beef and lamb. Chicken, pork, and turkey can be used to add protein to the dish without overpowering the delicate flavor of the langoustine. Langoustine also pairs well with fish such as salmon, cod, and sea bass.

The best wine pairings with langoustine include white wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. Red wines such as Pinot Noir and Gamay also complement the flavor of langoustine. Rosé wine and sparkling wine can also be used to add a light and refreshing touch to the dish. It is best to avoid pairing langoustine with heavy and full-bodied wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

6) How to eat langoustine

The most polite etiquette to eat langoustine is to use a small fork and knife to remove the meat from the shell. It is also acceptable to use your fingers to eat the meat, but make sure to clean your hands thoroughly beforehand. The whole langoustine can be eaten, but the head and tail can be discarded if desired. A small seafood fork or pick can also be used to remove the meat from the shell.

Langoustine etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common langoustine etiquette mistakes:

  • 8/10. Eating langoustine using your hands without cleaning them first.
  • 7/10. Using a large knife and fork instead of small utensils.
  • 6/10. Discarding the langoustine meat instead of eating it.

Additional information for properly serving langoustine

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

Langoustine contains approximately 25 calories per 100 grams or around 5-6 calories per langoustine.

How to buy the best langoustine

A crucial factor in langoustine etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Langoustine is available all year round, but the best season to buy them is in the summer months when they are at their freshest.

Choose the best

Langoustine can be found fresh, frozen, and canned. Fresh langoustine can be found at seafood markets and specialty stores, while frozen and canned langoustine can be found at most grocery stores.

The most popular varieties of langoustine in commerce include the Norwegian and Scottish varieties. The Norwegian variety is known for its sweet and delicate flavor, while the Scottish variety is known for its firm texture and rich flavor.

To buy the best langoustine, look for ones that are firm and shiny with slightly translucent flesh. Avoid any langoustine that is dull in color or has a mushy texture.

Alternatives to langoustine

Common alternatives to langoustine include prawns, shrimp, lobster, and crab.