This king of the CRUSTACEAN family has a jointed body and limbs covered with a hard shell. The most popular variety in the United States is the Maine lobster, also called American lobster. It has 5 pairs of legs, the first of which is in the form of large, heavy claws (which contain a good amount of meat). Maine lobsters are found off the Atlantic coast of the northern United States and Canada. They have a closely related European cousin that lives in Mediterranean and South African waters and along Europe's Atlantic coast. Lobster is a valued food product; well-known recipes include Lobster Newberg and Lobster Thermidor. Lobster is best eaten fresh, and they are normally purchased live. Lobsters are usually shipped and sold with their claws banded to prevent them from injuring each other or the purchaser. Lobsters cannot open and close the claws when they are banded, which causes the claws to begin to atrophy inside the shell. Recently banded lobsters will not show this, and the claws will be full. Many restaurants that serve lobster keep a tank of the live creatures, often allowing patrons to pick their own. Lobsters are generally prepared and cooked while they are still alive, even though both claws may have been removed. Most cooks place the live lobster into a pot of boiling water or steam which kills it. Lobsters are also served fried, grilled, or baked. Freezing the lobster may toughen the meat.