Some say that you haven’t really experienced lobster until you’ve devoured a lobster roll. A little dramatic, perhaps, but those who know and love lobster rolls can’t help but feel passionate about the delectable combination of lobster and hot dog bun—and you will, too, after you nibble on a roll of your own.
We’ve assembled some interesting tidbits pertaining to all things lobster roll. Fair warning: once you’ve finished this post, you just might want to plan a trip to the northeast—stat.
The Lobster Roll, Defined
Depending on who you ask, what, exactly, a lobster roll comprises of can yield very different answers. Iteration A of the lobster roll consists a mayonnaise-based lobster salad, while Iteration B comprises chunks of lobster drizzled with melted butter. Both lobster concoctions are served on a good old-fashioned hot dog bun. Lobster rolls are typically presented with a side of fries, some slaw, and one or more pickles.
To the Beach Shack
If you’re on the northern Atlantic coast and you’re hoping to sample a lobster roll, you won’t need to look far. Skip the fancy fine dining spots and head straight to the mom-and-pop diners, the beach shacks, the roadside stands, or anything casual-looking along the water. You’re likely to find it on the menu anywhere that serves fish and chips and burgers.
The secret to a good lobster roll: good lobster. The better the lobster, the better the roll: there’s no disguising mediocre meat with artisan breads or distracting toppings. If you can’t taste the lobster, be concerned: it should be the star of the show.
Where in the World…
The best lobster rolls are found where fresh lobster is found, of course. New England is home to the top lobster rolls on Earth. Many claim that Maine is the capital of the lobster roll, but Massachusetts and Connecticut put up a solid fight for that title. Canada’s Maritime provinces also offer their own versions of the lobster roll, though they tend to be more liberal with the type of bread used.
Lobster rolls have a murky history, and it’s hard to get the real facts. We know that they originated in New England in the 20th Century—after all, hot dog style buns weren’t made until 1912, and everyone knows that it’s not a real lobster roll if it’s on another type of bun. Other debates surround the lobster roll: which version is the true lobster roll, which city can claim to be the first to produce the lobster roll (though Milford, Connecticut, seems to have the most credibility here), and whether it should be served hot or cold. Some mysteries can never be solved.
Some Food for Thought
You know a food has hit it big when the golden arches welcome it to the official menu: the McLobster is a seasonal item offered in select New England states and in the Canadian Maritimes. Purists would likely not approve: though the roll is indeed made with 100% Atlantic lobster meat, the addition of diced celery and shredded lettuce are decidedly nontraditional.