Thursday, August 22, 2013

Maine vs. Connecticut Lobster Rolls


I spent time in Maine this summer and got to sample Maine lobster rolls, which were my first love in the lobster roll world. I used to love the mayonnaise freshness of these. When researching A History of Connecticut Food and the Insiders' Guide to Connecticut I came to love the hot lobster roll, invented here in Connecticut. On this trip to Maine I wanted to give the cold roll another chance. I tried four different ones, at both fancy restaurants and roadside trucks. And there is no question - the hot Connecticut lobster roll is superior.

Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with a cold lobster roll, and I still liked it. I mean, it's lobster. It's rich and delicious. But the use of hot butter is more natural, reminding us of the way we eat steamed or boiled lobsters. With mayo on it, why not eat crab or shrimp? It also dulls or at least changes the taste. Worst of all, it tempts restaurants to use frozen or refrigerated lobster rather than fresh. With a hot lobster roll freshly steamed or boiled or poached lobster is necessary. If someone uses preserved lobster for a hot roll, you can taste/feel it immediately.

I was willing to put aside my CT partisan hat for this contest (as I occasionally have for other dishes) but in this case I have to come down firmly on the side of the hot lobster roll as the superior dish. What do you think?

7 comments:

Alicia Ghio said...

Sadly, as a life-long CT resident, I did not know my home state even had a version of the lobster roll. I MUST seek this out.

Kyle Wiley said...

I'm with you, Eric. However, I should mention that I don't eat mayonnaise, so the Maine version is automatically disqualified from my list. My wife is a native of Maine and her situation is the complete opposite from mine: she loves the taste and texture of the cold lobster roll and thinks the hot version is too plain.

Bonnie Dingus said...

Hot lobster all the way!

Although I will admit, that I do like chilled lobster salad mixed with mayo scooped on a summer green salad.

Catherine of Joyful Reflections Photography said...

I agree with Bonnie...hot lobster is my choice!

Chelle {Everyday Polish} said...

I didn't grow up eating lobster rolls but I do love hot butter on everything else so I'm pretty sure that would be my vote!

Michelle Brennan said...

Buttery Hot Lobster Roll minus the bun....heaven

Sweet Jenny's said...

i am going against the grain here! lol I vote for the cold rolls. Something about them I just love.