“Each individual that crosses the border, that’s one factor they need,” says Kathy Gunst, a longtime Mainer and a James Beard Award-winning meals journalist. She’s referring to a lobster roll, a toasted bun with plump lobster meat tucked into it. It’s one of many quintessential dishes of the state that may be eaten year-round, although most of us realize it as a summer time particular to be loved on a picnic bench, oceanside.
Lobster rolls and their many variations (suppose: lobster dressed with brown butter and stuffed right into a Chinese language bun) can be found throughout the nation for about $20, however the two basic varieties originate from Maine and Connecticut. The few hours’ drive between the 2 states separates their lobster roll kinds by a world. “Individuals have deep allegiances,” to their favourite locations and most well-liked fashion, says Gunst. (In Maine, that is historically chilly lobster meat, whereas in Connecticut, it is heat.)
See more: What is a maine lobster roll
Whereas the origin of Maine lobster sandwiches is murkier than the Atlantic, the unique, heat lobster roll got here from the now shuttered Perry’s in Milford, Connecticut—although it was ready otherwise than the lobster rolls of right this moment—which began serving them in 1926, in accordance with Sally Lerman, the creator of Lobster Rolls of New England and self-proclaimed “lobster gal.”
When you’re touring by way of New England this summer time, it’s finest to know which fashion is the native one, and whether or not you’re an individual who likes it scorching—or not.
What It Has
Maine: An genuine Maine lobster roll needs to be: “A scorching canine roll, middle reduce, that’s toasted—ideally buttered after which toasted—stuffed with nothing however recent lobster meat; huge chunks, not shredded, not frozen,” Gunst says. The meat is tossed with mayo, giving it a blush hue and a creaminess. “That’s your grade-A lobster roll.” (Typically, there could also be small items of celery blended in for added crunch.)
Connecticut: Varieties nearer to the forty second parallel (which runs slightly below Connecticut’s northern border) have heat lobster meat in them and nothing else, although lettuce could make an look right here and there, Lerman says. (“Some individuals suppose it retains the bun from getting soggy,” she says.) Connecticut lobster can be usually redder than its Maine counterpart. That colour comes from the truth that as an alternative of mayo, lobster meat is warmed up with, or dressed with, butter, Lerman says. It’s then stuffed right into a heat, toasted New England-style bun, middle reduce typically with white bread-like sides as an alternative of a crust.
What It Does not Have
Maine: Whereas variations are on the rise at locations like Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, which serves their lobster rolls in these aforementioned steamed Chinese language buns, others imagine the lobster roll shouldn’t be messed with. When you ask a roll purveyor “‘Oh, do you place chives, or add lettuce, or a tomato?’ individuals will take a look at you, horrified,” Gunst says. “It’s like saying to a New Yorker, ‘Do you place mustard in your bagel?’”
Connecticut: This lobster roll isn’t going to have chilly meat or mayo. “That’s not a lobster roll, that’s a lobster salad roll,” says Lerman of the Pine Tree State’s iteration. “Once they say that in Connecticut they’re often saying it [as a] derogatory reference to Maine.” Sure, there are combating phrases in the case of lobster rolls.