For crap’s sake it’s been a long time since I talked about food…
A good lobster roll is an amazing thing. I used to eat them all the time back in Boston. My father lived in Gloucester and there were three or four places you could get absolutely quality ones.
For a good traditional lobster roll, the key is fresh and full bodied lobster meat. Most restaurants use awful pieces of stringy lobster meat. You know, those leftovers they figure they can just “throw in the rolls” and figure they can mask the taste in too much of the mayo. Also you want the pieces to be similar in size: not too large, not too small. Just consistent, small chunks of great lobster.
The rest of the traditional recipe is just a simple combo of mayonnaise, parsley, celery, green onion, lemon, and a little salt. A little dijon and basil can go a long way too. A lot of ones use butter lettuce but I think it sometimes just gets in the way. Some fresh herbs can But remember, the biggest flavor you want is lobster. That means you’re using the mayo to best disperse that taste throughout. Using homemade mayonnaise goes a long way in accomplishing that goal. Fresh mayo has an entirely different taste and structure which is perfect for any kind of seafood salad. Store bought ones are fine, but a little underwhelming.
Bread selection is important. Believe it or not, a nice simple toasted hot-dog roll can be perfect. It’s a nice gentle flavor that let’s the lobster be the star and the toasty-ness gets rid of that soft doughy quality that’s no good.
While traditional lobster rolls are one of my favorite comfort foods, I love gourmet rolls that have a different take on the flavors. Exciting stuff like: ginger, rosemary, soy, truffles, smoked bacon, champagne gelee.
I had a great one the other day that lumped crab on top of a toasted broiche that kind of tasted like french toast. The lobster was quality, but a little too shredded and matched nicely in flavor with fresh herbs.
I think I wanna make some lobster rolls.
Mmmmmm. Lobsters…. I miss new england.