How to Make the Perfect Maine Lobster Roll

by Braxton Taylor

“Perfect” does not mean there is only one way to make a lobster roll. “Perfect” in this case, in most cases, is a moving target, subject to one’s mood and other circumstances. I grew up in Maine eating lobster rolls every summer, made by adults afflicted by the whole suite of human moods and circumstances and I’ve noticed some things along the way—it’s hard to make a bad lobster roll, it’s easy to make a good one, and it’s just as easy to make a great one, with only a little more care.

Let me save you the time and money figuring out which parts to care about. If you’re in New England, a lobster roll is almost as easy to find as gas station pizza, but also comes with the same risk as gas station pizza: it might not be so great. Admittedly, not a huge risk, but steeper with a lobster roll because they’re notoriously pricey. I’m all for supporting local restaurants, but as someone on a tight budget, this is a risk I can’t always afford to take, so I go to the dock or fish market and support my local lobstermen a few times a year by making mine at home.

This comes with some nice perks—I get to make the roll exactly the way I’m craving. I get to use the little legs to make lobster fra diavolo the next day once I’ve digested my rolls, I get to use the shells to make stock to put in the freezer for winter bisque or paella and most importantly, I can afford to buy enough lobsters to make two lobster rolls at home versus buying one from a restaurant. Trust me, one is not enough.

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