Lobster rolls are a New England favorite that's enjoyed all over the USA, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, and everywhere in between. Here we'll explore the rich history of this delectable dish, dive into the regional variations, and show you how to create this summertime staple in the comfort of your own home with the help of our premium seafood delivery service.
A Brief History of Lobster Rolls
The lobster roll has its roots in the Northeast region of the United States, particularly in the coastal state of Connecticut, although many claim the tradition actually started in Maine. Before lobster rolls ever touched down on restaurant menus, they were a humble lunchtime staple of the fishermen who plied New England's waters. The classic start to these sandwiches was a fresh-baked bun filled with cold lobster meat, mayonnaise, and seasoning.
This hearty and refreshing sandwich made its first documented appearance in the 1920s. Since then, the lobster roll has become a summertime classic all across New England and beyond, with beachside shacks, food trucks, and upscale restaurants all vying for their own take on the iconic sandwich.
Where was the first lobster roll made?
Looking for the original lobster roll? You're not alone. But the origins of the first lobster roll depend largely on who you ask. Lobster rolls started showing up in restaurants in the 1920s. Some say it was a little shop called Perry's in Milford, Connecticut that first served the delicacy. Others claim it was a little lobster shack on Long Island. Still more claim any number of Maine and Massachusetts locales like Kennebunk or Boston.
Throughout most of the 20th century the lobster roll was known, but not exactly the most popular dish on seafood menus. All that changed near the end of the century. The modern lobster roll was perfected in the 1990s by a small New York City restaurant in Greenwich Village known as Pearl's Oyster House. Their elevated take on the lobster roll put the dish on everyone's buzz list, and by 2006, Bon Appétit named lobster rolls the "Dish of the Year,” and seafoodies everywhere rejoiced.
Regional Variations on the Lobster Roll
Like all regional cuisines, the exact ingredients used in a lobster roll can vary greatly from region to region. In Maine, you'll often find lobster rolls served with little more than butter and perhaps some lettuce or celery mixed in with the meat for added crunch.
Connecticut opts for something heartier, usually featuring hot buttered lobster meat instead of cold, plus celery salt and lemon juice. But no matter where you are a good lobster roll is always delicious.
New England Lobster Rolls
New England lobster rolls are typically characterized by their use of a toasted, buttered split-top roll, and a mayonnaise-based lobster salad that's combined with celery, green onions, and seasonings.
While there are many variations on the ingredients, the New England lobster roll is usually served cold, with the lobster salad spilling out of the perfectly toasted bun. This version can be enjoyed at restaurants such as Neptune Oyster in Boston, Massachusetts, which is famous for its generous portions and succulent lobster meat.
Connecticut Lobster Rolls
Connecticut lobster rolls differ from their New England counterpart in that they are served warm and with a buttery, rich topping. The lobster meat is not mixed with mayonnaise, but instead gently tossed in melted, clarified butter, and then piled into a warm, buttered roll. This provides a richer and indulgent flavor compared to the chilled mayonnaise-style rolls.
Maine Lobster Rolls
Maine lobster rolls are known for their simplicity and focus on the succulent, fresh lobster meat. Similar to the New England version, these rolls feature a mayonnaise mixture, but with far fewer ingredients added. The main emphasis is on the delicious lobster, so you're more likely to find a very light coating of mayo, salt, pepper, and just a hint of lemon. Head to Red's Eats in Wiscasset, Maine for one of the most highly-rated Maine lobster rolls in the region.
Where to buy Lobster Meat
When it comes to enjoying lobster rolls at home, the quality of the lobster meat plays a big part in the final taste. Luckily, our premium seafood delivery service here at Roger's Fish Co. makes it easy to buy lobsters online and have them delivered straight to your door. You can choose whole lobster, cooked lobster meat, or even our delicious lobster roll kit, making it a breeze to prepare your own tasty lobster rolls.
Ingredients list for homemade lobster rolls
- Cooked lobster meat or whole lobster
- Hot dog buns, potato rolls, or sweet Hawaiian rolls
- Unsalted butter
- Celery salt
- Herbs: chives, parsley, green onion, tarragon or dill (optional)
Instructions for making a lobster roll
- Start with cooked lobster meat (boiled or steamed is the classic, but grilled lobster brings a unique smoky flavor that is quite delicious).
- Add mayonnaise and seasonings to the lobster meat. Mix everything together gently.
- Toast or grill your hot dog buns or potato rolls until lightly browned, then fill with the lobster mixture.
- Sprinkle with fresh herbs if desired and enjoy!
How to make Lobster Rolls at home
Armed with your freshly delivered lobster meat, you can easily create your own lobster rolls at home! Start by choosing your preferred regional variation, then gather the necessary ingredients. Mix your lobster salad, whether it's a mayo-based mixture or a simple buttery topping. Finally, toast your split-top roll and generously stuff it with your lobster concoction, and enjoy!
Lobster rolls make a delicious and refreshing addition to any summertime meal. Serve them as an appetizer or main course, alongside sides such as coleslaw, macaroni salad, or french fries. They also pair wonderfully with cold beers on a hot day.
So if you’re in the mood for some classic New England seafood flavor without heading to the coast, order your lobster meat today from rogersfishco.com and get ready to enjoy this summertime staple right at home! Happy Lobstering!
Thanks for reading, lobster fans! 🦞 Be sure to check out all of the mouthwatering seafood offerings from Roger's Fish Co. Our premium delivery service makes it easy to get your favorite fresh catch straight to your doorstep - and in no time you'll be savoring your own homemade lobster rolls. Bon Appétit!