You may have heard about the delightful abundance of lobster we’ve been experiencing the past few years. While we recognize this as joyous news for brave, hardworking lobstermen, we’re going to focus more inwardly and celebrate the delightful abundance of lobster rolls we’ve been experiencing lately.
Lobster rolls and their distant kin, fancy New York City lobster roll spinoffs that are not lobster rolls, are in season and everywhere. I went to a place last week serving miniscule shreds of the good stuff atop brioche croutons the size of sugar cubes as a $16 appetizer. That is not a lobster roll. On the way to Cape Cod one weekend, I noticed a McDonald’s selling…wait for it…McLobster Rolls. Also not a lobster roll.
What a lobster roll is, and let me make this plainly clear, is the following: A New England-style hot dog bun, buttered and barely toasted, filled to bursting with large chunks of tail and claw meat lightly — LIGHTLY — dressed in mayonnaise. Maybe with a smattering of finely chopped celery, but probably not. If you accept your lobster roll understuffed, overdressed, heavy-handedly dusted with cayenne pepper and sprinkled with scallions sliced attractively on the bias (sorry, Brooklyn Flea), you’re a hipster with no dedication to excellence. If you need a “textural element” to “round out” your “lobster roll” (which I put in quotes to challenge your dedication to excellence), you may enjoy this thing I discovered. It’s called a McLobster Roll.
Respect New England’s coastal towns and the food haven that is summer in the Hamptons by keeping your vision pure. Eyes on the prize. Make it about the lobster — we have a feeling they won’t be this abundant and cheap (AKA: perfect to make yourself) forever. We’re not even linking to a recipe. Lobster, mayo, bun, finito. And if you want to be entirely humane about it, lull your lobster to sleep with Ben Sargent’s signature move. You have to see it to believe it.