The Perfect Lobster Roll

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In New England, and, in particular, Maine, summer is lobster season. This year, Aug. 1 kicks off the 71st Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine. The festival is a weeklong celebration of all things lobster on the central Maine Coast. There is music and carnival rides, but, most importantly, there is lobster.

The most famous sandwich associated with this lovable crustacean is the lobster roll. Who was so inspired as to invent such a wonderful sandwich? With any beloved culinary invention, there is always much debate, but the lobster roll seems to have first appeared on the scene in Milford, Conn., sometime around 1929. The characteristic quality of the lobster roll is a hot dog-style bun and lobster meat. The rest of it is a little up for grabs.

It can be hot or cold and served with butter or mayonnaise. The mayonnaise version is often referred to as a lobster salad roll and is sometimes served with celery or scallions. Everyone has an opinion about the details — buttery roll, potato bun — but, in the end, a lobster roll just has to taste good. Even the James Beard Foundation posted a recipe for this specialty sandwich and they went with the classic Maine recipe, the lobster salad roll. So if you have some lobster tail handy, start assembling the necessary ingredients now.

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