With the Melbourne opening of Mr Claws from Daniel Wilson and the Huxtable/Huxtaburger team, and Burger Liquor Lobster in Sydney, the lobster roll seems set to have its moment in the sun this summer. But what makes a proper lobster roll? We turned to New England resident and American food expert Colman Andrews for the lowdown.
As with any storied food icon, there is of course disagreement about exactly how a lobster roll should be made. For this long-time resident of Connecticut, second only to Maine in its lobster-roll reputation, a proper lobster roll consists of a split-top hot dog bun (that is, one that has a deep slot cut into the top instead of being halved horizontally), whose interior surfaces are brushed with butter before the bun is lightly toasted; a generous helping - between a quarter- and a half-pound - of fresh steamed or boiled Atlantic lobster meat, ideally a combination of tail and claw, cut or torn into more-or-less bite-size pieces, seasoned with salt, and dressed with a bit of mayonnaise; and a little paper boat to cradle the thing and catch any errant bits of lobster that might drop from the bun. Period. Some versions add a shake of pepper, which is fine, and some mix minced celery and/or green onion with the lobster (the former is acceptable, just, while the latter is highly suspicious). People who add lettuce to the bun don't understand the virtues of simplicity, or the fact that a good mouthful of lobster is its own reward.