Some food debates stand the test of time; who makes the best cheesesteak in Philly, Wawa vs. Sheetz, and whether it’s a sub, hoagie, or hero are some of the ones that immediately jump to mind. However, as you travel further north along the east coast, another debate enters the fray that has divided an entire region; where did the lobster roll originate from, Connecticut or Maine? And who does it best? It’s a debate that’s as hotly contested as the most passionate Philly Cheesesteak debate. Still, for those that haven’t spent endless summers eating and discerning the subtle differences between the two styles, you may miss out on what each take on a seafood classic has to offer.
The Case for the Maine Lobster Roll
Generally, when people outside of the northeast think of the lobster roll, they think of the Maine style lobster roll. The lobster meat is served cold and tossed in a mixture of mayonnaise, tarragon, celery, or scallions and placed on a New England style roll. The cold meat and the roll are the two hallmarks of the Maine style lobster roll. The New England style roll contrasts from regular hotdog buns through their flat sides that allow for the right application of butter to get a nice crunch after toasty the roll. Most Americans outside of the Northeast jump straight to the Maine style roll, with the cold meat tossed with the mayo, herbs, and spices to create that quintessential northeastern bite.
However, there is another contender for the lobster roll crown, and according to the history book, it predates the Maine style lobster roll by almost 30 years!
The Case for the Connecticut Lobster Roll
The main difference between the Maine and Connecticut lobster rolls stems from how they serve the star ingredient — the lobster. Instead of serving it cold with a mayo base, the Connecticut style opts for serving the lobster warm and slathered in butter, giving the roll a distinctly rich and sweet flavor that sets it apart. The butter takes the mayo, tarragon, and celery dressing’s place when it comes to the accompaniments to the northeastern classic.
The Best of Both Worlds
At La La Lobster, we offer a hybrid approach to our signature lobster rolls, combining the best elements of both styles. In our classic roll, we take the chilled lobster meat from the Maine style, and add the warm lemon butter that makes the Connecticut style a fan favorite. But that’s not the only unique aspect to our lobster — we also offer a salad-style lobster roll, complete with mayo, red onion, celery and dill — just like you would have in a traditional potato salad! Still looking for something different? Try our spicy chipotle style roll, or even our “naked” roll!
Learn more about La La Lobster and our one-of-a-kind approach to seafood today — then, drop by the restaurant to try one of our signature styles. We’ll see you there!