With the rise of summer, comes the popularity of seafood. And nothing says summer – especially if you live near the coast or the beach – like a lobster roll. How did lobster come to represent summer? And more importantly: What’s the best way to eat it without getting it all over your shirt?
The history of lobster
Nowadays, tourists flock to coastal towns and chow down on lobster rolls. Such was the case in the 1870s, Gizmodo reported. Well to-dos from landlocked states would vacation in towns bordering the ocean – and when they returned home, they longed for the food they had eaten while away, including boiled lobster.
And then, canned boiled lobster became a hot commodity.
The increased exposure and related rise in demand started a food trend that has yet to cease. However, it’s now harder to come by during the off season, leaving us eager to dig in – with crackers in hand and bibs ready – when summer hits. Now – how do you best cook one?
Eating lobster is the best part of summer.
A tip from the experts
According to Melissa Bouchard, a top chef from Maine, one of the best things to do is keep your lobster alive until you’re ready to eat it – and keep it away from fresh water! The salt-free water will kill them. Instead, soak a towel in salt water and wring it out. Place it over the lobster in the fridge if you’re keeping it for a day before cooking it.
When you’re ready to make dinner, you have plenty of options. You can grill, poach, bake or cook your lobster for a final dish – it all depends on what you’re looking for. Tossing a few pieces of lobster into a seafood scampi dish with freshly cooked pasta? You’ll want a process like steaming or broiling, which will let the lobster absorb the flavor around it once you put it in the final dish. Going for a classic New England “lobstah” roll? You can grill it – and the bun! – to get a proper charcoal flavor.
Need a few other recipe ideas? We love making a fresh salad with lobster, fruits and veggies, especially if keeping your meals low-carb is key. Epicurious provides a recipe for freshly cooked lobster along with chopped avocado and grapefruit. The acid from the grapefruit offers a nice zing to the lobster, just the way a squeeze of lemon would. And since the salad is best served cold, it makes a great dish to have the next day to make all your coworkers jealous.
Craving something with a bit more heft? You can make a lobster risotto with peas. But instead of bogging down light, flavorful lobster with gobs of cream and butter, you can swap in chicken broth to cook your rice in. On a beautiful night, you can make a bowl of the risotto, pour yourself a cold glass of white wine and enjoy eating under the stars.