A lobster roll is a New England specialty. It’s cooked with lobster meat and is served on a grilled hot dog bun. Butter, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper may be added to the filling, with mayonnaise being substituted for butter in some New England varieties. Other variations may include celery or scallion chopped. The traditional sides are potato chips or french fries.
The lobster roll was first served as a hot dish in a restaurant called Perry’s in Milford, Connecticut, in 1929, according to the “Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink.” Its fame then expanded up and down the Connecticut shoreline, but not much further. In Connecticut, a “lobster roll” is a heated sandwich, whereas a “lobster salad roll” is a cold sandwich.
Chopped lobster meat heated in drawn butter was served on a hot dog bun at roadside businesses like Red’s Eats in Maine as early as 1970. Lobster rolls are most typically linked with the state of Maine in the United States, but they can also be found in seafood restaurants throughout New England and on Eastern Long Island, where lobster fishing is popular.
Lobster rolls in Maine are traditionally served on a New England-style hot dog bun with flat sides for grilling and a split on the top rather than the side. Mayonnaise is usually put within the bread or tossed with the lobster flesh, which is normally served cold rather than warm or heated. The filling is made up of chunks of the knuckle, claw, and lobster tail that are only barely seasoned. A common serving size is four ounces. [requires citation]
Lobster rolls are a favorite seasonal dinner among tourists in Canada’s Maritime regions, particularly Nova Scotia, where they can be found on hamburger buns, baguettes, and other types of bread rolls, as well as in pita pockets. Potato chips and dill pickles are the customary side dishes.
In the summer, lobster rolls are available as a seasonal item in McDonald’s restaurants in Canadian provinces such as Nova Scotia and Ontario, as well as in New England.