Monday, August 15, 2011

The authentic, quintessential, lobster roll. Period.

When I heard that Zabar’s Deli was passing fresh water crayfish off as lobster, I was stunned. I don’t like to pass off bad news, and if I’m going to, I better know where it is coming from. The story was traced to the original article in the New York Times. There it is in black and white. If the source was the Onion, I’d just Maple Sugaring 3-7-2009 4-38-11 PMget a chuckle and turn the page. But no, this is the New York Times narking on one of their own. Zabar’s is world famous New York institution.
A big deal? Rightly so, Vermont has taken a hard line against misleading the public with goofy concoctions passed off as maple syrup. Think I’m kidding? Read the 2003 Harvard paper, LEGAL STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS THE MISREPRESENTATION OF VERMONT MAPLE SYRUP. (This is a .rtf format document, so your computer will try to open it in WORD.) This is not just a simple case of “some people in various parts of the country call them lobsters”. No, this is a case of someone calling crayfish, lobster.
The point is that a lobster is a lobster. A crayfish is a crayfish. The two cannot breed, so you can’t call them the same thing. Hello?

Uh, Saul, why not call it Louisiana Crawdad Salad? That’s what it is, right? Is it because lobster sells in New York and folks are afraid to try crawdad? Well, Louisiana crayfish are good. Just think of it link chicken wings. You just need a big heaping plate to have a meal.
Steve with Lobster 1-10-2009 6-22-10 PMGetting back on topic, over on GoodMorningGloucester I see that Joey has been running into more crank lobster roll recipes. This is another serious matter. Naturally, I had to see for myself so I surveyed a few so-called lobster roll recipe videos Youtube. I saw some creative videos but didn’t really find that quintessential lob-sta roll.
A lobster roll is one of those simple things and in its simplicity there is beauty. Lobster rolls are not like when Greg Louganis does some incredibly complicated dive and “makes it look easy”. No, lobster rolls are the exact opposite. They are incredibly easy and taste complicated. Okay, maybe I’m stretching it a bit. The point is that you don’t need to be a Cordon Blue Chef to make a lobster roll.
If you are adding tarragon, celery, onions, lettuce, shallots, or any other ingredient that doesn’t belong (like fried potato sticks for Pete’s sake), you are missing the point again. Lobster rolls are a fun food and a gift from Neptune himself. Listen to my man Joey. He will tell all you need to know about a lobster roll. I was skeptical at first, but hokey smoke, Bullwinkle, he is right! Becky and I’ve done this on a hot summer day. Oh, what a wonderful, simple lunch.

Here are just a few of our Gloucester Lobstermen that bring ‘em in for you.
 Boat, lobster 6-26-2010 4-24-21 AM
Lobster 12-4-2010 11-21-00 AM
Lobster Boat 4-19-2009 7-37-55 AM
I wish I had some crayfish photos to show you how hard those folks work too.


A New England Life said...

I saw that article too. Not sure what they were thinking that no one would ever notice. Come on!

Whitemist said...

I grew up with craw deads 9as we called them) and actually liked what they were, but never would i think a lobster roll could ever be made as one of those little thing - its got the wrong taste!

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