“Oh, this is so good. Wait, what’s that? Twenty three dollars? Son of a bitch…eh, still worth it.”
~Lobster Roll Purchaser
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—few creatures of the sea are more American than lobsters. They’re ageless monsters that turn red when we boil them alive, at which point we pay inordinate amounts of money to dunk them in melted butter while wearing a bib at a fancy dinner. The fact that lobsters used to be considered peasant food, to the point that 17th century indentured servants insisted that it was inhumane to be fed lobster more than twice a week, only make its current decadent reputation more American.
Admittedly, much of the reason why the first Americans to encounter the lobster assumed it was only fit for bait and fertilizer stems from its “oh my God, it’s a monster, KILL IT WITH FIRE” appearance, as well as the fact that we used to primarily canned lobster meat to preserve it because we sometimes cannot be trusted with nice things. Now, by the 20th century we realized lobster actually “tastes delicious” and “should probably cost more money” so it began to be treated as such, with “ordering a lobster in order to get the most expensive thing on the menu” being a worn out entertainment trope for quite some time by now.
Now, since we live in America, we naturally have to take expensive and gaudy ingredients and transform them into dishes that are typically served on paper plates with plastic utensils, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with lobster. While we have plenty of “cheap foods made expensive by adding lobster meat” dishes, from lobster mac and cheese to lobster bisque, one of the most iconic, and most satisfying, American preparation of lobster can be summed up in two simple words.
Lobster meat in a hot dog bun that costs way more money than you feel comfortable shelling out for a lunch item that’ll inevitably have half the meat fall out as you eat it, but manages to be delicious enough that you’ll still pay for it, yes, lobster rolls are an American delicacy, despite every outward appearance trying to tell you otherwise. Lobster rolls are sneakily classy, just like America. Lobster rolls are America. And that’s why we’re devoting this fun fact to…
Lobster Rolls: America’s Most Expensive Sandwich That’s Worth Every Penny