The Lobster Roll is a bit of an anomaly in the world of sandwiches for reasons of price, ingredients, philosophy, and origin. A majority of sandwiches are very affordable in nature, with a basic version being available for $5 to $10, and higher quality implementations ranging from $10 to $25. The most famous Lobster Roll in the world, specifically the one served at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, Maine begins pricing (in 2014) at $17, which absolutely sets it apart from the rest of the sandwich world. If it cost the average consumer $17 to buy a cheeseburger, it is highly likely that we would see a very different landscape in sandwiches than we do today.
The main ingredient in a Lobster Roll is of course, lobster. Lobster is by no means an inexpensive meat, but it possesses a certain texture and flavor that is very difficult to find elsewhere, making it irreplaceable. A very critical point to address right now is that the primary factor that distinguishes excellent lobster from terrible lobster is the freshness. In general when preparing a Lobster Roll, your primary ingredient goes from living creature to sandwich ingredient in an exceedingly quick time frame, which is simply not present in the construction of many other sandwiches.
Once you have properly cooked your lobster, you have a very short time window before the lobster cools to decide where you stand on the rest of the ingredients. The true Lobster Roll that fostered the reputation that they have so richly earned contains nothing more than luscious drawn butter, a firm roll, and lobster. Other recipes will throw fascinating additions like Mayonnaise, lemon, tarragon, or celery, which for some allow them to add their own twist on an already perfect configuration.
Bread is of considerable importance to address, because it is very important that it has a firm and chewy texture, or it will simply be relegated to “delivery mechanism for lobster”, resulting in a total sandwich failure, since at that point you might as well just eat the lobster plain. The optimal bread is similar in size and appearance to a hot dog roll, but much heftier. It goes without saying that you ought to butter and brown the bread before applying the lobster, and devour within minutes of finalizing assembly.