It’s our duties as human beings to, in one way or another, document many of our “firsts”. Our parents help kick it off for us by recording our first crawls, walks, times saying “da-da” or “mama”, first days of school and what have you. The firsthand recounting of events in our lives tends to be more sexually charged – first kisses, first boyfriends, first time you have sex.
For me, many of my personal “firsts” revolve around food. My first time eating zebra was in October 2008 while in Namibia – it tastes like venison and was pretty salty. My first time trying sushi was in college (took a while, I know), but I’m pretty much game for anything that involves rice. This brings me to my first time eating a lobster – June of 2012. It took over 24 years for that crustacean to enter my life, and it did so with much pomp and circumstance.
My first lobster roll was consumed with my friend Caroline and sister Taryn at the Red Hook Lobster Pound in Brooklyn and it made quite an impact on my life. It was one of those bittersweet harmonious moments where a choir of angels sings triumphantly as you take each bite, only to end with an uproarious encore at the start of the digestion process.
It was, at best, an “Aha!” moment – you know, the word that Oprah uses to describe epiphanies. It only took one bite for me to finally understand exactly what all the hoopla was about for the last 24 years of my life. There were many opportunities that I could have consumed the crustacean but declined merely out of fear of disliking it. Boy was I wrong. Simply put, lobsters are exquisite. This is why I have decided to dedicate the summer of 2013 to finding the best lobster rolls out there.
Lobster Quest will begin in Connecticut simply due to geographical proximity and venture out elsewhere as the summer progresses. In fact, according to the dubiously accurate Wikipedia, the Lobster Roll originated at restaurant in the Nutmeg State, so it’s only fitting that quest begins here if for that reason alone. I’m already aware that the best lobsters are up in Maine, Massachusetts, and Nova Scotia, and am hoping that my journeys this summer lead me in those directions, however, that’s not to say that places in Connecticut don’t serve mean lobsters.
There will be a simple 1-4 scale in each of the following categories: amount of lobster, taste, and presentation. Please feel free to leave suggestions for places in the comments section, or if you’re reading this and actually know me, give me a shout on some other medium. Either way, I’m looking forward to this culinary journey and hope you enjoy the ride as well!