Food/Groups

Why Maine Is Lobster, and Lobster Is Maine

Editor's Note: This is an episode of Food/Groups, Thrillist's brand-new YouTube series based on the deep, delicious relationships between different communities and the foods & food practices by which they define themselves. Subscribe to Thrillist's YouTube channel and tune in for a brand-new episode every Monday morning at 7am EST.

Nothing says summer in New England quite like a lobster roll. And with all due respect to Connecticut’s warm & buttered approach, Maine’s version of the iconic seafood sandwich (toasted bun, cold lobster, tossed with mayo) is, well, iconic. 

That’s because lobster is basically synonymous with Maine. More Homarus americanus are caught in the state than anywhere else in the country, and it defines the cuisine at every level, from seaside shacks to fancy restaurants. But lobster is more than just food for residents of the Pine Tree State: it’s a way of life, powering the state’s commercial fishing industry with hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of lobsters landed every year. 

To celebrate Maine’s tastiest natural resource, we headed “down east” to pull up pots with lobstermen, eat rolls with award-winning restaurant owners, and catch up with marine biologists trying to safeguard Maine’s lobsters for generations to come.

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