Editor's Note: Lobster rolls are the king of all summer foods (shut up, watermelon slices), which is why we sent our very own Andrew Zimmer on a summer-long quest to try and figure out what the Perfect Lobster Roll is, where it is, or if it’s totally a figment of our nostalgia-soaked collective unconscious. Follow along on our site, on Facebook, or by using #LobsterRollQuest over the course of the summer to see each step of The Quest unfold.
Up until now we’ve focused entirely on the mayo’d Maine style, and while there are many different sub-styles out there, the chief competitor for attention is the butter-centric Connecticut-style lobster roll, served warm. In the course of my research into the style and my planning for the Connecticut coast leg of the Quest for the Perfect Lobster Roll (stay tuned for that, I ate so much butter) I came across what is believed to be the original method for the iconic sandwich.
A very brief history
Sometime between 1929 and 1934 a restaurant and former fish shack named Perry's created what today we know as the Connecticut-style lobster roll for a regular customer. The sandwich became so popular at Perry's that the style conquered much of the nearby coast, becoming a fairly common option along US Route 1. According to Wendy Weir -- one of the grandchildren of Harry Perry, the creator -- not a single one of those imitators ever managed to get their method exactly right. And she wasn't up for sharing what they were doing wrong.
It wasn't until I ran across the book Lobster Rolls of New England by the Lobster Gal, Sally Lerman, that I in fact found the shrouded-in-secrecy method. I spoke with Sally over the phone to talk about the specifics a little bit, and then I gave it a try on my own. In more capable hands this could be an insanely good sandwich. In mine, well, scroll on.