I happen to be a huge fan of the Hancock Gourmet lobster roll served at the Big E Maine building. This lobster roll is only available at the Big E and by mail order. There is no store you can drive to an buy this lobster roll, even in the summer. So, imagine my thrill when I saw that a lobster roll kit from Hancock was available through Gilt Taste for a mere $60, including shipping. I know, that’s still pretty steep, but it’s usually closer to $85. They claim that the kit makes 6 lobster rolls, and includes 6 buns, and 1 pound of mixed lobster salad. It really depends on how hearty you prefer your lobster rolls. I made 4 lobster rolls out of the one pound package, but you could get away with making 6 smaller rolls, I just happen to prefer a hearty meat:bread ratio. I placed my order and my package arrived at my door the next day, how very exciting! Fresh Maine lobster rolls and I never even left my house.
The lobster arrives in a styrofoam cooler, packed nicely with cold packs packs. The meat is pre-mixed with the mayo and as they say on the package “spices”. Immediately, I embarked on lobster roll assembly. I brushed the outside of the bun with melted butter, grilled it to golden perfection. I also brushed the inside with melted butter, because can you really ever have enough butter? I piled in the lobster meat and dug in. I was fully expecting this to be an exact replica of the Big E lobster roll, except of course, better, because of all the butter and grilling I involved. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t quite as good as the Big E version. The spongie pieces had the yuck spongie texture and had to be removed, unlike the Big E version where they have the slippery texture and incorporate seamlessly into a the lobster bites. I know, slippery is a terrible description of something delicious, but it’s the only way I can think to distinguish it from the other texture. Through online chat with Hancock, I confirmed that this claw and knuckle meat is fresh picked and has never been previously frozen. The lobster meat was still very good, briny, tasty, not too much mayo and I have to guess that by spices, they mean nothing more than salt and pepper because I didn’t taste anything else. That is a good thing.
The bread was the standard split top bun, allegedly only sold in New England and superior to other buns. I did a side by side bun comparison with Wonder buns, but that’s for another post to come. When coated in butter and grilled up, it was a great complement to the cool lobster meat. Overall, this was a very tasty lobster roll, delivered right to my door and a perfect fix if you happen to be in the large part of the world where fresh picked Maine lobster isn’t available year round. I happen to be lucky enough to live near City Fish, where I can get fresh picked lobster meat for $40/lb year round, so I won’t likely be ordering this mail order lobster roll very often. By comparison, the price of the Hancock kit may seem high, but when you think about how much you pay for one lobster roll in the summer, which often isn’t nearly as good and Maine fresh as this one, for 6 lobster rolls, this really is a very good deal. So, if all my pictures of lobster rolls are making you crave one and you think you have to wait until a summer New England vacation, think again. Order this up and you could be eating a fresh, tasty lobster roll, wherever you are, tomorrow!
Ordered and eaten in February 2012