Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Aug 7, 2013 07:28 PM

We Love a Lobster (and roll) as well as the next person, but are they overrated?

Greetings all - Flack jacket is strapped on.....

We've posted here before regarding New England bugs.
Like them, both soft and hard shelled. But....

Having just had a couple of (soft shell) bugs for dinner, still a bit confused as to what all the fuss is about.

Are lobsters, both hard and soft shelled overrated?

Ready for incoming.

Maybe it's the uniqueness of said arthropods to New England, especially those from Maine?

Perhaps it's the method we've used over the years to prepare said crustaceans.

How can we make them better?

Cutting to the chase, wondering how to enjoy these cuties more than we have in the past?

Hiding in our bunker....

DW & Co.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I do think we get spoiled up here by the ease if obtaining and relative cheapness of lobsters.

    Have you tried the Chinatown preparations or have you just stuck with the steamed/boiled? Have you tried grilling?

    But given a choice I'd take blue crabs from the Eastern Shore over lobsters every time.

    1. From the title, I thought you were asking if lobster rolls were overrated and to that I'd say yes. Most of the time they are on a bland white hot dog roll which adds nothing to the flavor, and can mean a mess when the roll disintegrates. For the same price, I can get lobster newburg, lobster pie, or lobster mac&cheese, all of which are tastier.

      But as for lobster in and of itself, no, not overrated. Even simply steamed or boiled, it's scrumptious. In a fancier preparation, like Jasper White's pan-roasted lobster, it's one of the best entrees I've ever had.

      1. I like lobster, can't say I get all agog over it, tend to think our local crabs have better flavor. I'll have a lobster roll or two every year, but prefer preparations like the Chinatown or JoJo Taipei stir-fry with ginger and scallion, or something a bit less traditional, like Jasper White's pan-roasted version:

        I do think the Homerus americanus is rather tastier than its cousins with smaller claws, like the fairly common spiny lobster from South Africa and other places, which I've found to be less tender and definitely less sweet. The bugs sometimes deceptively sold by chains as lobster, like the evil-looking squat lobster, are decidedly inferior.

        I still think a seafood shack steamed Maine lobster, and a lobster roll from the places that Hounds tend to recommend here, remain worthy experiences that tourists are justified in seeking out.

        As an aside, I worry that global warming is doing scary things to our lobster fisheries, as well as the prospects for other local seafood species: I'm afraid we'll see a lot of the great seafood we take for granted, both here and elsewhere, getting much more expensive or overfished into extinction in our lifetimes. Might want to enjoy them while you can, and before bee population collapses bring about the end of civilization.

        1. Lots of lobster rolls are made with claws and knuckles - not the best part of the lobster. Lobsters as an ingredient is not overrated in my book. I love a perfectly grilled lobster or lobster stir fry with scallions and ginger. There are many ways I love lobster, but not the claws.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Worldwide Diner

            To each their own, i find the knuckles to be the best tasting/best textured part of the entire lobster. Not the most qty for the amount of work though..

            Also one of the reasons people love the Atlantic lobsters and why Maine lobsters are so popular, are their claws which the pacific lobsters dont have....

            1. re: hargau

              I'm with you, knuckle meat every day. Just buy BIG bugs with big knuckles, very easy to shuck.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Yup. Cut or break off the two knuckle joints and pop the meat chunk out of the thick one with your pinkie and use the handle of a fork to push out the meat in the other knuckle piece that has the flat end. Sweetest parts of the critter.

                1. re: Veggo

                  I love the knuckles as well, really my favorite part. If you have kitchen shears, you can cut the shell very easily (it's more flexible at the knuckle, having an almost plastic like texture) to extract the meat. When I worked at my last real cooking job (the pub I worked at while retraining for a new career does not really count) we used the knuckles solely for the lobster rolls, as the knuckles were sort of a by-product of our banquet lobster preperation), and I must say it's the sweetest part. But to each there own of course!

                2. re: StriperGuy

                  I love lobster and also think the knuckles are the best part!

                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    Imagine a warm buttery all knuckle meat lobster roll. I'm going to have to change my underwear.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        The original "knuckle sandwich", eh? Just last night as I was making some Alive and Kicking bugs into homemade rolls, I was imagining an all-knuckle lobster roll too...

                3. re: Worldwide Diner

                  Knuckle fan here too. Then claws, then tail.

                  1. re: trufflehound

                    Here's a bad idea: a lobster roll entirely made of the slender bottom pincer meat of the non-dominant claw. Only on Portlandia, perhaps.

                    1. re: trufflehound

                      Knuckle, claws, tail for me, too.

                      I eat them in that order.

                      Plus I suck out the goodness in the legs.

                  2. I would take Dungenesse crab over lobster every single day.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jpc8015

                      Because I have access to D. crab, I'd take the lobster. Anyway it's served.