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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thoughts On The Lobster Roll

Color me “land-locked provincial”. I was skimming the news on the World Wide Web and came across a photograph that caught my eye. It was a picture of something called a “Lobster Roll”. It looked like vomit on a bun. Or at least what I imagine vomit would look like on a bun, if one were fortunate enough to have a bun on-hand and the accuracy and fortitude to fill the bun with one’s vomit.



 
The Lobster Roll (AKA, Vomit on a Bun)

The thing I have noticed about vomit and puking in general is that I have rarely had any kind of real accuracy and am usually lucky to hit the toilet bowl at all. Given its unpredictability and wide range of consistency, I recommend taking on this task out of doors whenever possible – preferably not on your own property. Car dealerships, public swimming pools and any house of worship can make for colorful and chaotic results. The back seat of a police car, Chuck E. Cheese or in a movie theater on a first date are excellent examples of places to avoid the upchuck.

But, surprisingly - though it is a fine subject - vomit is not the reason I am writing today.

I find myself intrigued with the Lobster Roll. I probably do not need to capitalize “Lobster Roll”, but I feel that whether for good or bad, the Lobster Roll needs to be referred to in a manner that mirrors my intrigue. Let me begin by stating up front that “intrigue” does not necessarily mean “like” or “enjoy”. Nor do capital letters. I am not a big fan of seafood in general, nor of the sea as a thing. I find it untrustworthy and similarly have a well-documented distrust of that which lives beneath its pretty waves. In fact, I would suggest that I enjoy looking at the sea’s pretty waves from the comfort of a shaded lounge chair on its beach way more than wading into it and instantly becoming part of its food chain. The non-gilled, floundering-around, wishing I was back on shore part of the food chain.

That said, lobster is one of the few foods snatched from the sea that I do enjoy. Lobster, crab and shrimp, which I understand to be the shit-eaters of the sea. So, though I enjoy the taste of shrimp, I do my best to avoid shit-eaters of any species whenever possible. On a side note, I dislike those who give me stink-eye when I tell them I don’t like seafood in general and canned tuna in particular. I refuse to eat anything that smells like cat food. I like to tell people that eat tuna that tuna eats shrimp, which are shit-eaters – it doesn’t usually stop them from enjoying their tuna, but it gives me the chance to have the last word, since I make it a point to mention this when their mouth is full of tuna and then walk away, and that counts for something. Anyhow, as far as the stink-eye, I have taken to claiming I am allergic to seafood instead of saying that I dislike it. People are less likely to judge my allergies than my taste and it has proven to be an adequate method of avoiding the seafood stink-eye.

Having caught the intrigue and all, I did a little research on the Lobster Roll. Apparently, the bun is buttered and toasted, which is usually a fine start to something delicious. Then, the lobster meat, which is cooked and tossed with mayonnaise, with the possible addition of diced celery or scallions (this according to Wikipedia) is served on the warm roll, much like a chicken salad, or the dreaded tuna salad sandwich. It sounds okay, I suppose, but in the valued opinion of a trusted colleague, eating lobster in such a fashion is akin to having “the Queen of England eat off the floor”. Well-stated, I thought.

I have put some thought into all the foods that would be acceptable to jazz up and serve on a buttered, toasted bun. Here are my findings (restaurateurs, feel free to post this in your kitchens):

ACCEPTABLE FOODS FOR JAZZING UP AND SERVING ON A BUTTERED, TOASTED BUN:

• Chicken – chicken is the blank-slate of the non-vegetarian food-groups. It can be diced, shredded, baked, grilled, fried, mixed with a variety of items, such as hot-sauce, mayo, mustard and other condiments, jerked, pounded, ground or oiled. And in any of these scenarios, a buttered, toasted bun is only going to enhance the meal.

• Beef – See above. Same scenario, only more manly.

With this understood, let’s leave all the other stuff alone – I don’t think there is any reason to over-complicate any food that holds its own without any dandying or dolling-up. Here is another good rule to live by (restaurateurs, feel free to post this in your kitchens):

IF YOU CAN BAKE IT, SAUTEE’ IT, GRILL IT OR DEEP-FRY IT WITHOUT DOING MUCH MORE THAN ADDING GARLIC, SALT OR PEPPER AND IT STILL TASTES GOOD AND CAN BE SERVED WITH POTATOES, LEAVE IT THE FUCK ALONE.

The perfect food to illustrate this fact (albeit from the untrustworthy sea) is the lobster. Keep the bun for a hot dog slathered in cheese, chili and mustard and give me some lobster with some of that artery-busting melted butter and a bib-napkin, thanks.

As another side note, can we make leaveitthefuckalone one word? In most situations where the phrase is used, it might prove useful to not have to waste the extra time putting in the spaces. Lives could be saved and it could then probably be sneaked in as a Jeopardy question.

Remember to vote Jerry Ford for King in the upcoming elections. It’s a write-in vote and apparently I do not have the qualifications to run for Pope.

Thank you.

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