When Maine lobster season rolls around — late June through October — true New Englanders don't even bother with the roll part of lobster rolls. They eat the fresh-molted lobsters straight from the sea, tossed into a pot of boiling water, sucking them down with a side of drawn, unsalted butter.
Still, the New England lobster roll remains the ultimate seafood sandwich, as much a summer staple as corn on the cob, watermelon, and backyard BBQs. And all Northeastern natives hold this truth to be self-evident: There is no ingredient more important in a lobster roll aside from the lobster itself. Call it what you like, be it New England-style, Maine-style — even Connecticut-style. It still comes down to just one ingredient.
Sure, some argue it should be served on a classic split-top hot dog bun toasted and buttered, while others go all avant-garde with rich brioche buns. Then there's the question of whether it should be served cold or hot. While the Connecticut style calls for butter-sautéed lobster and nothing else, the better part of New England defines a lobster roll as a chilled seafood salad — just a touch of mayonnaise.