Nobody, it seems, is ambivalent about lobster. You either love it or hate it. Here in New England, though, the love far outweighs the hate. And those of us who love lobster just can’t get enough. That being the case, plenty of businesses have found creative ways to add the world’s favorite crustacean to their offerings. Here are some of the strangest ways to eat lobster in New England. (A word to the wise: Some of these ideas seem a bit more palatable to us than others.)
The Strangest Ways to Eat Lobster
If you were forced to choose a food that New Englanders love more than lobster, pizza would seem a good choice. From barbecue chicken to grapes to Fritos, if you can think of it, there’s a decent chance that someone has tried putting it on a pizza. Lobster pizza has become popular enough to merit a spot on the menu at quite a few restaurants that get creative with their pies. As a starting point, check out the cold picked lobster pizza at Cornerstone in Ogunquit, Maine.
Lobster Ice Cream
In Bar Harbor, Maine, Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium has been selling lobster ice cream for years. But this isn’t a “lobster-inspired” flavor, like Gifford’s Lobster Tracks ice cream (vanilla ice cream with lobster-colored chocolate cups). At Ben and Bill’s, real chunks of fresh Maine lobster are cooked in butter, then folded into a butter-flavored ice cream.
From lobster omelets to lobster Benedicts, it’s common to find lobster worked into the earlier meals of the day at New England eateries. The Porthole in Portland, Maine, serves an omelet called the Casco Bay — loaded with both lobster and crab as well as tomatoes, arugula, goat cheese, and lemon hollandaise — that has long been a favorite.
At the Holy Donut in Portland, owner Leigh Kellis has packed a pair of Maine favorites into a single offering by combining a potato doughnut with fresh lobster meat. The result seems like an upscale cousin of a jelly doughnut, with a more savory dough, and lobster where the jelly would be. (Wow.) Not to be outdone, Kane’s Donuts in Boston has occasionally offered a lobster salad sandwich in which buttery brioche doughnuts serve as the bread.
While the Rock Lobster has been a popular cocktail for years, there is no actual lobster involved. Such is not the case with the seasonal Lobstertini at the Lobster Shanty in Salem, Massachusetts, made with “lobster essence” and served with a lobster claw gripping the rim of the glass. If martinis aren’t your style, Nantucket’s White Elephant hotel serves a bloody mary with what basically amounts to a full lobster on a skewer.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Lobster loves dairy, and vice versa, so pairing up this crustacean with the classic pasta comfort food is kind of a no-brainer. Lobster mac and cheese has caught on in many places, but it remains a wondrous revelation when it is done just right. At Five Fifty-Five in Portland, chef Steve Corry serves a truffled lobster mac and cheese that sets the standard. Corry also has a lobster corn dog recipe that moves a lowbrow classic to the top of the menu. Want to make your own at home. Our Lobster Mac & Cheese recipe is a reader-favorite.
Still can’t get enough lobster? Be on the lookout for such creations as lobster BLTs, lobster potato chips, and lobster enchiladas. Or, if you prefer things a bit more old-school, check out these lobster pie and lobster casserole recipes from Yankee.
Have a suggestion for our list of the strangest ways to eat lobster in New England? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was first published in 2018 and has been updated.