Toma Nota

The Classic New England Summer Lunch

It is a beautiful day in the town of Ellsworth, Maine, USA. The clear blue sky, a light breeze rustling the leaves and carrying the fresh scent of the Atlantic Ocean…it’s a perfect day for lobster.

You go to a small shop managed by a tiny old woman who has worked here for her entire life. You enter the shop and smell fish and shellfish, caught this morning, by the fishermen of this very town who labor as their grandfathers and great-grandfathers have. You pick three perfect lobsters, and the daughter of the owner pulls them out of the tank for your inspection before, without any kind of ceremony, putting them in a brown paper bag, which she then wraps in two plastic bags. You pay around $7.99 for each lobster, depending on the exact weight and you return home with the three creatures rustling next to you in the car.

The preparation of lobster is gloriously simple: fill a large pot with water and place the lobsters inside, and then bring the pot to boil. After about 8 minutes the lobsters are done. This quick method prepares a delicious meal on its own, tear open the lobster with your hands and a nutcracker, and dip each gratifying piece in clarified butter before savoring the sweet taste of the fresh meat. For something a bit more accessible, take on the task of shelling each animal and combining the cooled meat of the body, tail, and claws (the best part!) into a big bowl with a few scoops of mayonnaise, to make a simple salad that can then be spooned out into hot dog buns and served with pickles and potato chips. A classic New England summer lunch to be eaten at a picnic bench with friends and family, enjoying the ease and prosperity of the season that is shared by both tourists and locals.