The MOST Expensive Lobster Roll? Maine Lobster Roll with Fresh White Truffle

Last Updated: March 6, 2024By
Fresh White Truffle Lobster Roll Maine - New England Innkeeper

Fresh White Truffle on a Maine Lobster Roll?

Did I end up, somehow, creating the most expensive lobster roll in the world?

Yes. This is a thing that actually happened. This is the origin-story behind how Eric J. Taubert, a humble Maine innkeeper living in a historic home in Ogunquit, Maine, deviously dabbled with culinary alchemy and came to devise the world’s most unexpected, most indulgent, most audacious, and (yes) most EXPENSIVE lobster roll ever eaten.

Let me start with this: My “authentic” lobster credentials are solid.

You can ask anyone. When it comes to lobster rolls, I (almost) always fall into the purist camp.

I’ve been cracking my way through lobster shells at newspaper-strewn tables across Cape Cod and Maine since before I could tie my shoes.

I didn’t come from one of those claw-and-tail-then-discard-everything-else families; I emerged from a long line of relatives who have always taken great pride in picking even the most hidden and isolated morsels of succulent crustacean goodness from the deepest and most hard to reach recesses within the oft-dismissed lobster bodies.

And today, with four-plus decades of rustic New England lobster-shack dining experience guiding my culinary cravings, I know what I want in a lobster roll. Minimalism.

No bed of lettuce. No diced celery. No minced chives. No pea shoots or microgreens. No scallions. No citrus-infused herb mayo. And please no tarragon aioli.

All I want is for the glorious truth of the authentic lobster to shine through, primarily unadorned.

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VIDEO: How To Slice A Truffle

So, let’s talk about my serendipitous journey towards creating the world’s most EXPENSIVE Lobster Roll – covered with Fresh White Truffle…

When it comes to lobster rolls, I’ll be the first to admit: Simplicity is key. Incredibly fresh lobster meat, hand-picked from lively specimens recently plucked from nearby waters; and still retaining some of the subtle terroir of their home environment. A light coating of regular mayonnaise. A buttered and griddled white bun. Done. Perfect.

At the same time, I’m not completely close-minded. I’m willing to extend an olive branch to our friends in Connecticut and grant them a pass on their warm-buttered version of the world’s best sandwich.

Hell, I even have a SERIOUS soft spot for Eventide Oyster Co.’s (sometimes controversial) Brown Butter Lobster Roll served on a pillowy-soft, steamed Bao Bun.

Brown Butter Lobster Roll; Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, Maine

Brown Butter Lobster Roll; Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, Maine

And I’m not ashamed to admit that it was probably these ‘gateway’ transgressions of tolerance that were responsible for me breaking my own lobster roll boundaries and opening the door to to the sublime introduction of an unconventional lobster roll ingredient-pairing that I now can’t get out of my mind…

My thoughts first began wandering during a Thanksgiving visit to Italy. An empty, off-hour ristorante nestled among the narrow and winding streets in one of the oldest parts of Rome. A server with no English and no awareness of our American holiday. But America’s Thanksgiving just so happens to fall smack-dab into the prime center of Italy’s relatively short white truffle season (October through January). As you could imagine, there were white Alba truffles on the menu.

As I sat over 4,000 miles from my New England home, savoring the heavenly (and earthy) flavors of the Tagliolini al Tartufo Bianco before me, I began thinking about the Thanksgiving dishes I normally enjoy back in the states. Cider-brined turkey. Mashed potatoes. Mapled buttercup squash. Lobster.

Yes, we always have some variation of lobster included as part of our Thanksgiving dinner, a tip of the homage hat to one of the major dishes likely served at the first Thanksgiving in 1621. But, more important, I couldn’t help but furiously wonder how Maine lobster would taste if paired with the fresh white truffles I was currently consuming.

That thought stayed with me for a couple years. Until this Christmas holiday season, when my wife surprised me with a gift of fresh white truffles from Urbani Truffles.

Fresh White (and Black) Truffles + Some Truffle Chocolates From Urbani Truffles

Fresh White (and Black) Truffles + Some Truffle Chocolates From Urbani Truffles

I immediately seized upon the opportunity to introduce two of my most favorite flavors in the world: lobster and white truffle.

After Googling to excess – and uncovering lots of evidence of people adorning lobster dishes with the far-more-readily-available white truffle oils and white truffle salts – but little-to-no photographic imagery of actual fresh white truffle cohabitating plate surfaces alongside Maine lobster; my mind was made up: Maine Lobster Rolls with Fresh White Truffle, it would be!

Mind you, this wasn’t some type of tentative foray, or a tiny bite to see how it might work out. I went all in.

I went to my pantry, found my favorite (only) truffle slicer and protective hand glove (as seen here below) and went straight to work. Truffle Tip: Do not order fresh truffles unless you already have a truffle slicer in your possession. You do not want to be trying to cut expensive truffles with a knife – and, chances are, your neighborhood store won’t carry a truffle slicer.

The End Result: Two lobster rolls lovingly crafted of half pound of fresh-picked Maine lobster (each), served coated in hot butter atop an equally buttered and griddled white bun, and finished with a generous helping of thinly-shaved fresh white truffle. These were something more than lobster rolls. They were things of beauty. Thoughts turned reality. Food fit for gods. Exalted. Noble. Awe-inspiring. Sublime. And, admittedly, stupidly expensive.

Maine Lobster Roll with Fresh White Truffle - Invented by Eric J. Taubert

Maine Lobster Roll with Fresh White Truffle - Invented by Eric J. Taubert

One large bite was all it took to confirm my initial hypothesis: Maine Lobster and Fresh White Truffle are gustatory soulmates; ingredients with the ability to elevate each other in a seamless symbiotic perfection. Like searching the ocean and sky for an invisible horizon on a perfect day, so was the pleasurable task of attempting to ascertain where the truffle ended and the lobster began in each mindfully-savored bite.

Now, I’m not saying this is an every day, or even every year, lobster offering. Maybe it’s not even something for you – but, for me it amounted to something special. Fleeting. Ephemeral. Not a summer lobster roll; but a deliciously festive (and unforgettable) ultra-luxury lobster roll perfect for illuminating the darkest days of the winter solstice. Serving as a decadent treat divinely capable of delivering another facet of transcendent holiday cheer to my yuletide observances.

Now that the experience has been had and documented, I find myself returned to the simple world of the purist, unadorned lobster rolls from whence I originally came. Not a bad place to bide my time — at least until these exotic ingredients unexpectedly align for me once again.

And, in the interim, you’re all left to what you will with the information in this cautionary tale. Love it. Hate it. Dream about it. Argue about it. Laugh about how much I spent on it. Build it for yourself. But, trust me: definitely don’t knock it until you try it…

Disclaimer: Information is harvested (at time of publication) from publicly available sources and is deemed reliable at time of original publication, but not guaranteed – any editorial content is solely opinion-based – status of businesses, availability, prices, dates, times, details, and etc are subject to change or withdrawal at any time and for any reason. All dimensions are approximate and have not been verified. All data should be independently verified from official sources.

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