History Stories


Two Paths to Lobster Roll Perfection (Video)

Host Ian Knauer explores the history of lobster and whips up two takes on the traditional lobster roll.

In this exclusive Hungry History video, host Ian Knauer explores the history of lobster, from its humble origins as a lowbrow staple to its current status as a sought-after delicacy. He then whips up two takes on the traditional—and delicious—lobster roll. Check it out, then scroll down to try both recipes at home.

1 stick butter
2 split-top hot dog rolls
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup finely chopped celery with leaves
4 cups lobster meat
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bibb lettuce leaves

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Brush insides of hot dog rolls with some of the butter, then lightly brown in a skillet over medium heat.

In a large bowl, add lobster meat, tarragon, lemon juice and remaining warm butter.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Tuck 2 lettuce leaves into each roll and stuff with lobster filling.


3/4 cup finely chopped celery with leaves
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice; more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) cooked lobster meat
6 hot dog rolls, preferably New England-style split-top rolls

In a large bowl, stir the celery, mayonnaise, chives, tarragon, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in the lobster meat and season to taste with more lemon, salt and pepper.

Toast hot dog buns under a broiler, 1 minute per side.  Spoon the lobster salad into the rolls and serve.

About the Host: After spending close to a decade in the test kitchens of Gourmet Magazine, where he developed recipes and co-hosted “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” and “Adventures with Ruth,” Ian poured his love of food back into his family’s Pennsylvania farm. There, he grows his own vegetables and cooks everything from scratch. He recently released his first cookbook, “The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food.” He also writes for several publications and contributes to Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats.”

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