If not Maine, then where? Where will the lobster roll call home? Early in October, a bill was put forward to make the lobster roll Maine’s official state sandwich, but as of recently that bill did not move forward, reports Maine Public.
Picking a state sandwich is surprisingly more controversial than I would have thought. (Then again, no political process can ever be simple, so why am I even surprised?) The first complication for this seemingly simple bill is that the lobster roll wasn’t actually invented in Maine. Fun fact: it actually originated in Connecticut. On top of that, there’s a different sandwich that might be more suitable, since it was actually invented in Maine. The Italian sandwich was created by a man named Giovanni Amato who had been selling his rolls in Maine for more than 20 years before the first lobster roll was even a glimmer in anyone’s eye, reports Bangor Daily News.
When I think of lobster, the phrase “Maine lobster” comes to mind, which shows where my loyalties lie in this debate. I will admit the origin stories of the lobster roll and the Italian sandwich do give some pause, but that ended when I saw what other official state foods Maine has. Food and Wine explains that the state of Maine has already named these official foods:
- State berry: wild blueberry
- State dessert: blueberry pie made with wild blueberries
- State treat: the Whoopie pie
- State soda: Moxie
- State sweetener: Maine maple syrup
With all these official state food items, why not just add the priciest item to the list? Not to mention that Maine already has an official state crustacean. Any guesses as to what it is? Hint: it ain’t shrimp. At this point you’re probably thinking, “Well, if it was invented in Connecticut, why doesn’t Connecticut claim it?” Good question. Here’s your answer: I don’t think they want it. Recall that back in May, Connecticut tried to make pizza the official state food.
Speaking from a completely Midwesterner point of view, this is a no-brainer to me. But what do I know about lobster?