Lobster Mac and Cheese: The end of civilization as we know it? I think so.

…the combination diminishes the components. The whole is actually less than the sum of its parts.

I’m not necessarily opposed to gilding the lily. In truth I enjoy a gold covered stamen as much as the next slattern. Neither am I in any way against indulging in a little wretched excess from time to time. A third round of Singapore Slings before dinner? Serve ’em up! Deep fat fried cheesecake? I’m game if y’all are, Paula. Pepperoni AND sausage on that double cheese pie? Why the hell not? As long as I’ve got a full six pack in the fridge it’s all good.

Courtesy the Food Network. Ewww.

Courtesy the Food Network. Ewww.

No, I’m no stranger to overindulgence, even gluttony, but even so one has to draw the line somewhere, and for me it’s the addition of lobster to macaroni and cheese or mac and cheese to lobster, depending on your point of view. It’s just too much of a good thing, and though I tend to regard moderation as the province of Gwyneth Paltrow, sissies, milquetoasts and Proust scholars, in this I’m with the mung beaners. Lobster simply has no place in the all-American favorite.

Here’s why: With macaroni and cheese you always run the risk of leaving the table with a stodge ball lodged uncomfortably amidships. Because the dish is delicious in the extreme, more often than not the temptation is to overindulge. It doesn’t matter how much steamed asparagus, undressed green salad or ratatouille comes with it, you will almost certainly waddle away from the table, then collapse on the nearest horizontal surface only to awake two hours later, sweaty, parched and numb from the waist down because the waistband of your pants has cut off all circulation to the lower extremities. The same holds true for meals involving the noble crustacean. So mind bogglingly delicious is the flesh of the bottom feeder, especially when dipped in melted butter, it is only the labor involved in extracting it and the enormous expense of ordering up a second one that keep the delirious diner from taxing the digestive system beyond its limits. When the two are combined, no good can come of it.

"Here's mine. Your LobMacChee is out back in the trough." Via housebeautiful.com.

“Here’s mine. Your LobMacChee is out back in the trough.”
Via housebeautiful.com.

That LobMacChee is much of a muchness is not sufficient for condemnation, of course. Many things are excessive and still manage to stay on my menu — hot fudge brownie sundaes, double bacon bleu cheeseburgers, champagne cocktails and PopTarts for breakfast, to name but a few. No, the reason I object to this new taste sensation is that the combination diminishes the components. The whole is actually less than the sum of its parts. The cheese overpowers the lobster, the lobster distracts from the mac and cheese, and neither shines. And that, quite simply, is why I view the dish as a crime against the palate.

Lobster mac and cheese occasionally turns up among restaurant offerings in the metropolis; however, in the eateries of Downeast Maine it is now apparently de rigeur, as common as muffin tops, missing teeth and limp cole slaw. In fact, it appeared on every menu I perused on my recent trip north to open up the Slattern family summer palace on scenic Chum Bucket Lane. I can only assume the plague is spreading, so consider yourselves warned.

Still not convinced? Well, different streaks, as the saying goes. If you must, here’s a recipe for lobster macaroni and cheese from none other than Her Bang-cellency, the one and only Ina Garten. What else makes sense?

About WSW

Writer, wife, mother. Toiler in the bottomless, black, soul-sucking coal mine of domestic life. Thank God for the portable bar.

Posted on May 30, 2013, in Commentary, Dinner and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Hey we’re Americans and we live for over-indulgence!!! Don’t restrict us!!!

    That said I’m not going to disagree with you here because why waste a good lobster by tossing it together with cheap pasta and orange sauce. Put it on pizza instead: http://sports-glutton.com/2011/09/14/lobster-roasted-corn-grilled-pizza-recipe/ 🙂

    btw love the new header and apologies for being a month late to the party.

    • Always glad to have you, even fashionably late. I’m going to take the lobster pizza recipe on the strength of your recommendation, even though I’m a purist, some might say hidebound even, when it comes to the big red bugs.

  2. I’m fascinated by the idea, but in the end I must agree with you. Lobster (especially out here on the West Coast where they ignore all but the tails of the crustacean and throw the rest in the bin with the discarded fat molecules of the stars) is too much of a rare treat to be tossed carelessly in a vat of mac and cheese.

  3. The Judgmental Cook

    What about Mac & Cheese with Salmon and Green Chile? A New Mexico fav and personal indulgence. 🙂

    • I see no reason to object. I have tasted many versions of this — mostly in the fettucini alfredo family — and enjoyed every bite. Thanks for weighing in!

  4. Jeepers. This is a concept that should have been left on a hillside at birth…

  5. I was going to add that Ina did a Lobster Mac and cheese, but you had already done your research. It’s completely pointless, especially given the cost of lobster over here, not sure about over there? But it has such a sweet flavour, why would you mask all that in cheese? Mac and cheese is great, lobster is great, but not together.

    As much as I love Ina, she is wearing me down. Watching her new series, she sits down to bridge with her pals “What do you think of my new library?” She asks. I think it was only full of her books anyway.

    I mean, do I go inviting the neighbourhood around and bragging when I have bought a £12.99 bookshelf from Argos? No – so some humility please Ina.

    • If you ever do get the urge to invite me over, I will absolutely fawn over your bookshelf. You know, I used to place Ina solidly second behind Martha, but she is making a very strong play for number one status. As I may have mentioned, Joe, it’s the BANGS (or fringe if you prefer).

  6. I would never add lobster to my mac and cheese because that’s just plain sacrilege, like adding ice to brandy in my book. However, I am guilty of adding tuna and hot sauce, I have to say it’s one of my favourites!

  7. unfetteredbs

    Mac n cheese should only be eaten with gobs of ketchup.

  8. mac ‘n cheese is SOO American white people. Get me a bug on a stick anytime. Less than half the calories and a cheap meal, too.

    • Aw, come one! Every soul food restaurant in the civilized world offers mac and cheese! Accessorize it with some collards and spoon bread, and you’ve got yourself an ethnic banquet, sister.

  9. Look I cooked for a bunch of years. Apparently I got out in time. Mac and cheese belong with mom on rainy days or by yourself on days it’s the only thing in the pantry. Adding lobster is an affectation of Food Network celebrities (Ina you know who you are) who think they impress the audience by dazzling the crap out of them with ideas that belong in high priced restaurants where people with money who don’t know better go to eat. Stay home learn to make it either from scratch or from a good mix. If you like it, that’s all that counts.

  1. Pingback: Homemade Mac & Cheese Recipe

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