It’s been a while.
Given the long absence we should review why I do this blog. I feel this is necessary, because this post is going to be like 75% off-topic. The next post is going to be basically 100% off topic. Please forgive me. I need to get this stuff out there so I can go back to regular posting.
When I stumble across a random/weird/interesting item in the supermarket I buy it and eat it and take to Tumblr to let you know how it turns out, so that when you run across said item, you can be like, “no, I already know that sucks just by looking at it but also, Lauren told me it sucks so no need to double check.”
I’m going to make an exception with this post. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that at least 90% of this blog readership has likely never encountered a lobster pretzel, and likely never will. I also need to admit that the lobster pretzel is not something I immediately eyed and said “ooh, I wanna try that.” As a matter of fact, it looks pretty disgusting. But every week, as I walk past the shellfish bin at Wegmans and check whether there is any fresh lump crab meat without a weird sauce, there is something else there. That something else is the lobster pretzel.
I glance at the lobster pretzel out of the corner of my eye and it taunts me with its weirdness. And every so often, it also messes with my mind, because sometimes (but rarely) there are lobster rolls right next to the lobster pretzels. Those lobster rolls, SUPERMARKET LOBSTER ROLLS, are $10 a piece. The lobster pretzel is $12. My couponing mind does mental cartwheels at the mere sight of it. The lobster pretzel appears to be 8 times larger than the lobster roll, and costs only $2 more.
For those of you who don’t live in the northeast and have never encountered supermarket lobster rolls…they are an interesting thing. Like all prepared food at a supermarket, they are terrible. But they are also just bread and lobster, so they can’t be THAT BAD. If you have a hankering for lobster in the late summer/fall, you can get two for $10 at a normal supermarket and it’s actually way easier than the total shitshow that is dealing with an actual lobster and buying a pack of like 12 hot dog buns for one or two sandwiches. But $10 for a single lobster roll, at Wegmans, is just outrageous. Even by my standards. So when I glance over at the lobster pretzel, which appears to be decked out with several hunks of claw meat, it grabs my eye.
My wife catches me staring at the lobster pretzel pretty much every week. “Just buy it.” She says. “You want to try it, just buy it.”
“I don’t want to buy it though. I just want to know how much lobster is in it.”
“So buy it and weigh how much lobster is in it!”
And here we are.
Let’s start with the lobster roll.
The lobster roll (look how sad it is) is served on a proper split-top roll that was admirably buttered and toasted probably a few days ago. It is 61g of 100% claw meat, minimally dressed (if dressed at all) with some scallions and shit. At the end of the weigh-in, I ate it. I can’t complain about it. I respect it. I would never buy it again.
Now on to the main event: the lobster pretzel. The lobster pretzel is served, you guessed it, on a pretzel. After I pulled the wrapper out of the trash to recheck the ingredients, I also noticed it was supposed to be cooked but WTF if I’m going to go to the trouble of cooking a freaking lobster pretzel I’d probably just cook a real lobster. Get real, Wegmans.
The lobster pretzel has a LOT of gooey bullshit. I mean, when you are standing over it and obsessively staring at it once a week, it looks like it has a bunch of claws and other incantations of real lobster meat, but what it really has is torn up damaged claws that were obviously the lobster roll rejects, swimming in a monstrous mound of what can only be described as full-fat dairy caulking. This is not the “lobster salad” you have grown to love and perhaps be wary of; this is “lobster dip,” with such ingredients as cream cheese, mayonnaise, and mozzarella cheese. Here is the full list:
This was a real curveball for my experiment, and I did my best to weigh the lobster and the bullshit separately, but it was challenging. I came up with 71g of tore up lobster meat…
and 135 g of cheesey bullshit peppered with lobster shreds.
I tasted both, ate neither. Take a closer look. So gross.
God, this was disappointing. Oh – did you want to see the pretzel?
Now, let’s get real. Both of these things are super gross and even though I had already blown $22 on them I would never torture myself by allowing these to be my special weekend takeout dinner. No way, no how. Every experiment needs a control, and for my control I selected the lobster Caesar salad from Legal Seafood.
Both my wife and I are huge fans and regular consumers of the Legal crab Caesar because it is much cheaper and equally delicious, but this was a welcome treat. I freaking love this salad.
The lobster Caesar had sweet, fresh lobster salad in the form of big fatty claws and it was delicious. The lobster Caesar salad had 163 g of lobster salad. I’ll estimate it was 143-148 g of lobster and 15-20 g (1.5-2 tbsp) of mayo or whatever.
So what’s the best deal?
Wegmans Lobster Roll: $10 for 61g of lobster (bonus bun): 16.3 cents per gram
Wegmans Lobster Pretzel: $12 for 71 g of lobster (bonus pretzel and miscellaneous cheese products): 16.9 cents per gram
Legal Seafoods Lobster Caesar Salad: $20 to add ~147 g of lobster (Caesar salad underneath priced at an extra $6.95): 16.3 cents per gram for the lobster straight up / 18.3 cents per gram for the whole shebang including UNLIMITED FREE ROLLS.
So there you have it. I was wrong. The lobster pretzel is not a backdoor access point for bargain-basement lobster. It is actually as disgusting as it looks, and slightly more expensive to boot. So disgusting, in fact, that not only did I not eat it, but then I tried to give it to the cats and they both sniffed it and walked away. These two cats are literally garbage disposals.
The lobster pretzel is not good. It is not right. You shouldn’t buy it. I didn’t need to tell you that. You may very well go your entire life without needing to have been told that. But daggum it, now you know. In case you should ever encounter a lobster pretzel in your daily travels, I have given you all the advice you need. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching. Avoid lobster pretzels. Instead, treat yo’ self to a $30 salad because it’s freaking delicious.
That felt so good. Now that I have the lobster pretzel off of my computer, deleted from my camera, erased from my brain, and out of my life forever, I promise to maybe post more soon.