I’m going to defend celery, but only a little bit. …

Comment on Lobster Roll Recipe by Elsa.

I’m going to defend celery, but only a little bit. That is, I’m only going to defend celery a little bit, and I’m only going to defend a little bit of celery.

I agree that a lobster salad (or any other kind of protein salad: egg salad, shrimp salad, crab salad, whatever) shouldn’t taste of celery. Last week, I made enough lobster salad to overstuff, say, ten lobster rolls. I included maybe a palmful of celery, destringed and minced fine enough to distribute almost invisibly throughout the lobster salad. It didn’t pervade the salad with that distinctive celery flavor but did provide an air of light, fresh, vegetal flavor and — even more importantly — it gave a very slight crispness to every bite.

I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a potato-chip-and-lobster roll (and I agree that in some nostalgic favorites, the potato chips are NOT OPTIONAL), but if someone offered me a potato-chip-and-lobster rolls sandwich and described it as “a classic Maine lobster roll,” I’d raise my eyebrows. And maybe my voice.

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Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the junk food blog "Spork & Barrel," and "Brocavore," a blog about food trucks and street food culture. His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, Eat Rockland, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.