'Filet-O-Fish' on Serious Eats

The Fish in Filet-O-Fish Sandwiches at Risk

[Photograph: Robyn Lee] Most deep-fried fish sandwiches from chain restaurants--including Denny's, Long John Silver's, and most certainly McDonald's--use hoki, a pretty ugly, bug-eyed fish found deep in the waters around New Zealand. But that may change, according to this New York Times piece. Drops in hoki spawn and damaged ecosystems have inspired the World Wildlife Fund to fight for reduced hoki fishing. In response, the New Zealand ministry has cut the allowable commercial catch quota from roughly 275,000 tons to 100,000 tons, which means McDonald's had to shrink its usual consumption of about 15 million pounds of hoki to 11 million pounds per year. "It could go up if the quota goes up," said McDonald's senior director of global... More

Snapshots from the UK: McDonald's Fish Finger Happy Meal

I'll be the first to admit, British food isn't something I miss on a large-scale basis. Bloody black pudding, goopy bubble and squeak—not for me. I'd rather have a big slice of New York pizza. But, there are some English foods that I pine for, and the "Fish Finger" (that's fish sticks to we Americans) Happy Meal at McDonald's is one of the few. I'm always entranced by McDonald's foreign options. I've had Insalate Caprese in Rome and Dulce de Leche soft serve in Buenos Aires, but while in grad school in the U.K., the 2-quid, 500-calorie (including fries and a diet soda) Fish Finger Happy Meal became my library lunch of choice. Somehow, it just feels more wholesome to... More

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish: Yea or Nay?

Yesterday I was sent on an AHT mission to try all the cheeseburgers at McDonald's, a task I was not particularly excited for since I don't like McDonald's burgers. But there is one thing I do like at McDonald's: the Filet-O-Fish sandwich. While I used to eat them regularly as a kid, up until yesterday I probably hadn't eaten one in nearly ten years. "What's in a Filet-O-Fish?" asked my co-worker Raphael. "You've never had one? It's a sandwich with a fried fish patty, cheese, and tartar sauce." "Cheese? There's cheese in it?" Raphael's face screwed up in disgust after I rattled off the sandwich's main components. He was not loving it. His lack of love was so intense... More

Lent's Own Fast Food Sandwich

"In 1962, Lou Groen was desperate to save his floundering hamburger restaurant, the first McDonald's in the Cincinnati area. His problem: His clientele was heavily Roman Catholic. In those days, most Catholics abstained from meat every Friday, as well as during Lent, the 40-day period of repentance that begins this week with Ash Wednesday. His solution: He created the Filet-O-Fish -- a sandwich that saved his restaurant and eventually would be consumed at a rate of 300 million a year." I've never really given much thought to the classic items on the McDonald's menu so it was a trip to discover that the Filet-O-Fish was invented by a franchise owner and not headquarters--the same is true of the Big Mac... More

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