'religious restrictions' on Serious Eats

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

Fish-Fry Fellowship

Yesterday marked the start of the Lenten Season, during which Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays to honor the Passion of Christ. Seafood is exempted and so in many communities with large Catholic populations, parish fish frys on Lenten Fridays have become a tradition. Nicki Britton of the Houston Chronicle visited parish fish frys in the area and talked to the people that run them: "The fries "build relationships,'' she says. "Many of the (volunteers) are retired. They may not have an organized plan for every day. But they know that every Friday for six weeks, they will be coming together and sharing an experience.'' The recipes for fried fish, coleslaw and potato salad come in two scales each:... More

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