It’s a subliminal message for most of us, but many fast food restaurants roll out limited-time promotions featuring fish this time of year as a meatless nod to the Lenten season.
Among the offers right now, Wendy’s is working its Premium Cod Fillet Sandwich, Arby’s has the Reel Big Fillet going on, and McDonald’s recently launched those scary sounding Fish McBites.
It’s no brag, just a fact that I rarely eat fast food, except for the road trip ritual Chick-fil-A stop. But as much as I favor slow food, I’m intrigued by fast food product development and the weird science behind creating cravings for manufactured stuff like the McRib.
So post Fat Tuesday, in need of sustenance while running some errands, I stopped at a Wendy’s to give the Premium Cod a try. Sure enough, all signs pointed to the big fish, though most people in line seemed to be having major burger attacks.
After handing over $3.39, plus tax, and standing around for what seemed like a very long time for fast food, I was handed a sack with a paper-wrapped fillet inside. Fleeing the burger-eaters, I took my 3.4-ounce, 510 calorie catch back to my vehicle for gentle inspection and rough devouring.
Wendy’s tasting notes: “100% North Pacific Cod hand-cut fillet, lightly breaded in a crispy panko crumb coating topped off with fresh crisp lettuce and creamy tartar sauce… a fish fillet larger than its leading competitor.”
My tasting notes: “Just out of the fryer, and so hot it burned the tip of my tongue. The panko breading is indeed crunchy but the gleaming white fish inside seems almost artificially flaky. Definitely gives me visions of weird science. Fresh, slightly gummy bun, crisp iceberg lettuce, smooth, not very tangy mayo-based sauce. Overall, not terrible. But after one fillet, I won’t be craving another this season.”
How about you? Tried Wendy’s Premium Cod Fillet, Arby’s Reel Big Fillet, or McDonald’s Fish McBites. Are any crave-worthy?
By Bob Townsend, Food and More blog