Hey everyone, it's the time of year when many of us, according to our religion, are required to make a sacrifice. Lent is upon us, and very often we observe this 40 day period of self-denial by giving up meat. Not coincidentally, the radio and TV airways have been flooded with McDonald's and Wendy's commercials, with both mega chains touting their fried fish sandwiches.
McDonald's, for instance, is offering this deal of deals: two filet o' fish sandwiches for three dollars. Sound tempting? Well, friends, before you do anything rash, take a closer look at what's actually between those two buns.
They start with a crispy (soggy), golden brown filet (pressed square) of fried fish (fishlike food product). Then comes a slice of melted American cheese (again, cheeselike, but I'm splitting hairs). Then, on top of this harmony of imitation flavors, is a sauce. This sauce is off-white in color, but more than just mayonnaise. It's chunky, but not quite thousand island. Think you're safe? Think again.
It's tartar sauce.
That's right. This isn't about McDonald's trying to shove toxic food down our throats in an endless 40 day wave of commercialism. Tartar sauce may seem harmless enough, but the Anti Mayonnaise Alliance wants everyone out there to know that the concoction known in Europe as sauce tartare is a clear and present danger.
Just take a look at a typical tartar sauce recipe:
Combine ingredients and stir.
Often, futile attempts are made to disguise the sauce's base ingredient. Chopped egg. Capers. Onion. Vinegar. Even that king of condiments, mustard, is shamelessly blended in. The result, however, never varies.
Now, most everyone loves fried foods. Be it chicken, potatoes, onions or cheese, almost everything tastes great after being submerged in 350 degree oil.
Fish is no exception.
And rarely is a fried food eaten without some sidekick of a condiment. Chicken goes great with hot sauce. French fries and ketchup are natural allies. Mozzarella sticks and marinara. Sauerkraut balls and honey mustard. But somehow, somewhere along the way, something went terribly wrong with fried fish.
Poor, poor fish. Why do we smother our finned friends from the sea in this degenerate, mayonnaise-based, semi-chunky, greenish-yellow abomination? What kind of fate is it for an innocent fish, to be caught in a net among thousands, gutted, scaled, boned, filleted, battered, deep fat-fried and, at last, ignominiously doused in a thick, whitish coating of shame?
McBone and the AMA endorse the consumption of fish, be it broiled, baked or fried, but we are compelled to add its usual bedfellow to the newly compiled McBone list of boycotted substances:
Thousand island dressing
The preceding public service announcement was paid for in part by the NOML, the NIML, a grant from the McArthur Foundation, and readers like you.