Saturday, August 13, 2011

Undercover critic spots crawfish disguised as lobster

Fake Zabar's lobster salad unmasked by Times-Picayune reporter; New York grocer crawfishes

Doug MacCash, The Times-Picayune 
When is a lobster salad really a crawfish salad? Are crawfish really just wee lobsters? Have my 15 minutes of fame officially begun? The answers to these and other burning seafood questions can be found in today's New York Times under the headline "Lobster Salad, but a Key Ingredient Was Missing."
copy-of-zabars-1-largejpg-844ff87bdfa60c2d.jpgWhy not call the crawfish salad crawfish salad?
Some background: Back in July, I discovered that the lobster salad at Zabar’s grocery store in New York, a Broadway landmark, was actually made from crawfish. I made that discovery by reading the label while nibbling a bagel during a family vacation. (Read my Aug. 1 blog post, "In New York City a lucky crawfish can become a lobster".)
The New York Times' James Barron  reported today (Aug. 12) that my story provoked an editorial in the Bangor Daily News in Maine and other online protests, including a well-read West Side blog, that eventually provoked the grocery store to change the name of the salad from lobster salad to “seafare” salad.
Barron noted that “sticklers could also challenge ‘seafare’ because freshwater crawfish would presumably not be found in the sea.” True.
But there's a more fundamental question. Why not just call the crawfish salad crawfish salad? I mean, the only crustacean involved is a crawfish, right? In New Orleans we love our crawfish.  I say it's time to give them their bow on Broadway.
Meanwhile, my fateful bagel bite has made me a minor media sensation. (CNN just e-mailed. Can "60 Minutes" be far behind?)
And to think, I almost had the Danish.
Doug MacCash can be reached at or 504.826.3481. Follow him on Twitter.
© 2011 All rights reserved.

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