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Miscellaneous Discussion of non-Trek topics.

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Old July 12 2013, 01:12 AM   #1
sonak
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Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

So I was looking into fast-food fish sandwiches. And neither Wendy's cod fillet nor Burger King's Alaskan fish sandwich have cheese. It's basically just the fish, lettuce, and tartar sauce. Which makes sense, because who puts cheese with fried fish fillets? I mean, you don't associate fish and chips with cheese. Yet McDonald's puts slices of cheese in place of lettuce. Their sandwich of course came first, long before the other ones, but the "fish with cheese" combination is such a weird one that I wondered if folks knew where that came from.
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Old July 12 2013, 01:26 AM   #2
Miss Chicken
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

I quite like fish with cheese sauce so I don't think that the fish/cheese combination as all that weird.
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Old July 12 2013, 01:47 AM   #3
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

Have no idea why, but I always order without. American cheese on fried fish... eww.

eta: damn, now I'm hungry for fast food.
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Old July 12 2013, 02:19 AM   #4
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

American"cheese" on anything; eeeew.
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Old July 12 2013, 02:54 AM   #5
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

It's about time Miscellaneous got to the bottom of the truly important issues.

Anyway, here's the story of the Filet-O-Fish and when the cheese was first added (almost immediately after its invention):

Filet-O-Fish tale
After 45 years, this fish sandwich still sticks


February 26, 2007|By The Cincinnati Enquirer

CINCINNATI — Forty-five years ago, Lou Groen's career began its turn from rags to fishes.

Groen, who began his working life as a homeless teenager in the 1930s, was casting about in 1962 for a way to save his foundering hamburger restaurant.

His efforts caught more than a nibble. He created a sandwich that would eventually be consumed at a rate of 300 million a year: the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish.

Groen's restaurant was the Cincinnati area's first McDonald's. His problem: The clientele was heavily Catholic. Back then, most Catholics abstained from meat every Friday, not just during Lent, a 40-day period of repentance that began last week with Ash Wednesday.

"Frisch's [Big Boy] dominated the market, and they had a very good fish sandwich," recalled Groen, now 89.

"I was struggling. The crew was my wife, myself, and a man named George. I did repairs, swept floors, you name it. But that area was 87 percent Catholic. On Fridays we only took in about $75 a day," said Groen, a Catholic himself.

"All our customers were going to Frisch's. So I invented my fish sandwich, developed a special batter, made the tartar sauce and took it to headquarters."

That led to a wager between Groen and McDonald's chief Ray Kroc, who was preparing his own meatless alternative.

"He called his sandwich the Hula Burger," Groen said. "It was a cold bun and a slice of pineapple and that was it.

"Ray said to me, 'Well, Lou, I'm going to put your fish sandwich on [a menu] for a Friday. But I'm going to put my special sandwich on too. Whichever sells the most, that's the one we'll go with.'

"Friday came and the word came out. I won hands down. I sold 350 fish sandwiches that day. Ray never did tell me how his sandwich did."

But the chain compelled Groen to modify the fish recipe.

"I wanted halibut originally," Groen said. "I was paying $2 a pound for halibut. That sandwich cost me 30 cents apiece to make. They told me it had to sell for 25 cents. I had to fall back on Atlantic cod, a whitefish, and I added a slice of cheese. But my halibut sandwich far outshines that one."


http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...recipe-halibut
It's a big no no among a lot of Italian chefs, restaurants, and mothers to mix seafood with cheese (not that the Filet-O-Fish compares with those meals, but just saying):

http://www.thekitchn.com/the-fish-an...bate-the-76178

However, the oldest surviving Sicilian recipe is a fish and cheese meal, so there's that:

A little research, however, turned up the oldest surviving Sicilian recipe — from around 400 B.C. — for fish: “Gut. Discard the head, rinse, slice; add cheese and oil.”

And if you read the article, it seems as if some restaurants are breaking the no cheese on seafood tradition:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/ma...se&st=cse&_r=0
And in doing research for this very hard-hitting exposé, I think you're going to find that you're in the minority about the cheese on the Filet-O-Fish, because the vast majority of links on Google were articles and blog posts complaining about how McDonald's reduced the cheese to only half a slice.

So, there you have it. More than anyone ever needs to know about the history of the Filet-O-Fish and cheese on fish dishes.
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Old July 12 2013, 03:01 AM   #6
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

Just thinking about the the Fillet-O-Fish makes me sick.
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Old July 12 2013, 04:11 AM   #7
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

The "Hula burger"? It's a wonder McDonalds survived at all. Luckily Kroc had some better ideas than that one..
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Old July 12 2013, 04:23 AM   #8
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

Ar-Pharazon wrote: View Post
The "Hula burger"? It's a wonder McDonalds survived at all. Luckily Kroc had some better ideas than that one..
Seriously. Grilled pineapple with cheese on a cold bun. Yuck.

Here's an article about some other failed McDonald's menu items:

http://www.businessinsider.com/faile...ms-2011-8?op=1
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Old July 12 2013, 05:51 AM   #9
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

Fish and cheese can be a wonderful combination. There was a restaurant that I used to go to that made a great grilled swordfish steak sandwich - add a slice of swiss cheese - perfection.
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Old July 12 2013, 10:44 AM   #10
Haggis and tatties
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

Do you know what they call a fillet O fish in France?
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Old July 12 2013, 10:54 AM   #11
ITElf
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

Haggis and tatties wrote: View Post
Do you know what they call a fillet O fish in France?


Truth!
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Old July 12 2013, 11:05 AM   #12
iguana_tonante
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

Fish and cheese generally don't mix well. Cheddar on fried fish would taste awful. Grated parmigiano on spaghetti allo scoglio is classified as a crime against humanity.

So it's a good shorthand for the uninitiated to be told "never put cheese on fish". But there are many exception. So it's more "never put cheese on fish unless you know what you are doing".

I never had a Filet-o-fish, so I can't judge it. But given it's McDonald's, I'm quite comfortable thinking it's crap.
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Old July 12 2013, 12:04 PM   #13
Olive, the Other Reindeer
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
I never had a Filet-o-fish, so I can't judge it.
Trust me, you haven't missed anything.
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Old July 12 2013, 01:36 PM   #14
Haggis and tatties
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

ITL wrote: View Post
Haggis and tatties wrote: View Post
Do you know what they call a fillet O fish in France?


Truth!

I had no idea it was really called that.
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Old July 12 2013, 02:12 PM   #15
teacake
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Re: Why does the Filet O Fish have cheese?

It has cheese to stick it to the bun of course.
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