The great lobster scandal at Zabar’s has finally been settled. The Upper West Side staple changed the name of its non-lobster lobster salad to “Zabster Zalad” after a reporter from the New Orleans Times-Picayune determined through his elevated Cajun gastronomical senses determined that the grocery was in fact serving freshwater crayfish, not lobster.
But what about other seafood favorites. Red Lobster? Long John Silver’s? Save those giant (and notably more pricey) whole lobsters, the “lobster meat” in your penne pasta or mixed seafood delight is, in fact largely langostino, a term used for a smaller crab-like crustacean unrelated to the juicy Homarus Americanus , the true Maine lobster beloved by fine diners.
This detail has certainly not gone unnoticed by the lobster lobby up in Maine. For several years, Senator Olympia Snowe has been on a warpath to settle the langostino vs. lobster debate on behalf of her state. “Use of this term is misleading to consumers and unfairly affiliates langostino with actual lobster to the detriment of the lobster industry in Maine,” Senator Snowe wrote in a letter to the FDA.
So if you were duped by Zabar’s, you are certainly not alone. Americans, wake up to the ruse you are living! Your lobster meat is nothing more than tawdry imposter crustacean!