Aside from some real devotees to McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish (like Greg Kelly and devout Catholics), fast food fish has never quite inspired the national fervor of a burger or a chicken sandwich, probably because most of the country is landlocked, so eating ocean-caught cod warmed under a heat lamp just doesn’t feel right. But Popeyes is hoping to create another viral sensation with its new Cajun Flounder Sandwich, which will be available on February 11.
The sandwich consists of flounder “caught in the icy waters of the Pacific,” breaded, fried, and served on a brioche bun with pickles and tartar sauce. It sounds fine! But if you’re skeptical, Popeyes is also offering “Sandwich Insurance” — add 15 cents to your order, and if you don’t like it, Popeyes will replace your fish sandwich with a chicken one.
Given that Popeyes created a sensation when its chicken sandwich came out, it’s no wonder some fast food chains are already trying to compete with the new flounder option. Bojangles is also putting its “Bojangler” fish sandwich — “wild-caught Alaskan Pollock filet” served with American cheese and tartar sauce — back on the menu this week. Though maybe it’s less about competition and more about celebrating the encroaching Pisces season.
Still, there’s something about fish that makes people wary. Maybe it’s that Americans just don’t eat a ton of fish. Maybe it’s that our collective imagination is more likely to associate fish with food poisoning, even though any fish served at a fast food restaurant was probably frozen soon after it was caught. It could also be that while we’re used to paying pennies for chicken, $4.49 for fish seems like something must be up. As The Kid Mero exhibits, a little skepticism is always warranted: