In Praise of Imposter Lobster in South City
|Not lobster, but not half bad either.|
Our Spidey sense told us to be skeptical about whether this would be real lobster, or perhaps a lobster-flavored thing -- lobster food? Once the order came up and we saw the package, we understood.
Lobster, it blared in big print. Langostino, it squeaked in tiny letters. Ah, langostino, that not-quite-lobster, not-quite-prawn creature.
Long John Silver's first rolled out the Bites about three years ago and instantly drew ire from Maine lobstermen, who had already taken issue with a similar claim from the quick-service restaurant chain Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill and their "lobster burritos." The kerfuffle resulted in an FDA ruling allowing South American langoustine to be called langostino lobster.
With all due respect to the Maine lobster industry, which we'd much rather support were our pockets a tad deeper, we have to be honest: The Lobster Bites, heavily buttered under a crumbly and ungreasy fried coating, were pretty good for a fast food item. Whatever the heck they actually are.