The story we wrote about Zabar’s and its faux-lobster salad has now become an international sensation, with articles appearing in the Jerusalem Post and London’s Daily Mail. Clearly the world is looking for something to laugh about as stock markets crash, London burns, and Michele Bachmann cruises to the presidency.
If you missed the hubbub, Zabar’s was caught selling a crayfish and mayonnaise concoction as “Lobster Salad” for upwards of $15 a pound (to be fair, Zabar’s didn’t appear to be hiding the word “crayfish” from its ingredients list). After the Maine Lobster Council cried foul, we wrote about the controversy, and the story subsequently got picked up in local, national — and now international — media outlets, including landing on the front page of The New York Times.
We are growing somewhat concerned, however, that Saul Zabar is now spending too much time talking to the media, as opposed to his usual duties: squeezing the rugelach to make sure it’s soft enough, tasting the salmon to make sure it’s smoked enough. Saul’s spokesman even told Grubstreet that he “feels bad” about the mis-naming. But apparently, the controversy hasn’t really hurt the store, which has built up more than enough good will over the years to overcome a little lobster salad misunderstanding. In an interview with Long Island Press food blogger Chris Cooke, Saul said the store has never before gotten as much media attention. And most of the feedback he’s gotten has been positive.
“‘The publicity is great,’ he adds—with the exception of the ‘two or three’ messages he received that were ‘really vitriolic.’”
Zabar’s has now changed the name of the lobster salad to “Seafare Salad,” but given that the fresh water crayfish in the salad is not in fact from the sea, the new name is also kind of inaccurate. So Zabar’s has started a contest on its facebook page to help the store find a new name. We decided to help the store out by putting up our own poll and seeing what readers think should be the name. We’ll forward the winning answer to Zabar’s. If you have any write-in candidates, add them to the comments and we’ll put them on the poll. Check back to see if your favorite is winning!
Photos by Avi and Simon Goldenberg via flickr. Photo illustration by Avi.