Zabar’s finally landed on a new name for the Lobster Salad that wasn’t. As we reported a few weeks ago, Zabar’s was selling a seafood salad made with crayfish as “lobster salad”, charging more than $15 a pound. A columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune on a visit to New York sniffed out the faux lobster and wrote a short column about it, and then the Maine Lobster Council demanded that Zabar’s change the name. After we wrote about the story, it made national and then international news, even landing on the front page of the New York Times.
The story didn’t quite end there. Saul Zabar decided to rename the salad “Seafare Salad,” expecting that to quiet the critics. But there was a problem — the main ingredient in the salad was freshwater crayfish. So the famous store on 80th Street and Broadway held a contest on its facebook page seeking another new name for the salad. Lots of great ideas poured in, many of which we included in a poll on this site. Lobster Impostor (the eventual winner of the poll), Lobsterless Lobster Salad and Crawdad Salad were all suggested. We let Zabar’s know of the (very unscientific) results.
But Zabar’s apparently couldn’t stomach those ideas. Instead they came up with…Zabster Zalad. Yes, you read that second Z right. It’s Zalad! Mike at My Upper West snapped the picture above of the new concoction this week, and the Times called Saul Zabar again to try to figure out just what the hell a Zabster was.
“It’s a combination of lobster and Zabar,” Saul Zabar told reporter James Barron. “We could have called it Zobster salad, but our name is Zabar’s. And instead of the word ‘salad,’ we put a Z in there.”
Saul Zabar is now obsessed with finding a way to reclaim his lobster salad: Zabar’s is now testing langostinos, which are like little lobsters, to see if they would make a good salad. He argues that he could call a salad made of those critters “Langostino Lobster Salad”.
It’s unclear why Saul Zabar wants so badly to create a lobster salad without using lobster. He keeps claiming that a real lobster salad would cost much more than the $16.95 per pound he’s charging for crayfish salad. But lobster sells for less than $5 a pound off the dock. And the mayo, celery, salt and sugar he uses cost pennies. Yes, transportation costs money, but not enough to push the overall cost above $16.95.
And one more thing: Zabar’s is selling this stuff to spread on a bagel. Who the hell puts lobster on a bagel anyway?
Read all of our coverage on the Zabar’s controversy here. We have posted the original poll below and will keep voting open.
“Lobster Eats Zabar’s” photo illustration by Avi.