So, I Tried a Filet-O-Fish

I know I do my best to talk about books on this blog but I do sometimes talk about other things, so I figured in that grand tradition I would write about the Filet-O-fish sandwich from McDonalds. Because the content gods demand more content.

I recently (past couple of years) went from eating meat all the time, to eating meat on and off, to not eating meat anymore.  I’ve written about this before, but in short; I’d always known it was wrong, but had always been able to compartmentalise the guilt and carry on. I lost the ability and that was that. I still liked the taste of meat, the texture, and the smell; but the accompanying overwhelm of my moral sense wasn’t something I could deal with.

Not eating meat will really cut down on your options when you want to eat some dirty fast food. I am not the kind of person that has tried everything on the McDonalds menu but I did miss being able to just walk into a place like that and just get a hit of calories, salt, and fat. You have to bear in mind that I live in Peterborough, which doesn’t have all that much left in its city centre barr restaurants and takeaways; though I suppose I should be glad there is at least something left.

I didn’t decide to still eat fish, but I happened to eat some while visiting family and noticed that I didn’t feel guilty about it. And the texture was close enough that it allayed some of the cravings I was experiencing for meat. Well there you go. I was a pescatarian. Then I read The Shadow Over Innsmouth and really didn’t feel bad about eating fish.

After walking past McDonalds for the umpteenth time and defeating the urge to go in for the unpteenth time, I decided to just try the Filet-O-Fish. After all, I was still eating fish, and it might be enough like those burgers I used to enjoy to help me with some of those cravings.

(By the way, the actual solution to this problem is the No Bull Burger from Iceland. It is one of those foodstuffs perfect for people like me. It looks like meat, it tastes like meat, it feels like meat. For all intents and purposes it is meat. But it doesn’t make me feel guilty.)

I got a Filet-O-Fish with some fries and a coke because the fries and a coke are a sure thing.

I was warned that the Filet-O-Fish wasn’t all that, but I hadn’t had McDonalds in years and was hoping for something that might qualify as a treat. But damn, it wasn’t good. The bun had a really strange texture. Like, it was oddly rubbery and flavourless. The fish itself was just a wider, flatter fish finger. The crunch was nice, but there really wasn’t much fish in it. Like, when you’re comparing unfavourably to store brand fish fingers in terms of your fish content, it isn’t good at all. The cheese will never not be an odd choice to me to put in a fish sandwich, but at least it was flavourless. I doubt it would have helped had I been able to taste it, but as it stands it just helped goop up the already stodgy bun. The tartare sauce was pretty good. Nice and sharp. Now pickles and capers, those are flavours you can see going with fish. I might give tartare sauce in general more of a go if I carry on eating fish, even if I still don’t really like mayonnaise.

But I’m probably not going to carry on eating fish, especially now I’ve realised that the dirty, fast version of it that I was craving didn’t actually exist. I like fish and chips as much as any English person, but it’s something I could live without. I mentioned when it came to not eating meat that I was also aware of its huge environmental impact and all the rest of it. Well, I was having a worry free time eating my fish until I read about the astonishing percentage of plastic waste in the ocean that is made up of discarded fishing equipment. And declining fish stocks and all the rest of it. I come again to the point where I can no longer lock the guilt away, and am probably going to have to stop eating seafood. Which will suck, because I have just developed a taste for sushi.

I have no illusions about saving the world; I just want to be able to live with myself as much as possible.

I hope I don’t start feeling bad about eating dairy products but these feelings about my own diet have only been going in one direction, haven’t they?

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