The Truth About Chick-fil-A’s Seasonal Fish Sandwich

Seasonal offerings from fast food chains are
nothing new, but for many practicing Christians and fish fanatics, the time between Ash Wednesday
and Easter Sunday is a particular cause for celebration. That’s because, every year, select chains
release special fish-based menu items to cater to the dietary restrictions the Lenten season
places upon Christians. The reason many Christians give up meat on
Fridays during this time is because they believe Jesus died on a Friday and they should honor
that sacrifice by fasting. This practice can be traced as far back as
the first century, a time where meat was considered a luxury and going without it constituted
an act of self-discipline. Fasting became legally mandated in England
during the 16th century, through a law that also insisted Christians replace meat with
fish. The idea was that this would benefit England’s
fishermen, who had been struggling ever since fasting fell out of favor after the country’s
split from the Catholic Church. America’s seasonal fish sandwich trend originated
in 1962 at a McDonald’s near Cincinnati, Ohio. The owner, Lou Groen, was facing slumping
sales during the Lenten season due to the high number of Roman Catholics living in the
area. Back then, many Catholics would abstain from
eating meat every Friday of the year, and went meat-free for the entire 40-day period
of Lent. Groen saw how well another local chain was
doing with its fish sandwich during this season. He went to McDonald’s chief Ray Kroc with
his idea to market a similar sandwich, and the rest is history. Groen later told USA Today: “My fish sandwich was the first addition ever
to McDonald’s original menu. It saved my franchise.” According to Chick-fil-A’s blog, Chick-fil-A
will offer fish on the menu at select restaurants from Wednesday, February 26th through Saturday,
April 11th. The brand joined other fast food companies
offering fish options for the first time in 2016, joking that the news of a seasonal menu
for it’s customers looking for an alternative to chicken is “fin-tastic”. “Good one.” They even provide a handy list of every location
the sandwich and other fish-based meals will be available, so you can check to see if your
local chain will have it on hand before heading over. Chick-fil-A says you can also order ahead
through their app to pick it up in store. Chick-fil-A restaurants will offer two variations
of the fish-based sandwich the Traditional Fish Sandwich and the Deluxe Fish Sandwich. The Traditional Fish Sandwich contains two
pieces of breaded and fried cod with tartar sauce and dill pickles on a buttered and toasted
bun, while the Deluxe Fish Sandwich upgrades this to include slices of tomato, lettuce,
and American cheese. Chick-fil-A notes you can also purchase the
fish fillets in orders of two or three, along with a side of waffle fries. As for the health stats, the Traditional Fish
Sandwich contains 370 calories, while the Deluxe Fish Sandwich has 430, with the filet
two- or three-packs coming in at 190 calories for two fillets or 280 for three. The fish sandwich could also count as a healthier
option for diners than the traditional Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, which Chick-fil-A’s nutritional
guide lists as containing 440 calories. Last year, USA Today reported the price of
the Traditional Fish Sandwich began at $3.35, while the Deluxe Fish Sandwich was sold at
$4.15. The box meals started at $3.09 for two fillets
with waffle fries, or $4.59 for three plus waffle fries. And here’s the great news: Chick-fil-A’s fish
sandwich is getting great reviews, with Catholic News Agency claiming the only real downsides
to the dish are the fact that they’re not available at every location and the fact that
they’re made to order meaning you might have to wait a little longer than usual to get
your hands on one. The Catholic News Agency also ranked Chick-fil-A
number one among the fast food chains offering fish during lent, and gave the Traditional
Fish Sandwich 5 out of 5 fishes. “Fin-tastic” indeed. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about the finest
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