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April 16, 2011 / Nick


McDonald’s is probably the subject of more urban legends than any other company in the world.
You may hear that the meat for the burgers is supplied from a company called ‘100% Beef’ but actually made from anything but. Some say that the dill pickle slices in a cheeseburger are a legal requirement to avoid the high-sugar sandwich being classified as a dessert.
McDonald’s even created a web page to combat the false folklore, answering questions such as:

  • “Is it true that McDonalds food has like worms and stuff in it and that the mc nuggets are made from like grows leftovers from chicken? I just really want to know what you put in your food.”
  • “is it true that 7 different specimens of semen were found in a banana milkshake?”
  • “Do you still support the IRA by giving them a percentage of your profit?”
  • “today in school i learned that there were four types of recycled plastic in McDonalds milkshake. Why dont you explain further more about that? i think that is totally disgusting and u guys should be sued.”

Milkshake content aside, the one thing about McDonald’s that I always put down to mythology was the existence of the Filet O Fish. We all know it’s a menu option but have any of us seen it in the wild? Surely this fish and cheese combo (something that is most possibly non-kosher and most definitely a traumatic reminder of Magaluf ’09 for Darren from Doncaster) can’t possibly exist.

I firmly believed that nobody in the world had ever eaten a Filet O Fish, but that it was simply created one time to pose for the photo that goes on the menu boards and never recreated again. Either that or they put some kind of psychoactive drug in the bun to make sure that nobody ever talks about their experience with the burger. This, as you are about to learn (if you didn’t already figure out), is not true.

I defiantly strutted up to the counter at the McDonald’s on George Street, Croydon and asked the jaded cashier for a medium Filet O Fish meal with Coke:

“Can I have a medium Filet O Fish (fill-i’) meal with Coke, please?”
“A Filet (fill-ay)?”
“Yeah, Filet (fill-it).”

I had already tripped up on pronunciation. Who could have known in South London that I should have Frenched-up my accent? I was rumbled. She knew that I wasn’t a Filet regular. What if she sussed that I would do a review of it? She could have easily put some of these hallucinogens in my burger to make sure I never remembered eating it. I think I was lucky, but remember that if you’re going to try this yourselves, readers.

I took the meal to a table and got some photo evidence before consuming anything just to make sure that I would have some kind of proof that this happened. The box invited me to…

‘Dive in’. I see what they did there. The box also wanted me to…

‘Delicate flavour’, eh? I opened up the container to finally lay eyes on this fabled sandwich and was greeted by this…

Was THAT the Filet O Fish I’ve wondered so much about for years? It was tiny. No bigger than the cheeseburger you can get with a Happy Meal.
Unlike the picture on the box, the cuboid of breaded fish wasn’t bursting out of the bun, but was actually almost entirely concealed by soft roll of bread. The cheese wasn’t flopped over the fish either, but rather tucked away underneath like a roll of yellow plastic with a conjoined fish finger rested on top.
I thought ‘Come on, Nick. It’s not gonna eat itself (not in the immediate 4 or 5 days anyway)’ and started to tuck in…

It was really weird. Because I was aware of the fact I was chewing, but not really of anything being chewed. It wasn’t really salty. It wasn’t sweet. It wasn’t juicy or chewy or meaty.
It wasn’t really…anything.
There was nothing at all about the Filet O Fish that was in any way remarkable in flavour.

I had to actually check the (liberally applied) tartare sauce to see if they hadn’t accidentally put mayonnaise in instead as I couldn’t even really taste that.

Suddenly it all made sense. The reason why I had gone so many years without encountering any Filet O Fish fans or someone who occasionally tries one or even anyone who has eaten one at all. It’s not because the Filet is a myth; a product that exists solely in urban legend. Quite the opposite really. Nobody talks about the Filet O Fish, because there’s nothing to talk about.

Compared with the other Extra Value Meal options, where the McChicken Sandwich clings to your teeth and the Quarter Pounder with Cheese excites your saliva glands and the Big Mac cavorts with your crucial arteries, the Filet O Fish probably passes through your entire alimentary canal without doing anything interesting or stimulating at all. It’s all just a load of pollocks!

Review: Doesn’t live up to the expectations that none of us have.


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