Zabar’s Turns to Wikipedia to Defend Its Definition of “Lobster Salad”


Because (a) August is a bit slow for news, and (b) sacred cow tastes best when it’s freshly slaughtered, the world now knows that Zabar’s spent the better part of the last two decades passing off crawfish salad as lobster salad.

Thanks to the maelstrom that resulted after a visiting reporter from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans blogged about the salad’s actual list of ingredients, Saul Zabar, the store’s proprietor, has changed the salad’s name to the more open-ended “seafare salad,” The New York Times reports.

Given that the Zabar family excels in charging its customers the kind of exorbitant sums that make the rest of the country regard us with uncomprehending pity, Zabar’s practice of slapping a $16.95-per-pound price tag on plastic containers of fake lobster salad doesn’t strike us as all that outrageous.

Instead, we’re far more impressed by the fact that not only did it take someone visiting from New Orleans to read the ingredients list, but that Zabar actually resorted to Wikipedia to try to defend his definition of “lobster.” “If you go to Wikipedia,” he told the Times, “you will find that crawfish in many parts of the country is referred to as lobster.”

Reportedly, Zabar had previously told a newspaper reporter in Maine that “New Yorkers would not understand what crawfish was, but that it was in the ‘lobster family.'” Maybe not, but we do understand what “bullshit” is, and can’t help but feel that it’s probably for the best that Zabar didn’t choose a career as a defense attorney.