May marks the beginning of “Filet-O-Fish Season” at McDonalds.
Ray Croc’s burger chain sells 25% of the annual take of their Alaskan Pollock fish sandwiches over the next 40 days, following the conclusion of Mardi Gras.
While some Mardi Gras goers would assume that the reason for the uptick in sales is to soak up the excess alcohol consumed during the booze-laden festivities, the explanation for Filet-O-Fish Season is fairly straight forward.
Mardi Gras is held the day preceding the start of Lent – a period of prayer, repentance, atonement and self-denial.
For many Catholics and protestant denominations such as the Episcopal church, Lent means fasting.
Catholics specifically are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and all of the Fridays during lent. To many, fasting means they eat only one meal per day, normally in the evenings and refrain from eating meat and drinking wine.
While a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is off of the fasting menu, the Filet-O-Fish is its breaded replacement.
While fasters may feel they’re getting some help to their waistline the benefit is negligible. Both the Quarter Pounder and the Filet-O-Fish come with an artery-clogging 20 grams of fat, the Filet-O-Fish shaves off only 38 calorie compared to its hefty beef brother.
And now you know.