Calling All Canadians, Help Explain the McLobster McLobster: Where to Find McDonald's North Atlantic Seafood Sandwich

What McLobsters, McRibs, McCrab, McArabia, and the McLaks say about the regionalization of the homogenous McDonald's fast food chain.

Why the Internet discovered McLobster in the middle of the winter is beyond me, but MyFox News, the Los Angeles Times, and millions of Google searchers were all over the story this week.

Since I live in Maine, where they've reportedly been sighted, and I had never actually tasted one, I decided to go out looking for the elusive McLobster. One source told me the sandwich was a seasonal sandwich reserved for tourists. Across the border, in the Canadian Maritimes, travel writers characterize the whole island of Prince Edward Island by its devotion to a regional sandwich known as McLobster. Still, barring a 18-hour road trip, I'm not going to score a McLobster until the summer—and, even then, one franchise told me the last McLobster they served was eight years ago.

So where did they come from? The first reference I could find was in October 29, 1990, in a article in Maclean's (not online):

In Maine, they call it a McLobster sandwich—three ounces of lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise in a bed of lettuce heaped on a freshly baked bun, all for $4.50. Thirty-five McDonald's franchises in the New England state are taking advantage of last year's North American lobster surplus.


Ten years later, on July 16, 2001, the Canadian Press Newsire wrote (not online):

The Big Mac hamburger and French fries will remain king at the fast-food giant, but McDonald's is experimenting with expresso coffee, sandwiches, decadent cakes and even poutine and McLobster in Canadian test markets.


But last year, on August 20, 2010, the Globe and Mail reported:

McDonald's recently ended a promotion on a McLobster sandwich.


While I can't tell you what it tastes like or whether they're coming back, the McLobster is not the chain's only attempt at regional offerings. They've tried the McRib (the South), the McCrab (Maryland), the Chicken Maharaja Mac (India), the McItaly burger, the McArabia, McLaks (Norway), and a McAfrica pita.

And despite its reputation as a symbol of globalization, local customs and adaptations occur at McDonald's all over the world, beyond the company's intent, as James Watson persuasively argues in his book, Golden Arches East. In other words, people give meaning to food beyond the meanings that corporations intend.

In the end, lobster might be a more sustainable option than fish sticks, although, North American lobsters are essentially farmed using baited traps full of herring, redfish, and pogies. Perhaps it's time to make the pitch for another sandwich entirely. I vote for the McSardine.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user meddygarnet

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading