NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – When is lobster salad not lobster salad?

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Upper West Side

Zabar’s has been selling its lobster salad for over twenty years, but recently a reporter from New Orleans visited the Upper West Side store and decided to give New York a heads up about what’s really in it.

“The main ingredient is crayfish,” admitted 83-year-old owner Saul Zabar, but he insists there’s nothing fishy about the name.

Lobster Salad shelf at Zabar's - New York, NY - Aug 11, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Lobster Salad shelf at Zabar's - New York, NY - Aug 11, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

“Some kinds of crayfish are known locally as lobsters or crawdads or mudbugs,” he said.

The 20-year recipe “consists of wild-caught crayfish and occasionally when we could get them we’d also add langoustine, some mayonnaise a little bit of salt, a drop of sugar and we’ve been calling this lobster salad,” Zabar told 1010 WINS.

When word reached lobster country, Zabar got a call from the Maine Lobster Council and apparently, they weren’t too thrilled.

“A little controversy adds spice to our lives,” he said.

“I thought well, maybe it’s time to change the name of the product,” Zabar told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman.

The label now says Seafare Salad now, but what won’t change is the price – $16.95 a pound, which Saul says was based on the price of the crayfish.

“If it were Maine lobster, it would go for much more,” said Zabar.

Zabar also said that he is doing his best to keep his customers from getting confused by the name change.

“I know people are going to go to that spot and when they pick up the container it’s going to say ‘seafare salad’ so I left the original name on the shelf until people get used to the fact that this is the original lobster salad,” Zabar said.

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