McDonald's is well-known for its Big Macs and chips, but the Filet-O-Fish sandwich has been a hit across the country since it was first introduced in 1962. Developed by Lou Groen, owner of the first McDonald's restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Filet-O-Fish sandwich is a golden fillet of hand-breaded whitefish (wild-caught Alaskan pollock fish fillet) topped with pickled sauce, half a slice of cheese and tartar sauce, all on a toasted bun. The sandwich was a success and not only saved Groen's restaurant but also led him to open 43 franchise locations. Today, the fish fillet in the sandwich is made from wild-caught Alaska pollock from sustainable fisheries. During Lent, when many Catholics give up eating meat on Fridays, McDonald's sells nearly 25% of its Alaskan pollock fish sandwiches in the United States.
This has led to some jokingly calling it Filet-O-Fish Season, as the association between Lent and the iconic sandwich is very strong. The Filet-O-Fish sandwich predates America's most iconic burger and, in fact, inspired it. Ray Kroc at McDonald's headquarters allowed Groen to add the sandwich to his menu and it became the first menu item added to McDonald's national menu. The Filet-O-Fish sandwich has been a hit ever since and continues to see an increase in sales during Lent.