The McRib: An Inside Look

18 12 2012


Yesterday McDonald’s announced the return of the mighty McRib sandwich to their menus, causing a nationwide “the McRib is back eh? Again? Wait did it ever leave? Whatever, probably won’t buy one”. What was once a fast food urban legend, appearing every once in 20 years only to sleek back into the shadows, now seems to be on sale more than ever. Didn’t McDonald’s bring the McRib back this time last year too? I’m starting to lose track, not that I was keeping track to begin with.

In celebratory fashion, Yahoo Finance posted an article titled ‘11 Amazing Facts about the McDonald’s McRib‘. Since I have nothing important to do ever, I read the whole thing. First of all, kind of weird Yahoo Finance is writing amazing fact articles about the McRib. Figured they’d be analyzing low interest rates or discussing how the NASDAQ activity from last thursday but whatever. Not my job to critique the fine folks at Yahoo Finance. Second, is the McRib honestly popular enough to keep bringing it back, again and again? Is it actually like that Simpsons episode where the Krusty Burger Rib-Wich has a cult following like the Grateful Dead? It can’t be, right? I’ve had the McRib before, it mostly tastes like a bag of dongs.


Well let’s take a look at all 11 “amazing” facts and see if we can learn a thing or two about the McRib.

1. The McRib came out because of a shortage of chickens.

Not surprising in the least. Ah fuck, we’re out of chicken nuggets, what do we do? Here, put this nasty pork slab on a bun. Boom, McRib. Honest question though, how was there a shortage of chickens in this country? I’m no chicken farmer, but from what I’ve heard there are like a zillion chickens per state.


2. The McRib was inspired by Southern BBQ. 

Because nothing reminds me of authentic home-cooked Southern BBQ like a juicy McRib.


3. The McRib is a product of “restructured meat technology.”

Apparently it’s made from a mixture of tripe, heart and scalded stomach. Huh. Totally know what all of those are. I like stomach, but only if it’s scalded, under cook that stomach and you can bet your ass I won’t touch it.


4. The whole process of fresh pork to frozen McRib takes about 45 minutes. 

Seems a little high. How does grinding up a pig, pouring it into a McRib mold and cryogenically freezing it take 45 minutes?


5. The entire McRib sandwich contains about 70 ingredients – including a flour-bleaching agent used in yoga mats. 

Azodicarbonamide, to be specific. Good to know though, if I don’t finish my McRib at least I can toss er on the ground and do a couple three-legged downward facing dogs. Get my heart rate back down.


6. The McRib debuted in 1981, disappeared in 1985, and has resurfaced from time-to-time since 1994.

Very rich history indeed, but like I said “resurfaced from time-to-time” should read “rears its ugly head pretty much every year like clockwork”.


7. Individual restaurants can actually order the ingredients for the McRib at any time. 

Thank sweet baby jesus they don’t though, amiright?!


8. McDonald’s keeps the McRib scarce because the sandwich’s entire brand relies on it. 

This might be the most mind boggling part of the McRib phenomenon. People seriously go nuts for this sandwich. The minute it goes on sale, there are people in line screaming and hollering to get their hands on one. Whatever tickles your fancy I guess, but why pick the McRib? How about the McGriddle? Let’s bring that back once every five years.


9. It’d be incredibly difficult for McDonald’s to create more McRib-esque products, because that cult-like following is so hard to replicate. 

Really? I’d bet they absolutely could do it again. If they got an entire “cult” of people to live and die by a restructured pork sandwich that tastes like Phil Collins’ grundle. They should be able to make a new sandwich that actually tastes awesome and have it gain an even bigger following no problem.


10. There’s also speculation that the McRib is really just a big commodity trade by McDonald’s. 

Apparently whenever the McRib reappears, hog prices are conveniently low as shit. Hmm, interesting. I will say this is venturing into the financial realm, one which your boy JD isn’t too familiar. So I’m going to back away slow, and pretend I didn’t read the word ‘commodity’. Not trying to get sucked into a ponzi scheme. You can never be too careful.


11. Animal rights group sues McRib meat supplier over inhumane treatment of pigs. 

Don’t pigs thrive in inhumane conditions? Last I checked pigs love rolling around in their own piss and shit and sleep best all piled on top of each other with dead pigs at the bottom. Better lumbar support for em. Saw it in a documentary once. So shut your yappers PETA and keep in mind those piggies are about to be super tasty McRibs.


There you have it. 11 amazing facts. Was your mind blown? Is your jaw on the floor right now? Probably not considering almost every one of those facts was incredibly predictable. What’s that? The McRib has some unnatural ingredients in it? NO WAY. The McRib is scarce for a reason? Whaa? I think the bottom line is a big congrats to McDonald’s is in order. You continue to sell people an absolutely terrible sandwich, and you do it with class. Bravo. So to all the mime compadres, go out there and grab yourself a McRib. Remember, they’re only around for a limited time!


– JD



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