I recently read some food blogs with unconfirmed reports that the McRib would be back on October 25th. When I read these words my blood pressure spiked, my face got flush and I became awkward like a 13-year-old boy with sweaty palms at his first boy-girl dance. I had memories rushing forward of its toasted fluffy bakery bun, tangy bbq sauce, pressed federation of sweet and tender pork meat into a boneless “rib” shape and topped with pickles and sweet brown onion.
You may ask, why does Tom, and other loyal McRib lovers, get so excited about the return of the McRib? I think there are two answers:
First, the McRib returns only comes to visit once every couple of years. When it returns, it is like having a torrid affair with a long-lost lover. At first, you just cant get enough of each other, but then the excitement goes away and you can’t stand looking at it anymore. Then the McRib disappears overnight, and then you regret not spending more time together at the end.
Second, I think many foodies have a strong emotional connection between the McRib and their Childhood. I remember my first time with a McRib in 1984, when I was a young boy eating my first McRib while watching the Los Angeles Olympics on the television. Even then, I can remember biting through the fluffy and slightly toasted roll and tasting the sweet tang of BBQ sauce. When I bit further the awesome flavor of the fake rib meat mixed with the tart flavor of the pickle, savory flavor of white onion and tang of the BBQ Sauce coming together. When I chewed these ingredients together for the first time, the flavor and texture profile left me breathless and my pupils dilated. I was just a young boy, but that late summer day, McDonalds made me an addict and lover to their McRib Sandwich.
From this description, the McRib may sound like over processed fast faux food, although this sandwich genuinely has great flavors and textures. So the question I present to you my fellow foodies, does the McRib represent low-brow table fare that should be ignored or should the McRib be appreciated on its own merits and within the context of its own genre. I will let you make that decision.
To you my fellow McRib lover, it is o.k. to be a full-fledged foodie and still appreciate the McRib. It is o.k. to visit the culinary ghetto, because the ghetto still has some charm.
To you the foodie haters out there who raise your nose at the McRib, it is more popular than you might realize. When I visited McDonalds during lunch, every single table had ordered the McRib including men, women and old people….even a Priest. I interviewed a couple at McDonalds about their experience with the McRib and the best quote I received was, “I fed my Son his first McRib today and I am very proud.” LOL
The McRib does not need a star rating as it is already in Emeritus Status on my rating scale.
Aside: Some funny and interesting pictures from this years packaging. It’s obvious that I am not the only one who has these feeling for the McRib, as McDonalds is actively marketing to people like me. I think it’s pretty funny and marketing genius.