HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

MCRIB

  • a

Is back!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Saw a banner for one at the Ambler, PA McDonalds today.

    1. And it's the most wonderful time of the year!!!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jelly71

        I respectfully beg to differ. The arrival of the Shamrock Shake is the most wonderful time of the year.

      2. Oh, my, oh my, oh my!!! THANK YOU

        I was out of the country last year when it happend and McGuatemala wasn't into the McRib (or shamrock shakes)

        I guess I'm going to have to abandon my two week thing of going vegan and do it after the McRib leaves. I mean how important is getting back on track health-wise compared to eating spongy faux meat soaked in HFCS sauce. Ah, it's only 9:44 am PST and breakfast is still being served at McDonald's.

        IMO, the McRib had its origin in the Tennessee rag bologna sandwich. http://www.cooksinfo.com/edible.nsf/p...

        "Compared to "regular" Baloney, it is quite salty, less expensiveand normally has a higher cereal content for filler. ... Rag Baloney is usually found at any family barbeque in Tennessee as one of the meats on offer. It will be sliced thickly, covered in a barbeque sauce" When I had a rag bologna sandwich the first thing that popped into my miind was "McRib".

        While I suspect the McRib may be some sort of pork, it was the spongy texture of the rag bologna that reminded me of the McRib ... along with the sauce.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          LOL, seriously? That's too funny. What happened to being "joyously" vegan?

          I'm just teasing you, no harm intended. But boy, that is pretty funny. Many a vegetarian has been undone by bacon...I wonder what the stats are for McRibs?

          1. re: ChristinaMason

            Had to put the vegan thing on hold till Sunday due to the return of the McRib. I've missed it for a few years. I'm probably the only straying vegan. Also, had to deal with asking a friend where she wanted to go for a birthday meal ... she said "Dim sum. That's vegan, right?" Sigh.

            No special price for two in the SF Bay Area. I did try one cold, and oddly the pork flavor is more pronounced.

            However, it just isn't as good as past years ... not as spongey when hot and I miss the faux rib shape.

            1. re: rworange

              "I'm probably the only straying vegan" +"on hold till Sunday"...? = "I'm sober because I'm quitting next weekend, right, bartender..?"

        2. I have sitting in front of me at this very moment a half eaten McRib. (I'm killing time waiting on a flight in Wichita, Kansas.) WAY too much sauce. Almost impossible to eat without wearing it. I can't really say how it tastes.... all I can taste is sauce. Somehow I had fonder memories of this from years and years ago.

          1. OK, I refuse to get caught up in this again this year! Last year I found my self craving a McRib after all the talk on here and got one for lunch. My tummy rumbled for the rest of the day. I'll just let my fond memories of the McRib from the 80s suffice this year.

            8 Replies
            1. re: ttoommyy

              sweet salty tangy spongy goodness with semolina crumbs on the car floor

              1. re: AdamD

                That is the best summary of the McRib I’ve ever read.

                It is the bad boy of fast food. All other junk food can look down on the McRib. It is so bad it is good … but never forget it is bad.

                It is corporate trash cuisine.

                Opening the box, you are seductively embraced by the smell of sweet smoke and secrets.

                There is something sinister about the McRib.

                I don’t imagine these were pigs that had happy lives or died humanely … if indeed real pigs were involved. One hopes there is a hog heaven and this gallant, yet mysterious breed, will be rewarded in another world.

                It is anti-foodie … food … hopefully food.

                Sadly, there seems to be a change to the McRib. The original version was vaguely rib-shaped. This link where someone re-created the McRib using SPAM, was more the shape I remember

                http://noexcusesbbq.com/archives/4082

                Now it is just a long oval patty and just doesn’t seem to have the same sponginess. It is … alas … just a sausage patty.

                Still, looking at it closely, it is oddly white … I know pork claims to be the other white meat … but this white? Pure pork fat perhaps?

                More disturbing is the graphic on the side of the box that announces “PORK” next to a photo of a scoop of something white. I mean, who scoops up pork?

                Somewhat of the mystery can be cleared up … it is not the product of McKitchen, but the federal government. Yes, if pork ribs were the creation of the government … this is what they would be. From this link

                http://usfoodpolicy.blogspot.com/2007...

                “The most surprising thing about the McRib is that the federal government's National Pork Board ... proudly claims to be its creator.”

                And on the seventh day the NPB said “Let there be the McRib”.

                But I digress. Back to today’s lunch.

                The seeded bun is toasted … a nice touch.

                A layer of fresh other-worldly white chopped onions and a few pickle slices on top of the mahogany shellacked sauce add contrasting tastes and textures.

                Then biting into it, as AdamD so perfectly wrote “sweet salty tangy spongy goodness …”

                Despite the change … that’ll do, babe … that’ll do.

                Again, my deepest thanks AdamD for the alert.

                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                1. re: rworange

                  Ignorance is bliss when it comes to the McRib.
                  If you order a second, its only $1.

                  Eating two might firm things up a bit. :)

                  1. re: AdamD

                    >>> If you order a second, its only $1.

                    Noooo ... the drive-thru doesn't advertise that. I've been considering ordering one and seeing what it tastes like cold. It is sort of a scary thought. I am guessing it is a food that needs to be hot, like a pupusa.

                    It is cheap enough anyway, under $3 which might say something about the contents.

                    1. re: rworange

                      It not advertised but its true...just ask'em....2 for $3.99.

                      I will pass on the cold one....

                  2. re: rworange

                    Adding insult to the injury of the now merely oblong patty is the image of the traditional simulacrum of a rack of ribs staring at you right on the box!

                    Agreed that the patty is different; although I didn't notice any whiteness it appeared less processed, lacking the almost-porous (if very small pores) quality it had before. The one I got in Oakland (Temescal) was under-sauced; in fact, I didn't eat the last few bites due to a complete lack of sauce.

                    Guess I'll have to try again.

                2. re: ttoommyy

                  >>> Last year I found my self craving a McRib after all the talk on here and got one for lunch. My tummy rumbled for the rest of the day.

                  Then it did its job properly.

                  1. re: rworange

                    a tummy rumbler. my new favorite term!

                3. looks like mcrib is to pork rib as mcnugget is to chicken

                  1 Reply
                  1. http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/....

                    Ingredients

                    McRib Pork Patty
                    Pork, water, salt, dextrose, preservatives (citric acid, BHA, TBHQ).

                    1. Rubbery, spongy, salty, sweet horror show. My son ordered it once, and I tasted it. Nauseating swill. How anyone could eat or rhapsodize about such a product is beyond me. To each his own, I suppose.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: roxlet

                        LOL. Tell us what you really think ;-)

                        1. re: roxlet

                          I know! I think I tried one in my teens (just a couple of years ago, of course :-D). Vile, disgustingly inedible.

                          For some reason, "spongy meat product with red HFCS glop" isn't really on my radar when looking for tasty treats....

                          Yep, just yucked *someone's* yum. My bad.

                          1. re: roxlet

                            Its like attack of the killer tomatoes
                            so bad its good

                          2. Mmmm-mmmm good! From Jezabel:

                            The McRib is only back through November 14th, but the internet has helpfully come up with a way to ensure you won't miss it much once it's gone: Analyzing the contents of the mysterious sandwich. The reconstituted pork-based patty probably contains tripe, heart, and scalded stomachs. That may sound a bit gross to some, but they're all edible meats already found in products like sausages. Surprisingly, the bun seems more troubling. It contains a tiny amount of azodicarbonamide, which is banned as a food additive in Europe and Australia. The flour-bleaching agent is often used in foamed plastics, like those found in gym mats and shoe soles. On the other hand, when one order a McRib it's for the novelty, not because it's the foundation of a healthy diet.

                            http://jezebel.com/5854750/the-mcrib-...

                            24 Replies
                            1. re: roxlet

                              Can I have fries with that, please?

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Unfortunagely the fries are way too healthy since they stopped using beef tallow. Now if they'd only fry them in lard during the annual McRib promotion.

                                  The blurb on Jezebel is phonier than the McRib. I hate misinformation on the web and shoddy reporting, which that is.

                                  Azodicarbonamide is all McDonald's buns. It is not a specialty of the McRib bun ... simply trying to single out the McRib for fear mongering.

                                  "Probably" pig intenstines?

                                  I'll trust wiki more than that which says it is mainly pork shoulder

                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McRib#Pr...

                                  However, wiki disputes the Pork council's claim to have created the McRib. It says the father of the McNugget, Executive Chef Rene Arend also created the McRib ... can anyone who thought up the McNugget AND the McRib REALLY consider themself a master chef?

                                  Seems from the wiki article the McRib is popular in Germany where it is a permanent McDonald's menu item.

                                  I do like the "Popular culture" section with the claim the McRib is made of kangaroo ... that might explain the bounciness of the meat.

                                  Inc's article about McDonald's brilliant strategy to market the McRib and how to clone it ... the marketing strategy ... not the McRib which just might be cloned pork shoulder.

                                  http://www.inc.com/articles/201110/ma...

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    "Azodicarbonamide is all McDonald's buns. It is not a specialty of the McRib bun ... simply trying to single out the McRib for fear mongering."

                                    That does not entice me to eat any of their other sandwiches, either. Quite the contrary.

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      I always loved, and wished I saved a Reader's Digest article that basically said, chemicals in food help preserve us. Maybe it will foam out facial wrinkles.

                                      1. re: rworange

                                        Well, sweetheart, you just go right ahead and try. And do let us know.

                                      2. re: linguafood

                                        Then you may want to swear off all fast food, including Dunkin Donuts and almost anything made of bleached flour.

                                        The despicable blog with its intentional misleading sensationalism failed to mention that this is in most fast food. More info.

                                        Do your buns taste like gym mats? The where's azodicarbonamide game - McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Subway, BK, KFC, etc
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/816257

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            Or anything with bleached flour in it? It is in most supermarket bread and baked goods.

                                            1. re: rworange

                                              I don't tend to eat those very often, either. Trust me, I'm pretty well-informed on what I eat '-D

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                Yeah, me too. In a twisted way, I'm kind of glad the McRib got singled out because otherwise I never would have been aware of one MORE thing to avoid.

                                                It gets so difficult now. My mind sort of says ... ok, I'm buying supermarket bread that is going to have a lot of junk in it. Let me look for the things I want to avoid. When something new like this slips in, there's just such a chemical list that it is easy to not notice ... which I suppose is the point.

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          However, once again, there's nothing in the McRib bun that is different from any other McDonald's bun.

                                          While there are more official sounding sources about what theTYPICAL "restructured meat product" includes, it is only conjecture that this is what is in the McRib.

                                          One more example of sloppy journalism with no proof to back up the claim.

                                          The pork shoulder has more credibility with me as I remember that from way back when.

                                          I mean, it is just dumb in a way. No one says it is a health product. The sausage patty in the breakfast menu probably has worse stuf in it ... but again, that is a probably as that is just conjecture on my part.

                                          SPAM, hot dogs, bologna and other such things probably have about the same stuff in them as the McRib. Actually I worked at Oscar Meyer in college for a while in the office and you don't want to know about that. The stairway rails that always had a slick patina of grease still are vivid in my memory.

                                          People who worship the Mexican restaurant dishing up menudo are skeeved out by the possibility of the same part of the cow might be in the McRib? Then again, there is no proof of that.

                                          IMO, the only thing that would improve the McRib for me would be if it glowed in the dark. Maybe they could incorporte what is in Chow's glow in the dark Halloween punch.

                                          1. re: rworange

                                            This entire exchange is just too funny. I love that you love the McRib, but I don't think I'll be eating one myself.

                                            1. re: rworange

                                              No, you're right -- no one says it's a health product, but if you want to eat a highly processed industrial amalgamation of who knows what, knock yourself out. As far as what is actually in it, there may be no proof, but it is highly likely that there are things -- and I'm not talking about menudo -- that most people would be happier just not knowing about.

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                You make it sound like soylent green on a bun with BBQ sauce... it has to be some sort of meat product, right?.......right?

                                                1. re: Duppie

                                                  Lol. Or meat by-product, more likely!

                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                    Oddly enough,I read an article that traced the Mac Rib back to the man who devised a way to basically fuse the unsellable nasty bits from pigs with flavorings into any shape and thus the sandwich was born. One of the ingredients,the article claimed was also present in the manufacturing of yoga mats....

                                                    1. re: Duppie

                                                      I'd like to see a link to the article. The web is full of misinformation and in the case of the McRib people liking to take humourous pokes at the pork such as the breed of boneless pig used for the McRib or the bouncy meat being kangaroo, etc, etc

                                                      In this thread are the two most credible stories about the origin of the McRib

                                                      1. The National Pork Board claims to have created it. It is a lot of links to follow, but that is actually on its site.

                                                      2. The same McDonald's chef who created the Mcnugget created the McRib when there was a chicken shortage.

                                                      The latter comes from wiki that attributes the information to a Maxim Magazine article that seems pretty credible ... and of course people buy magazines like this for the articles. Though seriously, the articles are good journalism because they were a way in the past to legitimize these magazines.

                                                      http://www.maxim.com/amg/humor/articl...

                                                      In it is quotes McDonald's

                                                      "“Primar­ily, it’s shoulder meat,” explains Rob Cannell, director of McDonald’s U.S. supply chain. “The McRib is made in large processing plants—lots of stainless steel, a number of production lines, and these long cryogenic freezers. The pork meat is chopped up, then seasoned, then formed into that shape that looks like a rib back. Then we flash-freeze it. The whole process from fresh pork to frozen McRib takes about 45 minutes.”

                                                      Cryogenic freezers ... is there sometihing to that McSoyant green theory? They do say 'mainly pork shoulder".

                                                      Unfortunately, wiki also has a link to a 2011 article which uses as its source a friend from twitter. The writer states "this, incidentally, is why I love Twitter". The friend is said to be a business reporter at SNL ... or perhaps a satarist at the other SNL?

                                                      It goes on to repeat the blogged information from yoga mat lady. Since that link was just added, I'll have to report it to wiki. They should take it off as a reference because of the misinformation ... well, let's call it almost information ... it goes on to officially quote lots of sources that are close to the McRib story and then puts their own spin on it.

                                                      That writer goes on to malign pulled pork ... the food of poverty disguised by bbq sauce.

                                                      Then takes a shot at SPAM ... timing the appearance of the McRib to the price of pork. When it is cheap, the writer opines, the McRib returns ... when prices rise the pork scraps and trimmings go back into SPAM ... yeah, because that is a high price luxury product.

                                                      And BTW, SPAM is NOT pork trimmings and waste as that writer 'reports'. It is Shoulder of Pork and hAM ... thus the name.

                                                      Where is George Orwell when you need him. The manipulating of history and the news in 1984 is nothing compared to what sloppy blogists and the new breed of journalists are doing. I shudder to think what 2084 will be.

                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                        I've been racking my brains trying to remember where I read it, but the article also went on to explain why the Mac Rib was not a regular feature on the menu{fluctuating pork prices and a certain anticipatory build up before it's limited release} but I'll keep looking.

                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                          SPAM is actually a contraction of SPiced hAM.

                                                        2. re: Duppie

                                                          The bun is what contains the yoga mat chemical. Th article was on Gawker.

                                                  2. re: rworange

                                                    Ok, I'm reading this thread for the humor that it would likely provide. To each his own as to guilty pleasures.
                                                    HOWEVER, there was no need to bring Spam into the discussion.
                                                    Spam is far above anything served at McDonald's.

                                                    1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                      As I said in another topic, the McRib is a food all other food can look down on.

                                          2. What the McRib is to Me
                                            By Mike5966

                                            Those magical, semi-crunchy and dare I say sweet little onion pieces. The way the layers of the sandwich slip and slide along each other, just a little, not too much. That single glob of sauce that gets smeared on the webspace of your right thumb, a little treasure to remember it by on the car ride home. The steam, oh, the rising steam... The subconscious tingle of cornmeal on your lips and fingertips as your teeth make their first of many inexorable journeys through the yeasty, porky, sweet, tart, salty, tangy, and crunchy layers of heaven until they meet in holy union in the center of your universe, the McRib sandwich.

                                            Anticipating the need to grab your cup of Coca-Cola, you dust the cornmeal off your fingers with the back-and-forth swish of both hands as if in silent applause for the McRib sensation you brain is now experiencing in full intensity. You take a sip through that pleasantly large-barrel McDonald's straw, and as the cold liquid hits your tongue, it resets the stage for the next round of meta-barbecue heaven, and in that lingering instant you have not the capacity of mind to even comprehend why anyone would ever want to drink wine of all things. Truffles, caviar, foie gras, toro, uni, and all the other complex accoutrements of fine dining you have so otherwise cherished become utter silliness with each passing second.

                                            Meanwhile, as you contemplate this, a young child in the blurry distance ceases its crying halfway through chewing on a Chicken McNugget. A dog barks outside the window, the cashier bell rings, and someone begins sweeping the dust from beneath the table next to you. The steam from the McRib hits your nose again, and as the yuppie woman with the "I only eat organic food" look on her face follows her boyfriend reluctantly in through the front doors, she passes you by and gazes with thinly-veiled disgust at this symbol of all that is wrong with America sitting proudly in its half-eaten glory in the center of your tray. "All the better that she will never understand," you think to yourself as you relish the thought of repeating the entire above process all over again, and all for only $2.99.

                                            Pure, cathartic, joyful, mother of all fast-food bliss.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: Mike5966

                                              Nice post. I still ain't eating one.

                                              1. re: Mike5966

                                                Very nice!

                                                And when its gone, you can grab these to make a "healthy" McRib during the off season.

                                                http://www.theimpulsivebuy.com/wordpr...

                                                1. re: AdamD

                                                  Now *that* I would eat. Too bad they're kinda pricey!

                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                    Fake processed pork "riblets" aint cheap! :)

                                                2. re: Mike5966

                                                  Just had my first McRib of the season. IT WAS SO GOOD.

                                                  1. re: Mike5966

                                                    I am going back for another McRib today.

                                                    1. re: Mike5966

                                                      Mike5966
                                                      For the sake of my sanity can we have no more McRib updates.
                                                      McDonalds haven't brought in back in the UK and I'm so jealous.

                                                      You be telling me next that you still have the BK Mushroom Double Swiss in the US.
                                                      Say it aint so.;)

                                                      1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                        Haha, sorry, got carried away. Hope you get your fix soon. I must say the one from today had too much sauce and not enough onion. There was also a fight that almost broke out between two people dressed as zombies who actually looked terrifyingly real that along with my GERD acting up kinda took the magic away and reminded me why I don't go here more often.

                                                        1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                          Yep. BK has a mushroom swiss burger right now.

                                                  2. Here's a great article on The McRib as Arbitrage - a story much less sweet than the HFCS "sauce" these monstrosities are slathered in.

                                                    http://www.theawl.com/2011/11/a-consp...

                                                    "Fast food involves both hideously violent economies of scale and sad, sad end users who volunteer to be taken advantage of. What makes the McRib different from this everyday horror is that a) McDonald’s is huge to the point that it’s more useful to think of it as a company trading in commodities than it is to think of it as a chain of restaurants b) it is made of pork, which makes it a unique product in the QSR world and c) it is only available sometimes, but refuses to go away entirely."

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: wongadon

                                                      >>> it is only available sometimes, but refuses to go away entirely

                                                      Sort of like Freddy Krueger. The McRib slips into the dark as of today, to reappear sometime in the future in another sequel of Nightmare on McSwine Street.

                                                      Actually that is the best article I've read about the McRib, unproven pork slurry comments aside.

                                                      It explains one report that tied the McRib to the price of pork. It didn't credit this article that did the leg work.

                                                      I also like tying the waning and waxing of the McRib's popularity to what is going on in Amercan society from its introduction during Reagan's Morning in America.

                                                      My own theory is the current McRib popularity is an instinctive backlash on the politically correct, too precious Slow Food culture that takes itself way too seriously. It is everything that isn't.

                                                      One person who was incensed about the McRib finally admitted they didn't eat any processed product and hand ground their own sausage ... probably from pigs raised in their backyard.

                                                      It is food satire.

                                                      McDonald's recognizes that and has played on that theme with its commercials for years. The writer of the article discusses McRib nerds which is the theme of McDonald's current commercial of a honeymooner lamenting he won't get his McRib fix this year. The wife says "I married a 14 year old".

                                                      So I disagree with the last sentence about the unemployed factory worker buying a McRib. People without money aren't going to be lured by something like this because even $5 is too much to spend on a meal that won't be that filling.

                                                      The McRib is the darling of the middle class with money to play with their food.

                                                      I liked this in the article about one of the theories the McRib is popular.

                                                      "the sandwich has a cult following, but it’s not that popular. Like "Star Trek," "Arrested Development" and that show about Jesus Christ returning to San Diego as a surfer, the McRib was short-lived because not enough people were interested in it, even though a small and vocal minority loved it dearly. And unlike these TV shows, which involve real actors and writers with careers to tend to, the McRib needs only hogs, pickles, onions and a vocal enough minority who demand the sandwich’s return, and will even promote it for free with websites, tweets and word-of-sauce-stained-mouth.:

                                                      Until next year ... May the pork be with you

                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                        >>>>>>>>>Until next year ... May the pork be with you
                                                        perfect :)

                                                        1. re: rworange

                                                          4-5 mos ago, sam sifton wrote a review nytimes of a sinfully expensive japanese restaurant where a group of "rich" friends were eating a critically endangered fish...sifton asked them why...they said eating the ce fish brought them the same high that they get when eating a mc-rib sandwich...knowing it won't be around much longer...

                                                      2. i had my first McRib in probably 25 years yesterday, and it was disappointing. The sauce was bland, and I missed the faux rib shape more than I thought. The tastiest part of the sandwich was the pieces of onion.

                                                        Next time I get a hankering for Micky D's, I'll just order a McGangbang. Cheaper. More filling. Less mystery.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Tripeler

                                                            "you put an entire McChicken sandwich inside a double cheeseburger. It's a creative manipulation of existing menu items, and an exercise in frugality: taking two items off of the Dollar Menu and creating an entirely new sandwich for a total of $2.16. "

                                                            http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/03/the...

                                                            One urbandictionary sums it up perfectly ""two Macs and a chick".
                                                            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define...

                                                            Hmmm ... never considered combining the McRib with anything. Maybe showing up at 10:29 and ordering the McSausage followed by a 10:31 order of the McRib ... as if the concept of the McRib alone doesn't gross enough people out.

                                                            They neeed to bring back the phony rib shape next year.

                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                              Rworange,
                                                              Thank you for your explanation of this oddly-named item. Some people on the LA board were once talking about putting the breakfast potato patty into a McFishwich, so this is just another example of that kind of re-engineering! Alas, I don't think anything will help the McRib, as the pork texture is just too weird to be eaten seriously. Hey, maybe the phony rib shape would help?