The McRib is back…for the 57th time! I was surprised to learn it debuted way back in 1981, and that it has apparently been eight years since McDonald’s has offered it nationwide in the U.S.
Even though the McRib is far older than the internet, it might be the perfect food for our social media-focused world. It trends every time McDonald’s unleashes it. Also, furious debates ensue about whether the hype is warranted or just brilliant marketing, and if it is the best or worst fast food item in history. Because on social media, there can be no in-between. But in the frenzy created whenever the restructured boneless pork patty sandwich with BBQ sauce, pickles, and onions is released, an important question is rarely asked.
Does it taste good?
It seems like an obvious query, of course, but I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about it. Like, I’m guessing, the majority of you fine readers of TIB, I’ve had a McRib a few times in my life. But I don’t remember the last time I had one, or even if I enjoyed it.
So I was left to ponder, is it actually a tasty meal? Or do I — and many of you — buy it because of that innate human desire to snatch up limited-time items (even though, when you think about it, everything on Earth is a limited time item)?
I also find it more than a little coincidental that after initially flopping, the McRib was brought back on a limited basis in 1989, the year after the hair band Cinderella taught us, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).” Seems like some McDonald’s marketing exec was a Cinderella fan.
So back to the question at hand…does the McRib taste good?
Well, not really, but it wasn’t bad either. The texture was not as rubbery as I was expecting, so I guess that’s a positive. The pork patty, complete with fake grill or bone marks (I’m not sure which it’s supposed to be), didn’t have a strong flavor. It was definitely pork-like, but I probably could have been convinced it was chicken or turkey. McDonald’s claims the BBQ sauce is tangy, but that’s a bit of a stretch. It seemed like a generic BBQ sauce. The pickles and onions were fine, and the latter added some nice crunch. Simply put, it was an average-tasting sandwich.
It reminded me of one of those microwavable sandwiches you get out of those sketchy, old school wheel of misfortune-type vending machines. You know, the ones where you make a selection after spinning the food around and then open that plastic door while hoping to retrieve the vittles with your hand and fingers intact.
Would I ever buy a McRib if it were available year-round, like it is, according to McGoogle, in Germany and, for some reason, Luxembourg? I doubt it, and if McDonald’s announced the McRib as a permanent menu item tomorrow, then the one I just had today would probably be my last. But when they bring it back in a year or two and social media makes me feel like I’m missing out, then yes, I must sheepishly admit that I’ll probably have another. I guess McDonald’s knows a thing or two about marketing.
Purchased Price: $3.39
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 520 calories, 28 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 890 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 24 grams of protein.
(Editor’s Note: Starting this year, I’m going to have a different TIB writer review the McRib every time it comes back. Why? Just for fun AND content.