by Joseph Sweeney | editor-in-chief
It was foretold by the Mayan calendar that 2012 would be the end of the world as we knew it. The apocalypse would be delayed for eight years, however, as 2020 has brought about the worst events mankind has ever witnessed. After a brief world war with Iran, several celebrity deaths, and a pandemic, 2012’s greatest threat has returned.
Worse than the disappointment that was the final Dark Knight movie, more blood-curdling than the annoyance that was Taylor Swift’s Red, was 2012’s worst fast food promotion: McDonald’s McRib.
Eight years ago, this item returned nationwide across the US for a brief period of time, before fading into obscurity once again. Originally introduced in 1981, this pork sandwich was the answer to a chicken nugget shortage, and has been taken off and reintroduced to the menu seemingly at random region-by-region, presumably whenever pork prices are at their lowest. Now, we face the final boss of 2020 as this dreaded piece of “food” returns to restaurants nationwide.
The sandwich consists of a pork-patty in the shape of a rack of ribs, topped with pickles and onions on a hoagie-style bun, along with the chain’s signature McRib sauce, and costs only three dollars, 49 cents, and one trip to the hospital.
In order to get the most authentic McRib experience, I ate half the sandwich with the pickles and onions, and the other half without.
Unlike the Travis Scott meal, which I went into with disappointment in mind, I actually had high hopes for this sandwich. Pulled pork is one of the best sandwiches out there, yet not enough big chains seem to have capitalized on those types of products yet. And, as usual, advertising made this sandwich look much better than it does in reality. The McRib is portrayed as being a big, meaty, rib-imitation, yet in reality it’s no thicker than the average quarter-pounder patty, with the shape of a soldier’s boot-print.
And even though this sandwich is supposed to be made of pork, it tastes more so like a beef patty slathered with barbecue sauce. With its rubber-like consistency, this sandwich is something that is truly a mystery. I honestly cannot tell whether I enjoy it more or less than the Travis Scott meal that I ate a month prior, but at least with Scott’s meal, I was in the company of everyone’s favorite pseudo-medicine, Sprite®.
Truly, the only good thing we owe to this sandwich was the excellent adaptation done by the hit Discovery Channel TV show, How it’s made. And how fitting that this sandwich returned right after Thanksgiving. Let’s be honest: I’m sure everyone tends to gain at least a few pounds from all the turkey and pumpkin pie they eat over their holiday break, and let me tell you, the McRib is the best way to ensure that you won’t want to eat fast food again for a long, long time.