Less than three weeks remain to get your fill of McDonald's mysterious McRib sandwich. The saucy sensation returned for a limited amount of time after a 16-year hiatus.
It will be sold through Sunday, December 5.
Most of the drive-through chowhounds we know are pumped about the return of the fast-food phenomenon -- a pork patty (in the shape of a mini rack of ribs) dressed with a generous portion of barbecue sauce and topped with pickle and onion slices. Such enthusiasm aroused curiosity here at Charlie and left us wondering what's up with this thing.
The sandwich has a cultish following of devotees who express their adoration by singing songs and writing poetry about their beloved ribwich. A parodied version of the McRib even made it on an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer travels far to capture a taste of the evasive bite.
The sandwich's intermittent availability has led to the creation of a website where addicted supporters can track the locale after a sighting. McDonald's obviously encourages the rage and is inviting fans to submit a video with their theory of the sandwich's legendary origin for a chance to win a trip to Germany (where the McRib is served year-round) and $10,000 (November 22 is the last day to enter).
Besides the weird cult dedication, one cannot deny the intrigue surrounding the gastronomic makeup of the McRib. The promotion tag line for the sandwich reads: So hearty, so fulfilling, it sticks to your ribs. Lucky ribs. But what are the "ribs" of this boneless pork sandwich? The four bone-like textures on the meat rise up to the heavens like an optical illusion. There aren't any bones in the patty, so then what in the world are those things?
A recipe with instructions on how to create the McRib at home seemed like a promising place to gather clarification of what constitutes the unexplained ribs. Hope for an answer was soon diminished after reading that the recipe calls for Bremer BBQ Sauce and Boneless Rib Shaped Pork Patties -- no tutoring on how to create the pork sensation found here.
Foodfacts.info claimed it deconstructed the McRib and unlocked the mystery of its inner composition. After removing extraneous condiments, washing the meat, and cutting into the pork mixture, it becomes apparent that the ribs are formed by pressure. This means the meat was pressed with such blunt force that it created the fictitious bone structure. And voilà! There are the ribs.
Whether you are a disciple of the phenomenon or not, the McRib has undeniably created a fast-food frenzy. So are you a McRib addict, or does the curiously shaped meatwich repulse you? Let us know