There’s only a three-week window of opportunity, so yesterday I ventured forth in search of McRib.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ve heard it all. And I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the apotheosis of Mystery Meat. A baffled rep from the Timese machine tried to make sense of it, but gave up:
I just don’t understand why it’s so coveted. Is this some contrived scheme from McDonald’s? We want what we can’t have. But we shouldn’t want this. If they offered it year round, it simply wouldn’t sell!
It’s got a chemical from gym mats banned in Europe, for crying out loud! And its look is not appealing, plain and simple.
In fact, McRib was offered year-round starting in 1981, and was dropped for lackluster sales four years later, only to be reinstated in 1994. The first “farewell tour” was in 2005, and ever since then McRib has been available only sporadically.
The gym-mat chemical, incidentally, is azodicarbonamide, aka E927, used to enhance the bun. US law permits up to 45 parts per million. The European Union considers the stuff “harmful.” I’m guessing that the German McRib, which doesn’t go on hiatus, doesn’t have it.
But maybe Time got the last laugh: they include a link to “Our Ten Favorite McFoods,” which seems to contain nothing at all.