The mythical McRib is coming back.
For a limited time, McDonald’s is bringing the fabled pork sandwich to all of its restaurants on Dec. 2 — marking the first nationwide distribution of the oddly beloved barbecue bite since 2012.
The news — during a year rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, devastating wildfires, a divisive presidential election and much more — was welcomed with open arms and (eventually) wallets. “Desperate times call for desperate measures: unleash the McRib!” tweeted one fan thankful for the distraction, while another celebrated that the announcement came on the same day of the Season 2 premiere of the Disney+ series “The Mandalorian.”
“The McRib has been a beloved menu item at McDonald’s since its inception nearly 40 years ago,” said Vice President of Menu Innovation Linda VanGosen in a statement. “There’s nothing quite like the taste of the McRib. To our customers, it’s become more than a delicious, saucy moment… it’s a season, and it’s taking the internet by storm. That’s why this year, we’re proud to serve the McRib nationwide for everyone to enjoy.”
On Oct. 23, the McDonald’s Twitter account clowned around and teased the rousing re-release in a cryptic message, reading, “it’s always ‘when is the McRib coming back’ and never “’how are you doing person who runs the McDonald’s account,’” which garnered more than 133,000 likes and topped 15,000 retweets.
The popular McRib — whose ingredients include a boneless pork slab slathered in tangy BBQ sauce, topped with onions and pickles and served on a roll — was first introduced in 1982. Time and again since then, devotees have scrambled to get their hands on the popular product, even employing an online “McRib Locator” to zero in on their tantalizing target. (Fun fact: According to the company, “Customers in Germany are lucky enough to enjoy the sandwich year-round.”)
Last fall, the fast-food chain announced a limited distribution of the product — which, for nutrition nuts out there, tops out at around 500 calories — to 10,000 stores in the chain during the 2019 “McRib Season.”
“We’re always listening to our customers and we know the McRib has some of the most loyal fans,” Chad Schafer, senior director of Culinary Innovation & Commercialization for the company, said of the 2019 rollout.
That’s not the only way McDonald’s is getting attention this week — though Ronald McDonald may not appreciate this other recognition. Rival fast-food chain Burger King is scaring customers in Sweden for Halloween by conjuring up a ghostly image of the McD’s mascot in its restrooms in a spoof straight out of a horror movie.
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