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McRib : 'a conglomeration of pork waste.'
October 11, 2010 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Hankering for a McRib? According to the Wall Street Journal, the elusiveness of this pork sandwich is driven by marketing, and that despite threats of retirement, the fiendish creation will get trotted out whenever they want to pull in the die-hard fans. If you're one of them, then you probably already know about the McRib Locator. But what exactly are McRib's made of?
posted by crunchland (92 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is the answer something that is "smaller than a cow and with more legs"?

Mmmm, Ribwich.
posted by chavenet at 2:34 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


What a long strange product rollout it's been.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:34 PM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


But what exactly are McRib's made of?

Meat, bleach and dead bacteria?
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on October 11, 2010 [15 favorites]


PEOPLE!
posted by entropicamericana at 2:37 PM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I always thought the McRib was made out of Shmoo.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 2:38 PM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


According to your last link, McRib patties are made of pork, water, salt, dextrose, citric acid, and two chemical preservatives. Meh.

The bun is where things get exciting with fungal protease and the unsettlingly vague "natural culture".
posted by Joe Beese at 2:38 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


PEOPLE!

McLongRib
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on October 11, 2010 [17 favorites]


I assume it's the parts of the pig Jimmy Dean Sausage didn't want.

But seriously, it's always been a kind of pork sausage patty, but "flaked and formed (with fake ribby shapes)" like the "Roast Beef" at Arby's, although the close-ups in the last link suggest they're just chopping it now.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:39 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


McSmellsLikeLeperAnus
posted by Burhanistan at 2:39 PM on October 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Paging Jamie Oliver...
posted by benzenedream at 2:43 PM on October 11, 2010


McLongRib

This is my Irish porn-star name.
posted by quin at 2:43 PM on October 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


Hm. Apparently pork really is 'the other white meat.'
posted by kaibutsu at 2:43 PM on October 11, 2010


But what exactly are McRib's made of?

Excess apostrophes?
posted by Mike D at 2:44 PM on October 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


How to get a McRib when they aren't offered at McDonalds:

Step 1: Go to store

Step 2: Buy 1 package hoagie rolls, one package boneless "rib" meat patties, one medium white onion, one jar of pickles, one bottle BBQ sauce.

Step 3: Go home

Step 4: Make them.

THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE PEOPLE
posted by Avenger at 2:45 PM on October 11, 2010 [25 favorites]


The local gas station chain has a sale on "Crav'eM cookie pack's," so I'm guessing the excess apostophe contest prize would go to that abomination.
posted by blucevalo at 2:46 PM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I kind of liked the McRib, but I am not a fan of pickles, so I always had to do a search & destroy mission before digging in.
posted by jonmc at 2:47 PM on October 11, 2010


> How to get a McRib when they aren't offered at McDonalds:


Your steps didn't included a styrofoam clamshell box and a drive-thru window. Please revise and resubmit.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:47 PM on October 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


I am so anti-fast food that it's ridiculous. Yet, the very vision of the word McRib has me salivating uncontrollably. That reaction would be the same if the article presented incontrovertible proof that McRibs are made from chopped and formed human poop.

And that damned McRib Finder shows that McRibs were spotted down in Stoughton. Today. Already, my brain is justifying the 30 mile trek. "Oh hey! That's my old neighborhood! I should go visit for old time's sake! It's only 30 miles! And that McDonald's is right near IKEA! I could go all double lusting and reminiscing all night long!".

But I won't. I hope.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:51 PM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


posted by Cat Pie Hurts

Eponygastrohysterical?
posted by chavenet at 2:53 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]




What's awesome and horrifying is that you can get (presumably soy & gluten-based) vegetarian McRib-alikes in the veggie burger section of the frozen food section of many grocery stores. Why the hell would a vegetarian want something that looks & tastes like a McRib?
posted by GuyZero at 2:54 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, to everybody who thinks they can shock us by telling us what McRibs & McNuggets are made of....

We already figured it was something nasty, we just don't care. Maybe you were under the delusion that they were made of free-range chickens cooked over a flame powered by angel flatulence breaded in crumbs from a baguette snatched from Rembrandt's last dinner table or something, but I assure you that the rest of us have no such delusions. We simply don't give a rat's ass. But you're Good Citizens for telling us.
posted by jonmc at 2:54 PM on October 11, 2010 [55 favorites]


The presented recipe was also rather lacking in high fructose corn syrup.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:55 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good luck with your diarrhea then.
posted by morganannie at 2:56 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, the vegetarian rib patties are shockingly very much like an actual McRib patty. Gah, why do we not keep BBQ sauce in the drink fridges around this place?
posted by GuyZero at 2:56 PM on October 11, 2010


Why the hell would a vegetarian want something that looks & tastes like a McRib?

Because not everyone is a vegetarian because they don't like the taste of meat?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:57 PM on October 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


The McRib Returns Nationwide November 2nd

Our long national nightmare is over.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:58 PM on October 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Why the hell would a vegetarian want something that looks & tastes like a McRib?

To eat, maybe?

To be honest, lack of mechanically recovered meat seems like all upside to me.
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on October 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Because not everyone is a vegetarian because they don't like the taste of meat?

I would think that ethics alone could make meat taste bad.
posted by sunshinesky at 3:00 PM on October 11, 2010


Because not everyone is a vegetarian because they don't like the taste of meat?

Yep. I'm a vegetarian and dearly miss gyros. Also, I loved the McRib as a kid.
posted by brundlefly at 3:02 PM on October 11, 2010


the more they advertise the worse the product
posted by lslelel at 3:04 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The McRib Returns Nationwide November 2nd

Our long national nightmare is over.


I couldn't figure out why November 2 stuck in my craw like something nasty and why Joe Beese's phrase triggered it more.

And then I remembered.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:05 PM on October 11, 2010


Because not everyone is a vegetarian because they don't like the taste of meat?

Does anything from McDonald's actually taste like meat to begin with? I don't know — imitating actual meat products with vegetable protein is one thing, but imitating fake recombined MDF-style "meat" products with vegetable protein is just kind of weird. It's like those art forgers who forge other forgers' forgeries.
posted by enn at 3:05 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


How to get a McRib when they aren't offered at McDonalds:

That misses the point of McDonald's, which is to package foul things pleasantly enough that people can successfully distance themselves from the origins of their food.

It's not a cut of meat from a pig (or several hundred pigs, whatever). It's a "McRib".
posted by gurple at 3:07 PM on October 11, 2010


And now I have to clear my internet history because I don't want the "McRib locator" to come up ever again.
posted by morganannie at 3:10 PM on October 11, 2010


Because not everyone is a vegetarian because they don't like the taste of meat?

Once I spent too much time looking for photos of things I should not have been looking for on the internet. I stopped when I found the photo of a child-sized RealDoll.

That, in my mind, is the metaphor for the vegetarian McRib. It's the child-sized RealDoll of the food world.
posted by GuyZero at 3:10 PM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Look, people who like to eat at McDonald's aren't the gustatory equivalent of would-be pedophiles. And being a vegetarian does not automatically give you a refined palate that prefers truffle oil to Cheetos. I can't think of a single reason a vegetarian wouldn't be able to say 'I want something that tastes like a McRib.'
posted by shakespeherian at 3:14 PM on October 11, 2010 [14 favorites]


you can get (presumably soy & gluten-based) vegetarian McRib-alikes

So it's got simulated fake ribs?
posted by sourwookie at 3:17 PM on October 11, 2010


Look, go to the store and buy pork steaks (they come in various names, some of them sliced like boneless ribs-I think they are called country ribs or something) bake them soaked in soy sauce, get you your favorite el cheapo barbecue sauce (Kraft is fine) slather it on and then slap it on a bun.

You will have to chew a bit more but at least you will know it came from a recognizable pig part.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:19 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


what exactly are McRib's made of?

Pork's.
posted by dersins at 3:20 PM on October 11, 2010 [26 favorites]


Ps: remove any bones. There won't be much to remove, but yeah, you wanna take it out.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:20 PM on October 11, 2010



Look, people who like to eat at McDonald's aren't the gustatory equivalent of would-be pedophiles.


What?
posted by WhitenoisE at 3:22 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


WhitenoisE: here.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:27 PM on October 11, 2010


you that the rest of us have no such delusions. We simply don't give a rat's ass. But you're Good Citizens for telling us.

Yeah what Jon MC said. I'll add that it might even be rats ass, if it doesn't have ecoli and won't kill me in moderation and tastes good I'm eating it. Just remember it all comes out looking pretty much the same when you digestive system is finished, except corn.
posted by humanfont at 3:28 PM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm a vegetarian and I fucking love the McRib. When I was growing up, one of the items on our elementary school menu was "Rib-B-Q on Bun." I think I may have been one of the only people in the entire city to look forward to those days. Mmm, Rib-B-Q.
posted by something something at 3:29 PM on October 11, 2010


I can't fathom why you'd want a McRib when pulled pork is to be had. See, now you've got me ordering a pork shoulder again...
posted by Ella Fynoe at 3:29 PM on October 11, 2010


humanfront: there's a sandwich shop near me that has colorful names for their creations ("the Joey Shirts" "the 718" etc) I think we should invent one called the 'Rat's Ass.'

Here in Queens, it'd sell like hotcakes.
posted by jonmc at 3:30 PM on October 11, 2010


I can't remember what television show I was recently watching but they made a funny joke about a prisoner on death row who asks for a McRib sandwich and a Shamrock Shake for their last meal because the two are never available at the same time.
posted by cazoo at 3:33 PM on October 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


So it's got simulated fake ribs?

That a mind-warping object equivalent to Real Plastic Snow.
posted by chambers at 3:34 PM on October 11, 2010


Well, between this & the Tea Party we should get the fall of the US Empire in 5, 4, 3, 2 ...
posted by i_cola at 3:35 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]



WhitenoisE: here.


Okay, I lol'd, but I'm still not sure at what exactly. Bravo, metafilter you've done it again.
posted by WhitenoisE at 3:35 PM on October 11, 2010


Oh,I figured it out. The McRib is made of pepsi blue.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:38 PM on October 11, 2010


But what exactly are McRib's made of?

A true Scotsman never tells!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:55 PM on October 11, 2010


Hankering for a McRib?

Thankfully, no.
posted by loquacious at 3:57 PM on October 11, 2010


To my mind, anyone who is willing to eat a hot dog or a sausage should have no problems eating a McRib, aside from the whole process of patronizing a McDonald's.
posted by crunchland at 3:59 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a McRib in every Hungry Man® BBQ Feast frozen dinner, and it's covered in way too much not-at-all-good BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
posted by Sys Rq at 4:01 PM on October 11, 2010


The bun is where things get exciting with fungal protease and the unsettlingly vague "natural culture".

Fungal protease makes the dough easier to work with and stops the gluten from being too strong. It makes the dough softer, easier to work with and generally rise better. It's a perfectly legitimate additive when working with very strong bread flours.

Natural cultures are the lactobacillus culture used to make a sourdough bun (which McDonalds has been very partial to as of late).

But why let dihydrogen monoxide get in the way of a good conspiracy.

Now as far as using "waste pork" products. It's all just protein. Just because it comes from a part of a pig you may not like to think about it is no reason to not eat it. If you're truly starving are you going to go "ewww! I don't want to eat monkey brains". Hell no you dig into that skull and chow down. The gelatin from Jell-O comes from collagen in bones. You going to stop eating it just because you don't like that thought?

It all ends up in the same place and all comes out the same place. If you're going to not eat something for the complete lack of nutritional balance, no worries. I'll be right there along side you not eating the McRib. If you're not going to eat MRM because of the potential for bacterial contamination and the fact that some of this stuff has to be bathed in ammonia, I can respect you for that. If you're going to get pissy because it's a pig's balls or snout or ear or chin and not the very delicious skin off its back or stomach I say get over it.
posted by Talez at 4:18 PM on October 11, 2010 [14 favorites]


I'm sure it's been on here before, but Jamie Oliver tries to show kids how mechanically reclaimed meat is made. It worked on British kids but American kids didn't care.
posted by fontophilic at 4:22 PM on October 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


That, in my mind, is the metaphor for the vegetarian McRib. It's the child-sized RealDoll of the food world.

then there are things that are broken in your mind.
posted by archivist at 4:22 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm sure it's been on here before, but Jamie Oliver tries to show kids how mechanically reclaimed meat is made. It worked on British kids but American kids didn't care.

Just posted today.
posted by Artw at 4:23 PM on October 11, 2010


On the one hand, I desperately love McRibs and at one point in my life would go anywhere to get one.

On the other hand, I was a teenager at the time, and as an adult I haven't put that stuff in my body for almost two decades.

Still, nice to know it's still out there, luring in the n00bs.
posted by davejay at 4:49 PM on October 11, 2010


CHAWMP
posted by crunchland at 4:52 PM on October 11, 2010


The McRib is going to return nationwide on Election Day? I think that may have an effect on "likely voters"... Tea Party? McRib? Tea Party? McRib? So hard to decide!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:57 PM on October 11, 2010


Our thanksgiving turkey this year was a cheapie, marked "Utility Turkey" and labeled "Some Parts May Be Missing." You think, what, are the giblets a non-traditional assortment, maybe an extra liver and no heart or.... but, no, clearly the thing had jammed sideways in some kind of automated dismembering chute and was missing its starboard nacelle. But a night in a cooler with a quart of OJ and 1:4 salt water made it the best bird ever anyway.

What I'm saying is that while the McRib is kind of squicky from a "asses and eyes" point of view, it's still pretty awesome that every single bit of the animal gets used basically by whoever wants to pay the most for it. So if McD's can use pig asses and eyes to make a formed meat product with legions of adoring fans, I'm thinking there's not much downside to the whole process.

Except, of course, to the pigs.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:14 PM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


(repeat comment)
My favorite McRib anecdote is that whatever animal/chemical compound they're using, it's so dangerous that it can only be survived in short doses. Hence, the seasonal arrival and departure. Makes me feel real good about 'im.
posted by cavalier at 5:21 PM on October 11, 2010


Except, of course, to the pigs.

The pigs are going to be killed anyway for their tasty, tasty bacon, their legs and a rack of pork ribs. Might as well put them to good use.
posted by Talez at 5:36 PM on October 11, 2010


It worked on British kids but American kids didn't care.

British people have no idea what the combination of BBQ sauce, onions and pickles can do to the mind in relation to any foodstuffs.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:47 PM on October 11, 2010


Laugh all you want, but back in the Dark Times when I worked at McD, people routinely freaked the hell out over the McRib. As in wall-to-wall profanity once the promo ended.

I still hate them for that.

(both the people & the product)
posted by aramaic at 5:53 PM on October 11, 2010


The McRib Returns Nationwide November 2nd

Our long national nightmare is over.


Only if the Dems finally grow some McSpine and take on those brazen McBanks.
posted by existential hobo at 6:07 PM on October 11, 2010


I see what you did there.

You took a pleasant conversation about an absurd fake fast food product and its fans and found a way to make it about US politics.
posted by The Eponymous Pseudonymous Rex at 6:24 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Our thanksgiving turkey this year was a cheapie, marked "Utility Turkey"
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:14 PM on October 11


I think I may have found my sockpuppet name
posted by ShawnString at 7:00 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Flour (wheat flour bleached and enriched with thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, iron, folic acid, malted barley flour), water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, cottonseed oil). Contains 2 percent or less of dextrose, fumaric acid, calcium sulphate, salt, acetic acid, soy flour, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium sulphate, cornstarch, fungal protease, natural culture, ammonium chloride, ascorbic acid, azodicarbomide, mono- and diglycerides, propionic acid, phosphoric acid, corn flour, calcium peroxide, calcium propionate, dicetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides.

The bun.
posted by cogneuro at 7:35 PM on October 11, 2010


Buy 1 package hoagie rolls

I favorited this just for the use of the word "hoagie."

Almost 20 years since I lived near Philly but it will never be a "grinder" or even a "sub".
posted by nev at 7:40 PM on October 11, 2010


I spent five hours at a public park yesterday smoking 15 lbs of ribs (I can't fire up a charcoal grill in my apartment). Every minute was worth it...well, even if I didn't end up with a massive quantity of ribs, it would have been a very pleasant afternoon, so every minute was already worth it. It's hard to even think about a McRib after sucking the meat off of those bones last night. Real food.

Back when the McRib first came out, my girlfriend tried to get an uncooked one from the drive-thru window. The utter confusion she generated trying to explain what she wanted was absolutely precious. Everyone in the store behaved as if she was speaking some kind of non-human language.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:52 PM on October 11, 2010


The pigs are going to be killed anyway for their tasty, tasty bacon, their legs and a rack of pork ribs. Might as well put them to good use.

For the people who complain about the wastefulness of modern Western life, and who romanticise how the indians used to use every single part of a hunted animal's body, McDonalds is arguably a force for good, in using all the miscellaneous unwanted scraps from the slaughtering process.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:59 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


who romanticise how the indians used to use every single part of a hunted animal's body,

I'm pretty sure I've read references that this was simply not true. Plains Indians were just as happy to kill a buffalo and take nothing but its liver (or somesuch) because buffalo were, before the white man showed up, effectively infinite.

They may have used every part of the buffalo in general, but not every single buffalo was taken apart in extreme detail.
posted by GuyZero at 8:39 PM on October 11, 2010


"We're talking CHOMP!"

Tony Joe White sells McRib.
posted by bonefish at 8:53 PM on October 11, 2010


McDonalds 1, Idealised Noble Savages 0.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:08 PM on October 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


(In case anyone else is interested like I was, here's a source for the debunking of the ecologically savvy american indian, and a review of the same.)
posted by crunchland at 9:18 PM on October 11, 2010


If you don't like it, don't eat it. That's what I do. I don't eat it. But, if you want it, that's fine with me.
posted by wv kay in ga at 10:23 PM on October 11, 2010


That a mind-warping object equivalent to Real Plastic Snow

Well, it is real plastic.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:47 AM on October 12, 2010


Our thanksgiving turkey this year was a cheapie, marked "Utility Turkey" and labeled "Some Parts May Be Missing."

I think that's the turkey you're supposed to keep stored in the utility closet, just in case you're building a turkey from scratch or a hobby kit and need spare parts. Hence, the warning.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:56 AM on October 12, 2010


My girlfriend is a McRib lover. I've suggested different "make your own" versions described here, and she considers that straight-up heresy.

And I see her point. We can all make a hamburger at home, but can we all make a McDonalds hamburger at home? Each big fast food joint has their own signature flavor.

And I'm shocked to learn that McRib locator site works even sometimes. It's only brought us heartache. It's also maddeningly imprecise. Oh look, it says a McRib has been sighted in Houston! Good thing there is only one McDonalds in Houston!
posted by mreleganza at 3:34 AM on October 12, 2010


cavalier: My favorite McRib anecdote is that whatever animal/chemical compound they're using, it's so dangerous that it can only be survived in short doses.

It may be your favorite, but it is total bulljive. McRibs are available year-round in Germany, and no one is dropping over dead from overdoses of some mysterious substance in them.
posted by moonbiter at 4:05 AM on October 12, 2010


Cumberland Farms convenience stores carries a McRib clone that's much better than the original - a real bun for one, not as greasy or sloppy for another, and tastes better for a third. You can make your own by mixing ground pork with some salt, pepper and your favorite BBQ sauce, and grilling patties of it like hamburgers.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:29 AM on October 12, 2010


Got a box of "riblets" in the freezer that doesn't get much love. I have yet to find the appropriate sauce. Also, when I heat it up, it's hot. When it gets cool, it's cold. I may have to invest in heat lamps.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:53 AM on October 12, 2010


Extruded meats are best meats.
posted by organic at 6:29 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's like the Play-Doh fun factory with pigs!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:12 AM on October 12, 2010


Got a box of "riblets" in the freezer that doesn't get much love. I have yet to find the appropriate sauce.

Don't be distracted by their ribliness; there's no reason to go all Southern barbecue on those things. Think of them more like teensy pork chops, and the solution is simple: Apple sauce. And, like, what could possibly go better with baby back ribs than baby food?

Also, when I heat it up, it's hot. When it gets cool, it's cold. I may have to invest in heat lamps.

Hot riblets, cold apple sauce. Cold riblets, hot apple sauce. Just sayin'.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:32 AM on October 12, 2010


My mom once bought a bottle because the label said "100% Real Imitation Ketchup" and she couldn't stop laughing at the sheer, utter ridiculousness of the thing.

McRib: 100% Real Imitation Food.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:55 PM on October 12, 2010


Why McDonald's fries taste so good
Apologies if everyone's already read this before.
posted by cynicalidealist at 1:58 PM on October 12, 2010


Nathan's fries are actually tastier.
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on October 12, 2010


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