The McRib needs only hogs, pickles, onions and a vocal enough minority
November 8, 2011 9:57 AM   Subscribe

What makes the McRib different from this everyday horror is that a) McDonald’s is huge to the point that it’s more useful to think of it as a company trading in commodities than it is to think of it as a chain of restaurants b) it is made of pork, which makes it a unique product in the QSR world and c) it is only available sometimes, but refuses to go away entirely.
A Conspiracy of Hogs: The McRib as Arbitrage
posted by griphus (183 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Ribby Murmurings"? That's the phrase of the day!
posted by Jibuzaemon at 10:01 AM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


As the article points out that opinion about that sandwich is divisive. I'm on the 'nasty' side.
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM on November 8, 2011


that opinion ...
posted by ericb at 10:03 AM on November 8, 2011


I think most customers would honestly be just as happy with a cheeseburger coated in "BBQ" sauce and a few pickles.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:04 AM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


The article puts forward an interesting theory - that McD's only brings the product back when hog prices dip below a certain threshold, making the sandwich very profitable - but that theory doesn't explain the heavy amounts of pork on the breakfast menu.
posted by jbickers at 10:07 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That photo of the offending sandwich is hilarious. No pretense, no dressing up. Just be yourself, McRib. Just be yourself.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:07 AM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


b) it is made of pork

Right...kind of like this morning's turd was made of chicken, peas and mashed potatoes.
posted by spicynuts at 10:07 AM on November 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


I've never had a McRib, and now I'm a vegetarian so I probably never will. I remember in high school that there was a guy who got very excited when it came back (and I'd never heard of it at the time)... it's always seemed very Disney Vault-ish to me in terms of marketing strategy. What's the big deal otherwise? Isn't it just a pork sandwich with barbecue sauce?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:08 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


that theory doesn't explain the heavy amounts of pork on the breakfast menu.

This is explained by the fact that pig tastes good.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:09 AM on November 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


Good God. Everytime I think I've seen the ultimate "never before has so much been written about so little" the Internet proves me wrong.
posted by Blake at 10:09 AM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I think most customers would honestly be just as happy with a cheeseburger coated in "BBQ" sauce and a few pickles.


I was saying to my wife -why not TVP + pickles and BBQ sauce?
posted by JPD at 10:10 AM on November 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh, man. What a relief! I know that their marketing directors say that it might not come back so I'd better go out and and eat as many as I can before this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity passes me up!
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:10 AM on November 8, 2011


I have another theory about why they only bring it back every once in a while. You really only need one every couple of years. I went ot McDonald's the other day to get one, took a bite and though "Oh yeah, that is what it tasted like". I can happily go another 5 years before I have another.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]




it's always seemed very Disney Vault-ish to me in terms of marketing strategy. What's the big deal otherwise? Isn't it just a pork sandwich with barbecue sauce?

In the manner that one of the attractions in Disney's Hall of Presidents "is" Abraham Lincoln.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Between 1982 and 1985 pork prices were significantly lower than prices in 1981 and 1986, when pork would reach highs of $17 per pound; during the product’s first run, pork prices were fluctuating between roughly $9 and $13 per pound—until they spiked around when McDonald’s got rid of it."

$17 dollars per pound?? DAMN! That's some pricey pig!
Methinks his decimal point has gone squealing off somewhere....
posted by Floydd at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Think smaller. Think more legs"

Isn't most of the pork on the breakfast menu bacon and sausage? I doubt any 2 breakfast menu items have as much pork meat on them combined as the McRib.
posted by Grimgrin at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Chipotle also serves pork, bacon is ubiquitous, and you can buy a ham sandwich at pretty much any deli on the planet.

The theory on timing is interesting, and makes good business sense (it's hardly worth getting outraged over a business/restaurant responding to price fluctuations and ingredient availability).

The McRib is disgusting, but I don't see anything here that's worth getting excited over. Similarly, most of the "outrage" over the McRib has been mild enough that it seems to be generating a far amount of not-too-negative publicity for McDonald's. If I had to guess, I'd say that these stories are, if anything, causing more people to buy them.
posted by schmod at 10:12 AM on November 8, 2011


for some reason it cracked me up to hear the mcrib described as a "sandwich"
posted by facetious at 10:13 AM on November 8, 2011


Those frozen vegetarian "riblet" things from the grocery store are delicious. If that is what a McRib is like, I understand the hype.

There's very little meat in these gym mats!
posted by giraffe at 10:14 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I remember my first McRib in the 1980s like it was yesterday. And I remember my last McRib like it was a few days ago... cause it was. McDonald's was something heavy and special in my family life growing up... sorry world that I'm fucked up in your eyes because of it.

McRib, easy on the sauce, no onions please.

I do not get the co-marketing with Dr. Pepper tho... that's just sick, as is Dr. Pepper with anything on the McDonald's menu, save for maybe the Filet-o-fish and/or a plain McNugget.
posted by nutate at 10:14 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


b) it is made of pork, which makes it a unique product in the QSR world

This is true of the U.S., but the Pork Samurai Burger is extremely popular in Thailand. Also, this might be the most disgusting thing I've ever seen.
posted by gman at 10:15 AM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


You can get a petty fair McRib knockoff at subway. Get the whatever they call it, pork rib with BBQ, pickles and onion. Passable if you really need a McRib.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:15 AM on November 8, 2011


There's very little meat in these gym mats!

Yeah. My main complaint is that they're not filling, at all.
posted by naju at 10:15 AM on November 8, 2011


> Also, this might be the most disgusting thing I've ever seen.

What the hell is that? Some kind of wedding reception ketchup fondue fountain?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:16 AM on November 8, 2011


Karl's pretty excited about it though, you guys. It even prompted his brilliant new innovation, the McWing! (start here and keep reading for his sales pitch to McDonald's.)
posted by jbickers at 10:17 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I recently heard a theory that all the McRibs actually come from mines that McDonald's owns. It's the only known source of McRib and there is a finite supply. Basically we're experiencing Peak McRib.
posted by mullacc at 10:18 AM on November 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


Ad hominem: "I have another theory about why they only bring it back every once in a while. You really only need one every couple of years. I went ot McDonald's the other day to get one, took a bite and though "Oh yeah, that is what it tasted like". I can happily go another 5 years before I have another."

So it's the drunken binge and hangover of the fast food world?
posted by symbioid at 10:18 AM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you read the article, you'll see that it's not really an outrage piece but an interesting theory about how McDonald's times the price of pork - seemingly from the perspective of someone who's very familiar with commodity trading.

meanwhile, somewhere in Ohio, a 45-year-old laid-off factory worker drops a $5 bill on the counter at his local McDonald’s and asks a young person wearing a clip-on tie for the McRib meal, "to stay."

This is also a fair point - whether you like the McRib or not, it is designed in an insidious way. That is, it is designed to take labor out of a product that should require labor - a sandwich with ribs in it.
posted by glaucon at 10:19 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


@jbickers Karl Wenzlein is a genius.
posted by glaucon at 10:20 AM on November 8, 2011


The McRib is a permanent menu item in Germany.
I'm not sure how that's significant, but there you go....
posted by Floydd at 10:21 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So it's the drunken binge and hangover of the fast food world?

It is really a vain attempt to recapure lost youth.

Oh McRib, your time is so fleeting.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:22 AM on November 8, 2011


I actually like the McRib. But I don't get them very often because, you know, terrible for you, corporatism, etc. But argh, now I think I really want to grab a McRib on the way home today. Damn you, Metafilter.
posted by kmz at 10:25 AM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Homer RibWich Freakout
posted by Renoroc at 10:27 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is a permanent item at McDonald's in Germany, most likely because ... it's more popular there.

why not TVP + pickles and BBQ sauce?

Agreed. 'Tis delicious. Most pork is so salted, cured, or flavored anyway, that fake meat is a good substitute for anything pork that's not fried.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:28 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn, missed the obligatory RibWich mention by a hair.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those that have eaten one, how does it not squick you out to be eating meat that's formed into the shape of a bone? It'd be as if chicken nuggets were in the shape of entire drumsticks. Boggles the mind.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:30 AM on November 8, 2011


You can hardly taste the hog anus.

Aaaaannnnnnd we've got all of our Simpsons references.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:30 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: retreating underground to its porky lair
posted by poe at 10:30 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Totally tangential, but I'm really amused by the message the German McDonald's website gives you if you have flash disabled: Stellen Sie sich das mal vor: Auf dieser Seite ist richtig was los!
posted by hoyland at 10:32 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


It'd be as if chicken nuggets were in the shape of entire drumsticks.

Huh? You've never had meat on a stick? And I think the original shape of Chicken McNuggets was sorta like a drumstick (or like Africa).
posted by mrgrimm at 10:32 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't they make chicken nuggets in the shape of an entire chicken too?
posted by smackfu at 10:34 AM on November 8, 2011


That last paragraph sets up "Americans on both coasts" who affect either disgust or ironic affection towards the McRib against the unemployed Ohioan who gladly ponies up his money.

Is this because the McRib (offered "nationwide," he says) is actually more in demand in "flyover country," or is it the gratuitous and sneering prejudice that it looks like to me?

(And is having him order it "to stay" a reference to actual regional usage or just a way to make the Ohioan sound strange and possibly stupid in the ears of coastal Americans?)
posted by col_pogo at 10:34 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fresh tracks. Must be close. There! My god... such beauty!
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:34 AM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


The comments about pork being available at other restaurants and at delis kind of misses the point. Those places don't need a million pounds of it a day.
posted by Nothing at 10:34 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


They should make chicken nuggets in the shape of fish just to mess with people.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:34 AM on November 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


For those that have eaten one, how does it not squick you out to be eating meat that's formed into the shape of a bone? It'd be as if chicken nuggets were in the shape of entire drumsticks. Boggles the mind.

That's the part that's squicky? I mean, there's plenty of stuff that objectively should put me off a McRib but the shape doesn't really come into at all.
posted by kmz at 10:34 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


As a former McDonalds employee, the whole shaped to look like it had bones thing always squicked me out. It's one of the few things at McDonalds I never tried to eat.
posted by drezdn at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2011


There used to be a tracking page for McRib availability -- maybe official product page, maybe elsewhere. I seem to recall it relying on people reporting in, so probably the latter. Anyway, looking at this thing (US States), I got the impression that it was always on offer in a few places. I never saw it not being offered, or suddenly offered everywhere (as one would expect if it were tied to hog prices).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2011


I like McRibs because they take me back to my childhood elementary school lunches. I wish Burger King would start selling school lunch pizzas + 2 small cartons of chocolate milk to compete.
posted by Edogy at 10:37 AM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is the squick factor that it's like biting into a bone? I'm honestly curious about this.
posted by kmz at 10:37 AM on November 8, 2011


In financial terms, I've always seen the McRib as a warrant that can be redeemed for violent diarrhea.
posted by dr_dank at 10:38 AM on November 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


> wish Burger King would start selling school lunch pizzas + 2 small cartons of chocolate milk to compete.

Those would come pre-packaged with an extra wad of napkins to mop up the extra surface grease to complete the experience.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:38 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like McRibs because they take me back to my childhood elementary school lunches. I wish Burger King would start selling school lunch pizzas + 2 small cartons of chocolate milk to compete.

A-and at Arby's they could hire someone to kick your ass on the way in and take your lunch money.
posted by chavenet at 10:38 AM on November 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


or is it the gratuitous and sneering prejudice that it looks like to me?

Gee, I dunno, do you think the author has a bit of an axe to grind?

"Fast food involves both hideously violent economies of scale and sad, sad end users who volunteer to be taken advantage of."
posted by yerfatma at 10:39 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Echoing gman; pork is not unusual in the McDonalds world, let alone QSR generally. McDonalds in Japan's Teriyaki burger is a disgusting pork patty drowned in teriyaki sauce, with an egg on top if I recall. It's true for North America perhaps, but it's a big world and McDonalds has room to make any number of meats into fried paste patties.
posted by Hoopo at 10:39 AM on November 8, 2011


There used to be a tracking page for McRib availability --- There still is.
posted by crunchland at 10:39 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the article:

Between 1982 and 1985 pork prices were significantly lower than prices in 1981 and 1986, when pork would reach highs of $17 per pound; during the product’s first run, pork prices were fluctuating between roughly $9 and $13 per pound—until they spiked around when McDonald’s got rid of it.

These numbers seem, um, a bit high for pork.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:40 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Those would come pre-packaged with an extra wad of napkins to mop up the extra surface grease to complete the experience.

I think the record for pizzas at my middle school was grease evident through 17 layers of napkins.
posted by kmz at 10:40 AM on November 8, 2011


The thing looks to me like something an alien or a child who had never been near a rack of ribs in their life would come up with if asked to make a rib sandwich. Aside from a few schmancy restaurants I'm not used to eating food that's been made to look inedible, but I guess the McRib was just molecular gastronomy avant la lettre.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:42 AM on November 8, 2011


I wish Burger King would start selling school lunch pizzas

Square pieces, with those tiny little sausage balls that look like rat turds.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:43 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


You really only need one every couple of years. I went ot McDonald's the other day to get one, took a bite and though "Oh yeah, that is what it tasted like". I can happily go another 5 years before I have another.

True. They had them in Ontario a few months back, and I had one, and it was as glorious as I'd remembered. I went back a week later, had another, and my belly was Very Unhappy with me.

But then the years pass, a painful memory fades, and all you have is pork product goodness, and you cannot wait to get your hands on the sloppy fucker again.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:43 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those that have eaten one, how does it not squick you out to be eating meat that's formed into the shape of a bone? It'd be as if chicken nuggets were in the shape of entire drumsticks

Forcemeat is a grand tradition in cookery. One must only look to the noble Galantine to see the heights to which it has climbed, I see the McRib as a continuation of that tradition. Many foods are sometimes shaped into a simulacrum of the animal, or part of animal from which it came. For example, salmon pate is often formed into the shape of a fish.

As for the bone, a friend of mine is still outraged to this day over a racist commercial he says McDonalds ran for the McRib. He says the commercial featured an African American eating a McRib. The guy took one bite and said " Dis aint no rib sammich, where da bone?" anyone know if that is true?
posted by Ad hominem at 10:43 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


when pork would reach highs of $17 per pound; during the product’s first run, pork prices were fluctuating between roughly $9 and $13 per pound -- One reason why I think this is sort of bunk is because while the mcrib is technically made of pork, it's not made from the parts of the animal that cost this much. It comes from parts that is more attractive to the hot dog makers and not the pork chop makers. Personally, I think the McRib is seasonal because there are only so many pig hearts available than if they actually made it out of ribs.
posted by crunchland at 10:44 AM on November 8, 2011


This is a pretty great article. Thanks!
posted by Kwine at 10:45 AM on November 8, 2011


Ah, well I can understand being squicked by shaped food in general. It usually means lots of processing and filler, etc.

On a slight tangent, be careful if you get an authentic Maxwell Street style pork chop sandwich in Chicago. The first time I got one I bit in without looking carefully, only to painfully realize that those pork chops are bone-in.
posted by kmz at 10:46 AM on November 8, 2011


I'm not used to eating food that's been made to look inedible

My first thought is kim chi, maybe because I love it so much.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:46 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Square pieces, with those tiny little sausage balls that look like rat turds.

They were rectangular!
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:46 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


(And is having him order it "to stay" a reference to actual regional usage or just a way to make the Ohioan sound strange and possibly stupid in the ears of coastal Americans?)
posted by col_pogo at 10:34 AM


Wait, what? I'm going to say regionalism because how else would you say it? You get it to go or you get it to stay.
posted by RobotHero at 10:47 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


KC Green On the McRib, and Again.
posted by hellojed at 10:48 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


i just like saying 'reconstituted pork offal slurry'.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:48 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


They were rectangular!

Ours were about half the size, so closer to square, but yes, fair enough, I stand corrected.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:48 AM on November 8, 2011


Marzipan is shaped into all kinds of stuff. How about those little silver balls meant to decorate cakes with ? Are you freaked out by those ?
posted by Ad hominem at 10:49 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


My first thought is kim chi, maybe because I love it so much.

Century eggs are my go to disgusting looking but actually fucking delicious food. Of course lots of people think they're also disgusting tasting, but they don't know what they're missing.
posted by kmz at 10:49 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Had one a few days ago.
You really can taste the millipede!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:49 AM on November 8, 2011


You get it to go or you get it to stay.

You get it to "eat here."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:49 AM on November 8, 2011


Wait, what? I'm going to say regionalism because how else would you say it? You get it to go or you get it to stay.

At fast food places at least on this coast, you're asked if the order if "for here" or "to go."
posted by birdherder at 10:50 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


> How about those little silver balls meant to decorate cakes with ?

That's substantively different that simulating little bones in your pork anus patty, though.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:50 AM on November 8, 2011


Marzipan is shaped into all kinds of stuff. How about those little silver balls meant to decorate cakes with ? Are you freaked out by those ?

I guess my main issue is that it's meat, it's McDonald's meat, and it looks like this.

On preview, also yes.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:51 AM on November 8, 2011


On second thought, maybe I don't want a McRib today.
posted by kmz at 10:52 AM on November 8, 2011


Fast food involves both hideously violent economies of scale and sad, sad end users who volunteer to be taken advantage of.

As opposed to the customers at gourmet restaurants or whole foods boutiques, who are debonair, chic, enlightened end users who volunteer to be taken advantage of.
posted by XMLicious at 10:53 AM on November 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I am not judging, I am just curious. I eat almost anything. McRibs are not half as disgusgting as sea cucumber.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:53 AM on November 8, 2011


What's wrong with sea cucumber?
posted by kmz at 10:54 AM on November 8, 2011


I've eaten my fair share of weird stuff but there can't be anything worse than meat slurry.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:55 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


McRib sandwiches contain same ingredient as yoga mats, shoe soles

And the air I breathe contains atoms of Hitler... :)
posted by Theta States at 10:55 AM on November 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


You know who else contained atoms of Hitler?
posted by griphus at 10:56 AM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Jesus!
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:57 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The McRib was introduced in 1982—1981 according to some sources—and was created by McDonald’s former executive chef Rene Arend, the same man who invented the Chicken McNugget.

I hope they moved him out of the basement.
posted by hellojed at 10:58 AM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Didn't you read the article? McRibs are mostly Hitler.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:58 AM on November 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


What's wrong with sea cucumber?

You like it? I've only had it once but it was like snot flavored jello, and half set jello at that.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:58 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know who else was Hitler?
posted by kmz at 10:58 AM on November 8, 2011


I've eaten my fair share of weird stuff but there can't be anything worse than meat slurry.

Monkey brain served from head of monkey.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:59 AM on November 8, 2011


> I hope they moved him out of the basement.

For the uninitiated.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:59 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


You like it? I've only had it once but it was like snot flavored jello, and half set jello at that.

I've only had it a few times but I remember liking it. You do have to have an affinity for slimy foods though.
posted by kmz at 11:00 AM on November 8, 2011


McRib sandwiches contain same ingredient as yoga mats, shoe soles -- Actually, I'm pretty sure it's just the bun that has that. Which makes me wonder if all of the mcdonald's buns have that, too.
posted by crunchland at 11:00 AM on November 8, 2011


Monkey brain served from head of monkey.

So long as it's properly chilled.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:01 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess the proper pairs should be "To go" <> "To stay" and "For here" <> "For elsewhere".
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 11:02 AM on November 8, 2011


It's just ground pork with a heavy amount of BBQ sauce. It has the same things in it as sausage.
Sure, it doesn't taste exactly like pork ribs, but it's not too far off. The fat and pork flavour are there, but not really the texture.
I think the last one I had was in June, the last "OMG it's back!" promotion, and I just might be due for another one today.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:03 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess the proper pairs should be "To go" <> "To stay" and "For here" <> "For elsewhere".

Everywhere I've lived (North and Central Texas, Northern Indiana and Chicago) it's usually "to go" or "for here". I think I've occasionally heard "to stay" but I could be misremembering.
posted by kmz at 11:07 AM on November 8, 2011


I've heard "for take away" here in the DC area for years.
posted by crunchland at 11:09 AM on November 8, 2011


There is one term I have used for years to describe this meat product that seems the most appropriate way to categorize its rather mysterious combination of ingredients:

Soylent Brown
posted by chambers at 11:14 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


♬ I can't stand it, I know you planned it
I'm a' set straight, this Ribby bait
I can't stand burgin' when I'm in here
'cause your pork futures ain't so crystal clear
So while you sit back and wonder why
I got this fuckin' thorn in my side
Oh my god, McRib is a mirage
I'm tellin' y'all it's arbitrage ♬
posted by codacorolla at 11:16 AM on November 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


I get a kick out of the fake McRibs pressed into the meat. Extra onions and no pickles on mine, please.
posted by Daddy-O at 11:17 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems like it would be pretty easy to check the correlation between pork prices and the availability of the McRib.
posted by Daddy-O at 11:21 AM on November 8, 2011


Also, this might be the most disgusting thing I've ever seen.

For reference: the offending picture is of a chocolate fountain with ketchup in it, being used for dunking McD's burgers and fries.

gman, gman, gman.

This is the internet.

I'm sure that if you give me a day or two, I can find you a picture of that entire apparatus stuffed into the anus of some long-suffering creature (or a miniature version stuffed into a human bum), pumping around any of the various unspeakable bodily fluids or gels, and being used to dunk live Pomeranian puppies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:23 AM on November 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I get a kick out of the fake McRibs pressed into the meat.

Consider the Kellogg Brand MorningStar Farms Hickory Riblets.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:25 AM on November 8, 2011


The story of the RibWich must be in part informed by the history of Yamaha NS-10 speakers, production of which ceased because Yamaha killed all the trees that provided the wood for the housing. So the legend says, anyway.
posted by mkb at 11:28 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine has a hilarious take on why the McRib appears only sometimes:

Anytime the reigning Ronald is felled in the field due to massive cocaine overdose or gunfight (the only two ways a Ronald has ever died), hundreds of possible Ronalds are called to McDonald’s corporate headquarters. Dozens arrive in the same tiny car that you think could barely fit one as they gather to hear the CEO deliver the official news. He stands over his balcony and bellows “ONE OF YOU ARE THE NEXT RONALD. PROVE IT TO ME, YOUR KING, BY BRINGING ME THE CORPSE OF THE GRIMACE!”

Once he presents the bloody corpse to the CEO, a quick criminal background check is performed, a urine sample is submitted and some tax forms are filled out. If the urine comes back drug free the world has a new Ronald McDonald. To celebrate, the corpse of the Grimace is processed and sold nationally as The McRib.


posted by spacewaitress at 11:29 AM on November 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


pork anus patty

Which would make the BBQ sauce a sort of PAP schmear?

So, so sorry.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:34 AM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know what really freaked me out, was the first time I really looked at Chicken McNuggets, and realized that the natural-seeming shapes were really just several standardized shapes, designed to create the illusion of randomly shaped pieces of chicken. That made me imagine this gooey chicken slurry being poured into molds. I haven't really been able to enjoy them since.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 11:36 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


["for here or to go" | "eat in or take out"]
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:37 AM on November 8, 2011


YOUR LANGUAGE MAKES LESS SENSE THAN YOUR FAKE BONES MADE OF PIG ANUSES
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 11:39 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


At fast food places at least on this coast, you're asked if the order if "for here" or "to go."


Funny, they say the same thing here in Ohio.
posted by slogger at 11:39 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I picked the wrong thread to read on my lunch break.
posted by elmer benson at 11:42 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Between 1982 and 1985 pork prices were significantly lower than prices in 1981 and 1986, when pork would reach highs of $17 per pound; during the product’s first run, pork prices were fluctuating between roughly $9 and $13 per pound—until they spiked around when McDonald’s got rid of it.

Yeah, that's completely off the wall. According to this index, swine prices in 1991, the farthest it would let me go back, were 63.29 CENTS per pound.
posted by misha at 11:51 AM on November 8, 2011


Whoops, no, I've got it to 1981 now! Highest of 187.15 CENTS per pound. $1.88.
posted by misha at 11:53 AM on November 8, 2011


I felt this article was poorly researched, considering that NPR reported just four days ago about the true origins of the McRib being a food scientist, Roger Mandigo, then working for the National Pork Producers Council (although he is quick to disclaim responsibility for the details of presentation and/or flavor finalized by Mickey D's).

"And to this day, the McRib comes and goes from the McDonald's menu for reasons that have to do with its intense popularity and a national supply of pork trimmings that's typically a lot more limited than the supply of beef trimmings." -- Chicago Magazine
posted by dhartung at 11:55 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Square pieces, with those tiny little sausage balls that look like rat turds.

They were rectangular!


Nope, they were breadtangular.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:00 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ad hominem: Forcemeat is a grand tradition in cookery.

Indeed. Personally, I fail to see how a McRib is all that much different than a pork sausage, aside from the quality of the meat put into it. (of course, I imagine that even if it were prime cut pork a lot of people would still be squicked, even beyond non-meat-eating types). To paraphrase Otto von Bismark: das McRib kann man mit die Politik vergleichen: Bei beidem sollte man nicht auf den Entstehungsprozess achten.
posted by moonbiter at 12:01 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know why people get so pissy about what's in a McRib.

Take a good old fashioned meat pie.

The meats allowed by FSANZ in a meat pie are beef, buffalo, camel, cattle, deer, goat, hare, pig, poultry, rabbit and sheep. Kangaroo meat, a leaner alternative, is also sometimes used. However, most pie manufacturers specify 'beef' in their ingredients list; typically, those using other types of meat will simply put 'meat' in the list instead. FSANZ's definition of meat includes snouts, ears, tongue roots, tendons and blood vessels. Only offal (such as brain, heart, kidney, liver, tongue, tripe) must be specified on the label. Wild animals ("slaughtered ... in the wild state") may not be used.[7]

It's still delicious. Get off your high horses and enjoy it if you enjoy it. If you don't then don't eat it.
posted by Talez at 12:02 PM on November 8, 2011


Mmm, meat pie.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:08 PM on November 8, 2011


how does it not squick you out to be eating meat that's formed into the shape of a bone?

I vaguely prefer the McRib to many of the other offerings on McD's menu, but the notion of driving somewhere out of my way to eat one strikes me as insane. My standing on the McRib now fully established let me say that I think you are strongly overestimating the resemblance of the McRib to anything that might be prepared from a pig using only basic butchering tools, tongs and a grill. The allegedly meaty part of the McRib is to a rack of ribs as the allegedly meaty part of a BigMac is to a T-bone steak. The most fitting analogy is finely ground beef, meet steamroller - finely ground port, meet caterpillar tread.

To me, being squicked out by the semblance of a McRib to something that might actually contain rib bones is sort of like being squicked out by touching the dead rat interface device sitting next to your keyboard or equating eating a cake with a picture of your now 2 year old nephew jet inked all over it to cannibalism. It's enough of a stretch to remember that you're eating pork.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:12 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Only offal (such as brain, heart, kidney, liver, tongue, tripe) must be specified on the label.

That's so people who want the best parts know which ones to get, right?
posted by kmz at 12:13 PM on November 8, 2011


I tried a McRib during one of its more recent appearances and came down squarely on the side of 'repulsive'... but that's only because I didn't get hooked on them as a kid.

Meanwhile, I'm still carrying a torch for my own secret shame, my beloved Arch Deluxe.
posted by usonian at 12:15 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


My wife loves the McRib; I've always hated it. The thing that bothers me the most isn't the pressed patty-with-bones shape, it's the horrific ersatz BBQ sauce-like condiment they drench it in. Fucking awful. Also, Michael Pollan's rule applies here in force: if it has more than five ingredients, it's probably not real food.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:19 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Germans accept it for the same reason they invented Liverwurst and other meat amalgamation by-products, such as every type of sausage imaginable, to eat the whole animal snout to hoof.. which is actually better than a slab of red meat nutrient wise.
posted by stbalbach at 12:20 PM on November 8, 2011


...and being used to dunk live Pomeranian puppies.

DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:20 PM on November 8, 2011


How about those little silver balls meant to decorate cakes with ?

Dragées are not considered food everywhere, same as different countries having controls on "edible" gold dust and the like.
posted by Phalene at 12:22 PM on November 8, 2011


Mmm, liverwurst.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:27 PM on November 8, 2011


In search of the McLobster.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:30 PM on November 8, 2011


"One pork-offal flurry please"

"To stay down"

posted by mmrtnt at 12:36 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think most customers would honestly be just as happy with a cheeseburger coated in "BBQ" sauce and a few pickles.

That's why just about the only 'creative' burger from Carl's Jr. I ever ate and enjoyed was the Western Bacon Cheeseburger. BBQ Sauce, Cheese, BACON (best form of pork) and Fried Onion Rings instead of raw onions. Semi-genius. Now Jack In The Box has stolen and improved on the concept with its 'limited time only' Outlaw Burger AND Chicken Sandwich (but please hold the lettuce), so McRib is irrelevant to me.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:37 PM on November 8, 2011


"edible" gold dust

Oh, indeed.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:43 PM on November 8, 2011


Saying the McRib is just like eating ground pork is akin saying that eating corn based plastic in it is just like eating creamed corn.

There's a world of difference between ground meats and processed meats. To be fair though, just about any mass produced food product is going to have some nasty stuff in it.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:43 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


There seems to be a lot of people commenting in this thread who are shocked, just shocked, to discover that fast food chains serve processed food.

Also I wonder if there is some metafilter badge you unlock for describing all the things you refuse to eat.
posted by danny the boy at 12:56 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder if there is some metafilter badge you unlock for describing all the things you refuse to eat.

It's the other way around. I'm a Level 9 Monkey Brain Eater.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:05 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, Michael Pollan's rule applies here in force: if it has more than five ingredients, it's probably not real food.

Spaghetti sauce. I don't know who Michael Pollan is but he sounds like a pretentious asshole.
posted by kafziel at 1:07 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking of dangerous pork arrangements, Umami Burger in LA has a triple pork burger and I'm scared of it. Anyone had it?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:10 PM on November 8, 2011


Girl Scout Cookies, you are certainly not the McRib.
posted by morganw at 1:15 PM on November 8, 2011


The McRib advertisements here loudly proclaim at the top, "$1.99." Underneath that is an enormous photograph of a lovingly crafted, plastic McRib. And underneath that, they state, "500 CALORIES."

I've never had a McRib, and I'm waiting for a day when I've got a couple bucks in my pocket and haven't eaten breakfast, because, thanks Mayor Mike, I now know that is a damn good dollar to energy ratio.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 2:27 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If it has more than five ingredients, it's probably not real food.

You realize that toast with butter and strawberry jam (all home made using the very best technology of "Little House on the Prairie") fails this test spectacularly, right?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:27 PM on November 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hell, a decently sauteed breast of chicken fails that test spectacularly. Onions, garlic, oil, salt and pepper? The only way to appease Mr. Pollan would be to cut out the meat.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:31 PM on November 8, 2011


The actual Pollan quote seems to be
Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) unfamiliar, B) unpronounceable, C) more than five in number
The key word here being "products".
posted by cdward at 2:38 PM on November 8, 2011


Pollan wasn't talking about recipes, he was talking about shit like Twinkees. Geez.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:38 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Listen I'm all for calling out food pretension, but Pollan's point is that stuff you buy, prepared or otherwise shouldn't have more than 5 ingredients.

Like, a loaf of bread.

Or, if you're going to make a nice chicken dinner, the individual ingredients should be... individual ingredients.

Your chicken breast should be: chicken. If it's: chicken, water, mechanically separated chicken protein, whey, denatured neurotoxin, artificial chicken flavor--then you are probably off the path.
posted by danny the boy at 2:42 PM on November 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


"McDonald's was something heavy and special in my family life growing up... sorry world that I'm fucked up in your eyes because of it."

Behold the burden of the brave McDonald's diner.

"Gee, I dunno, do you think the author has a bit of an axe to grind?"

Lots of that around.

Look, the McRib food product is assembled from pieces of pork, some certainly from that "everything but the oink" class(trimmings), liquefied for handling in the production process, then other ingredients are added to adjust for things like texture, "mouth feel", flavoring, and storage stability. It's pressed into it's bizarre shape(who is that for?), probably poached, then flash frozen, and shipped.

It's designed to have a specific appeal to some percentage of the traditional McDonald's customers, probably does, and probably isn't good for you.

But let's not pretend we have to choose between salt of the earth Real Americans who are paying for plebe-chow, and food snob writers that pay extra for special salt.

They can both be chumps.
posted by dglynn at 2:47 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Let me tell you about the time I got to try the elusive McDonald's crab cake.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:11 PM on November 8, 2011


Not that hard to get crabs at McDonalds.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:17 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


dglynn: ""But let's not pretend we have to choose between salt of the earth Real Americans who are paying for plebe-chow, and food snob writers that pay extra for special salt.

They can both be chumps.
"

Never tried smoked salt, I guess.
posted by mkb at 3:49 PM on November 8, 2011


Crabs? Well, here in New England we always welcome their summertime Lobster Rolls. It's actually quite tasty.
posted by ericb at 3:52 PM on November 8, 2011


summertime lobster rolls

Nova Scotia too

posted by mrgrimm at 4:19 PM on November 8, 2011


I've only had Canadian McDonald the past decade, but their beef gives me a very bad GI reaction and leaves me feeling ill about a half hour after eating. As does their cheese.

The chicken, I can till mostly stand. The breakfast pork products? Just fine.

The McRib? Its almost like a heroin/nicotine addiction, I still constantly crave that taste and texture of the reconstituted porkish patty.

I get a couple, a couple of times whenever they're available and the cravings subside for a few months.
posted by porpoise at 4:34 PM on November 8, 2011


> Not that hard to get crabs at McDonalds.

You're thinking of Burger King bathrooms.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 4:34 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the McRib, but they shout ditch the pickles and onions and add cheese. and fuck all the haters.
posted by jonmc at 4:58 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is a BIG difference between sausage and McRib meat-- namely that sausage is made of ground pork, seasonings, maybe some breadcrumbs-- it has texture, you have to chew it. McNugggets and McRibs are meat that have been chemically liquified (that's the slurry) and then seasoned and shaped and baked.

Years ago I read an article about how the introduction of chicken nuggets changed the Children's menu forever. Once upon a time kids had to eat real meat like hamburgers and fried chicken, but then chicken slurry with its artificial textures and flavors and ease of eating became the most popular choice for American children. Bland and sweet and no chewing required. Confession: I used to have a horror of imbibing chicken nuggets but then I got addicted to Tyson's Honey Breast Tenders. Damn those fuckers are good. 10 minutes to bake and you have a tasty snack, crunchy on the outside and soft and moist in the middle. I try not to pay any attention to the (extremely long) list of ingredients
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:00 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


but then chicken slurry with its artificial textures and flavors and ease of eating became the most popular choice for American children.

McDonald's Chicken Nuggets used to be the lowest most despicable nugget in the world, with random pieces of gross things... At least now it tastes somewhat like chicken. Burger King were among the best for a while, until recently, when they decided to copy McDonalds.
posted by drezdn at 5:04 PM on November 8, 2011


Burger King were among the best for a while, until recently, when they decided to copy McDonalds.

Y'know where BK beats McD's? Fish sandwich. The Big Fish blows away the Filet-O-Fish.
posted by jonmc at 5:08 PM on November 8, 2011


It's been a while since I've done it but Wendy's chicken nuggets are excellent for making a fake chicken katsu.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:09 PM on November 8, 2011


And White Castle is better than all of them, motherfuckers.
posted by jonmc at 5:11 PM on November 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


that's nice
posted by Horselover Phattie at 5:12 PM on November 8, 2011


fuckin a, that's nice
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


McRib, like most McDonald's meat, is just meat. It always amazes me that the haters never actually look at the ingredients...

The reason it tastes different from other pork products (and doesn't taste like breakfast sausage) is because it is just ground pork (well... Pork, water, salt, dextrose, preservatives (BHA, propyl gallate, citric acid)). On of the most delicious things I ever made at McDonald's was an unsauced McRib with lettuce, onions and mayo.

Also, the McRib is "different" because the patties steep in the sauce after they are cooked on the griddle.
posted by gjc at 6:00 PM on November 8, 2011


Australia, never seen the McRib here, ridiculously confused about the bones when I ate one while in Canada, but we say "eat here or take away?"
posted by titanium_geek at 6:23 PM on November 8, 2011


What a long, strange product rollout it's been.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:33 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's sorta quaint how people get all squicked out about McDonald's but happily eat other forms of processed foodstuffs with the same if not "grosser" ingredients. Did you know there are standards for "insect filth" in many food items that do not equal zero? Do you know how long orange juice concentrate sits in a warehouse before it's used? Does it not squick you out when you don't know if that fresh head of lettuce you are about to cut into may or may not have been handled by someone who shit all over their hands before it was packaged?

But nooo, what's REALLY scary is mechanically separated chicken! Look at the picture of the pink meat paste! Who cares if it's safe to eat and an efficient way of not wasting any meat during chicken processing! Waste is natural and healthy!

Also hilarious is how people call out McDonald's for being so unhealthy when there are many restaurants perceived to be "healthy" that are just as bad for you if one were to actually read the nutrition facts.

I guess it's just fashionable to point out the horrors of fast food while turning a blind eye to the rest of processed foodstuffs.
posted by autobahn at 6:49 PM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll have you know that I only eat lettuce that I've personally grown and shit on.
posted by crunchland at 6:53 PM on November 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sorry, meat that has been sandblasted off of animal carcasses, mixed with any number of other random bits of animal, water, and assorted yoga materials and extruded into a soft, uniform paste can't really offend any but the most pretentious sensibilities cause guess what guys, vegetables grow in shit? Are you from a robot planet?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:29 PM on November 8, 2011


the only pork-centric non-breakfast item at maybe any American fast food chain

Arby's hot ham and cheese thing.
posted by radiosilents at 8:09 PM on November 8, 2011


"I guess it's just fashionable to point out the horrors of fast food while turning a blind eye to the rest of processed foodstuffs."

Nah, pretty much horrified by that other processed food too.

On a less snarky note, we just try to buy food that is less processed, sourced from someplace reasonably known, and then we attempt to cook it. Lots of the preparations are easy, and when we feed it to friends who have more industrialized diets(prepared by kitchen's built for commerce, not cooking) they are often pathetically excited about the flavor.

Don't get me wrong, I eat White Castle's about once a year, a remnant of my father's influence on a young and impressionable child. But I don't insist it is rational behavior, or claim it is good food. It's just imprinted into my memory tastes.

And I still think everyone can make a great omelet, grilled ham and swiss, a beer can chicken, a great cheeseburger, and a bunch of other stuff that is a simple joy to eat. Green beans in butter, red beans and rice, roasted potatoes, fresh asparagus. *sigh*

And good bread.

It's all so simple and good, that the stamped slurry meat pad just seems mean.
posted by dglynn at 11:03 PM on November 8, 2011


BACON (best form of pork)

Liar! Everyone knows rillettes are the highest form of pork. I call it pork butter, simply because there's nothing better spread on fresh French bread.

As for the slurry, I caught the by where Jaime Oliver tried to show kids how disgusting the process was of making a nugget. The kids were grossed out, but still willing to eat it. At the time, I was disturbed by the slurry thing, as I was meant to be.

Now? I make my own sausage. I've been reading amazing cookbooks on sausage making and charcuterie. And all the while, I'm becoming more and more aware of the hypocrisy inherent in anyone who gushes over headcheese or blood sausage claiming disgust at the logical end process of "using the whole animal." Every time I've ever deboned a chicken, I've done my best to get all the meat off. The more meat that I get, the happier I am. The rest goes in the stock pot.

not that the concept of mechanically reclaimed meat doesn't give me the eeeewwws
posted by Ghidorah at 3:26 AM on November 9, 2011


With over 7 billion mouths to feed and climbing, I'm afraid that it won't be too long before you'll be nostalgic for the days when you had some mechanically reclaimed meat product.
posted by crunchland at 4:20 AM on November 9, 2011


My ex likes these things. I think they're only ok. But my ex LOVES to go in and order a "Fake Rib". He refuses to call them a "McRib". One of his little amusements.
posted by Goofyy at 4:51 AM on November 9, 2011


I think people are more less squicked out by the "use the whole animal" aspect than the whole mechanically separated part. Because seriously, once that processing plant aquires some Asimo bodies and a grudge, we're all fucked.
posted by Theta States at 5:55 AM on November 9, 2011


If you read the article, you'll see that it's not really an outrage piece but an interesting theory about how McDonald's times the price of pork - seemingly from the perspective of someone who's very familiar with commodity trading.

I didn't get that impression at all. McDonald's, being one of the largest consumers of food commodities on the planet, almost certainly uses the futures market and undoubtedly hedges its purchases significantly.

That price you're seeing in the article? No idea what it means. Is it delivery now? Is it delivery in six months? No bloody idea. But that's important, because live hog futures are purchased with a delivery date. If McDonald's is paying for its pork even thirty days in advance, the entire theory goes completely out the window, and it could be locking in its prices as much as a year out.

We'd need to know a lot more about McDonald's actions as a participator in the pork futures market to know anything about how the timing of the McRib intersects with pork prices, and we also need to know precisely what is meant by "pork prices," because large consumers of commodities usually arrange and pay for their commodity contracts well in advance of delivery.
posted by valkyryn at 6:12 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess it's just fashionable to point out the horrors of fast food while turning a blind eye to the rest of processed foodstuffs.

As was said above "Nah, pretty much horrified by that other processed food too." It's just that Orange Juice wasn't the topic of the original post (also, frozen stuff can sit for a long time, that's why we freeze it), so a big long rant about how the modern American diet is horrific might seem a little out of place.

I didn't cut down my fast food intake to the occasional "Crap, I'm in the middle of a long drive and hungry" because it was what all the cool kids were doing. I did it because the food tastes bad and contributes to a feedback loop that ensures more and more food starts tasting bad. If someone disagrees, then by all means, they should keep eating fast food.

There are few more insulting ways of dismissing others' opinions than saying "you just think that because it's trendy."
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:31 AM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Saw this on the way to work this morning ...

McRib and Club vodka martini: it's what's for breakfast.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:24 AM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are few more insulting ways of dismissing others' opinions than saying "you just think that because it's trendy."

"If you really cared you'd be talking about this other topic I just thought of instead of responding to the actual post" is also highly friendly and not at all asshat-ish.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:26 AM on November 9, 2011


I like to give celebrity names to my "famous dinners" (e.g. a "Wilford Brimley" is pecan waffles with steamed broccoli and an American lager.)

I considered both "Michael Chiklis" and "Maury Chaykin" but after a few minutes of reflection it became clear that the proper name for the ^^^ McRib and Club martini dinner should be the "Miley Cyrus."
posted by mrgrimm at 8:29 AM on November 9, 2011


McDonald's, being one of the largest consumers of food commodities on the planet --- This is true. So true, in fact, that half of all potatoes grown in the world are of a single variety, the Russet Burbank. Why? Because the marketers at McDonald's want their french fries to be extra long, because the look better that way sticking out of the little cardboard container. So farmers are basically perpetuating a monoculture just so an order of french fries looks good.
posted by crunchland at 8:31 AM on November 9, 2011


You can't get them in the UK as McDonald's don't have the capacity to cook pork and beef on separate grills. I don't know if this is a hygeine law or a way of catering to special diets (though most Muslims seem to order the fillet o'fish - in areas with a high Muslim population they're usually on special offer/)
posted by mippy at 8:53 AM on November 9, 2011


I firmly believe that when the apocalypse occurs, the McRib sandwich will be our new currency.
posted by bengalsfan1 at 5:07 PM on November 9, 2011


I had one today. It wasn't very good. The onions should be cooked more.
posted by smackfu at 10:04 AM on November 10, 2011


Those frozen vegetarian "riblet" things from the grocery store are delicious. If that is what a McRib is like, I understand the hype.

That is exactly what they're like. In fact, when I have a hankering for a McRib, and it hasn't been around for a while, I pick up a package of those at the grocery store and some yummy fresh buns from the bakery section and have at it. The package only ever gets 2, maybe 3 eaten before it gets abandoned to the back of the freezer until I re-discover it and throw it out 6 months later, but it's still totally worth it. The Subway BBQ rib sub (not offered at all locations, but offered as a "local favourite" at my local Subway) is basically the same thing. Not quite as saucy though, and I feel bad ordering one with no cheese or toppings, as I would a McRib. And also, no fries available in the combo.

Much as I love me some McRib (no onions or pickles, please), it's definitely something that I only want once a year or two, so I'm glad it's not on the menu all the time. It's a good way to protect me from myself.
posted by antifuse at 11:53 AM on November 11, 2011


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