I LIKE DOING NEW, FUN STUFF.
I LIKE DOING NEW, FUN STUFF.
The strategy that McDonalds uses with regards to serving McRibs and then taking them away is Pretty Standard Marketing Genius. The McRib is back. At no point does the McRib come back and not get talked about, even among my groups of friends who are either: mostly healthy people who wouldn’t touch one with my hands, or really food-centric folk (like myself) who still wouldn’t touch one with my hands. Well, once upon a time, the McRib came back and I ate one… just so that I could write about it. There’s some insight into the kind of girl I am, friends. I ate a McRib so that I could write 500 words about it. For free. I did not get paid. In fact, I’m pretty sure I paid for my own McRib. Sad? No. No. I like stories.
This essay originally appeared on http://caffeinate-me.com on 10 January 2010.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into food. I watched old school cooking shows with old school cooking show personalities like Martin Yan and Graham Kerr. Then The Food Network came around and I grew into the habit of having my favorite television chefs on in the background of everything I did. When I started traveling more, I started eating more. I’ve eaten food from street vendors and food from three-Michelin-star restaurants and loved it all. As much as I want to be vegetarian, I can’t, because I want to try everything. If I could steal anyone’s job, I’d love to be Anthony Bourdain, even if only for a short while.
So, yes, I love food, and I think about it pretty much every day.
I read a lot of food blogs and local food websites, too, and it was on one of these websites that I found out that the McRib was coming back to Los Angeles.
Cue blowing of my mind. See, the McRib… It is a joke, no? It is a strange pop culture phenomenon that disappears and reappears as if to tease us, right? And no one actually eats them… right? All I knew of the McRib was the one episode of The Osbornes where they get them in the drive-thru and Jack, drunk or high or whatever he was into at that time, yelled, “The McRib is back!!” Which is what everyone says when the McRib comes back. I think it was part of their advertising campaign. But I had never eaten one.
The thing about the McRib is that it comes with a certain lore. And I thought that I didn’t know anyone who had had one. It is the stuff of legend. As in, most people say, “No, I’ve never had one! But I know a guy…”
Turns out? I know a guy! But being the food-ousseiur that I am, that wasn’t good enough for me. I want to BE a guy!
So, out of morbid curiosity, I ate a McRib.
But not before I did a ton of really disturbing research. For example, did you know a McRib has 490 calories and 1040 mg of sodium? (To put that in perspective, my daily calorie allocation is less than 1500 and daily recommended allowance of sodium is 2400 mg.) Also, did you know that the meat in the McRib is grey when not covered in sauce and that the “ribs” are only stamped on one side? That’s… creepy.
The best word to describe a McRib is “CREEPY.” They are CREEPY.
In case you don’t know, the McRib is a ground pork patty - shaped like ribs! - dipped in cloyingly sweet BBQ sauce and topped with pickles and onions on a soft, oblong bun. Doesn’t it just sound creepy? Well, it IS creepy. However, the truth is, they’re not terrible in terms of taste. I’ve had worse things.
Overall, I don’t think I’ll be eating any more McRibs. But I’m happy to say that I did it, and I survived, even! But, going forward, I think I’m going to stick with delicious french fries and pre-10:30am visits for Sausage and Egg McMuffins with iced mochas. Mmm… McDonald’s breakfast - now THAT’S what I’m talking about.