McRib fever—McCatch It! Last year, with great fanfare, McDonald's brought back the McRib to McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. for the first time since 1994. And the tangy product reprise was such a hit that the company decided to reprise the reprise again this year. The "iconic" McRib sandwich came back today: it's a boneless pork patty topped with slivered onions, dill pickles and tangy barbecue sauce served on a toasted bun. As you can see, everyone from Rainn Wilson to Diane Sawyer is opening wide for the hype. (God tweeted: "In the beginning, I created McEve by removing a McRib from McAdam.) But of course, some people just can't get on board with a fun all-American marketing stunt.
"Doesn't the word 'rib' mean anything?" gripes Michael Pollan, the author of "In Defense of Food," in an email to CBS News. If there's no rib, he said, "Why hasn't the FTC taken an interest in this question?" Asked how can it be called a McRib if it doesn't have any bones, a McDonald's marketing director told USAToday, "That gives it this quirky sense of humor." Indeed, it's difficult to actually eat a McRib because you're so busy laughing at that hilarious sandwich. And as McDonald's points out, it has slightly fewer calories (500) than the Big Mac. But nutrition professor Dr. Marion Nestle just scoffs at that, telling CBS, "Fewer calories than a Big Mac! Practically a diet food!"
The popular pork sandwich—which was immortalized on The Simpsons as the Krusty Burger "Ribwich" that tours the country with a Grateful Dead cult following—will be sold through November 14th. New this time around is an online game called "The Quest for the Goldon McRib," a "virtual scavenger hunt" to locate ten golden McRib sandwiches nationwide. In a press release, McDonald's says, "Consumers will earn badges as they defeat levels, and those that receive high scores will be profiled on a live leaderboard and will also have the opportunity to Tweet out their score to their followers." What an opportunity... to win "virtual" prizes and be a corporate shill!
Last year McDonald's sent us some McRibs, and reactions around the office ranged from "An hour into the McRib and it feels like my brain is wrapped in wax paper." to "I enjoyed the bun."