Guess what? The 500 calorie McRib sandwich is back! Hurrah!
Much like the Shamrock Shake, McDonald’s McRib sandwich is a seasonal menu item. Last month it made a grand reappearance. But weird factors are afoot with the McRib and its ingredients; as mentioned on the Hectic Gourmet, things aren’t what they appear to be with this culinary concoction.
First a little history on the McRib: it was introduced to the McDonald’s menu in 1981. The sandwich – consisting of what appears to be a ground pork patty, barbecue sauce, onions, and pickles – was developed by McDonald’s Executive Chef Rene Arend (who also fathered the Chicken McNugget back in 1979). Essentially, the McRib was a sequel to the McNugget: the sandwich was conceived because of the restaurant’s shortage of chickens due to the McNugget’s popularity. After poor sales, the McRib was removed from the McDonald’s menu in 1985. It was reintroduced in 1994 and has stayed on the McDonald’s rotation since as a seasonal menu item.
The McRib has generated a sizable cult following. But then again, so has Scientology – and there’s plenty of factual proof to put you off both of them.
Did you know that the McRib shares many of the same common ingredients as a yoga mat? According toTime, the McRib bun contains azodicarbonamide: a flour-bleaching agent that is most commonly used in the manufacture of foamed plastics like in gym mats and the soles of shoes. Essentially, the McRib could double as a Dr. Scholls foot pad. There’s more: azodicarbonamide is banned as a food additive in Europe and Australia, and is classified as a “respiratory sensitizer” that potentially contributes to asthma. Bon appetit!
But the yoga mat connection is one mere component of the McRib cacophony: the sandwich contains roughly 70 ingredients. Let’s look at the pork patty; it’s actually characterized as a “restructured meat product.” This tends to be comprised of pig heart, scalded stomach and tripe. When cooked together with salt and water, proteins are extracted and act as a form of “glue” that helps keep the reshaped “rib” meat together. Even though the McRib contains no bones, the patty is molded to resemble a miniature rack of ribs.
So if chomping down on a gym mat filled with pig heart and tripe – held together with glue – is your thing, then put on your best country gear and head down to McDonald’s! Hell, it worked for the Flintstones with their glorious Grand Poobah meal. Last one to McDonald’s is a McFossil (let’s hope fossils aren’t another ingredient in the McRib):