In what is quite possibly the most important information the human race has been privileged to hear this year, McDonald’s announced that their McRib sandwich will be back for the first time in sixteen years, nationwide, for about six weeks.
Yes, it’s mass-produced fast food, but don’t worry. The McRib is like some kind of delicious, mythical being, akin to pure joy captured and stuffed into bread and boneless pork, as if handed down from the heavens:
Due to the edible wonderment and the mysterious availability of the sandwich, it sprung a rabid (for boneless pork shaped into a ribcage) fan base, even causing people to create and maintain the McRib Locator, a website that apparently gets 300 to 400 hits a week where people document McRib sightings so other addicted consumers can drive hours on end to obtain the barbecued holy grail. There are various Facebook groups dedicated to the saucy sandwich, and even an anti-McRib group.
As Chicago Breaking Business points out, there’s even a tireless fan base of McRib lovers who travel around the country solely to obtain a McRib (or twenty). McDonald’s rarely offers the sandwich nationwide, instead offering the sandwich a few weeks at a time at random store locations, because as a McDonald’s representative said, the sandwich doesn’t sell well when it’s available year-round.
The sandwich even inspired a Simpsons episode where Homer follows the Krusty Burger version of the McRib, the Ribwich, around the country as if he were following a band due to its limited availability. The only clip I could find isn’t in English, but the dialogue isn’t necessary to describe the McRib’s affect on on its hapless victims.
That limited availability probably helps create the craze, but the craze has existed for a long, long time nonetheless. Try it out: Tell a few friends or coworkers that the McRib is back, and it won’t be long before someone responds with a wide-eyed gasp.