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Monday, October 31, 2011

Bite and Booze Investigates: The McRib

While I'm certainly no advocate of National chain fast food dining, there is something to say about their marketing and ability to set trends which create frenzies. There is perhaps no better example than the McRib at McDonald's. The processed pork patty slathered in sauce makes its appearances for limited times only, seeming sporadic at best. Still, each time it comes back, the crowd of hungry Americans goes wild. So what is it about the McRib? I had to find out!

Alright, I've actually had a McRib before. Several in fact. And I'm not afraid to admit it. I don't get worked up about it, and I'm not proud of it, but I'm no stranger. However, I can't recall having one in the past four or five years, so when I landed at the BWI airport and had two (that turned into nine because of storms) hour layover before my next flight to the Big Apple, I thought it couldn't hurt to revisit the pinnacle of limited-time-only foods.

McRibs are to the Nation what King Cakes and Crawfish are to South Louisiana. The "seasonality" of them only increases the demand. When they are barren from the golden arches menu board people go hungry. When they appear again, people rejoice. I ordered mine, as you could probably guess, without pickles. Unfortunately due to the high traffic at the airport I had to wait 10 extra minutes for fries, during which time my McRib must have sat lifelessly under a heat lamp. The normally moist and tender pork patty was shriveled and dry. The only saving grace was the tangy barbeque sauce that covered the form-molded rib-shaped puck.

Perhaps I'll eat a McRib again in four or five years. Until then, I think I can avoid McDonald's altogether. Still, at times, research is necessary!