It’s back everyone, the sandwich you almost forgot about. Like a comfortable ex-girlfriend who was bad for you, but seems to know exactly how to push your buttons. She saunters back into your life seemingly at the very moment you had forgotten about her. We’ve all got that ex, and we’ve all got that sandwich. It’s the McRib, McDonald’s rib shaped meat-product patty slathered in barbecue sauce and decorated with onions. Since it’s introduction many years ago, it’s disappeared and reappeared several times. Just before everyone got sick of it, McDonald’s would throw it in the vault and give you enough time to get distracted by the McGriddle, or the Mclean, or whatever new sandwich they’d concocted that year. Anyway, the McRib has a deep history, and you should, as a good American and McDonald’s consumer, know a thing or two about it.
The McRib was invented in 1981 by Marty Wellington, an employee of a small McDonald’s franchise in Indiana. The young man wrote to McDonald’s corporate headquarters with the suggestion. His letter stated “I think it’d be cool if you could get BBQ ribs on a sandwich, but without the bones. Maybe make the bones out of meat too. That would be good on a sandwich.”
The McRib was initially introduced, for a very brief period, during the Vietnam War to distract America from the atrocities abroad. McRibs were offered for free to protesters in Washington and San Francisco, but the recipe wasn’t quite right, which resulted in a subpar sandwich, and subsequently the continuation of protests.
A “boney” version of the McRib, which contained actual rib bones, was on the menu for a short time, but only in third world countries where food was not at all regulated by the government. Unconfirmed reports stated that there was no meat on the “Boney Style McRib,” but rather, it was all bone.
In the early nineties, several TV commercials were shot promoting the McRib, in which Tiffani Amber Thiessen was featured as “Ms. McRib.” The commercials were never aired.
Though the McRib seems to come and go as it pleases here in America, it is available year-round in Germany. The sandwich was introduced in Germany around the same time it was in the states, but upon trying to retire it, McDonald’s was met with an intense backlash from German customers. The people protested outside McDonald’s franchises all over Germany screaming “Das Volkssandwich!” wich means “the sandwich of the people.” McDonald’s, not wanting to suffer any more losses, decided to bring back the McRib permanently in Germany.