What's in McDonald's McRib Sandwiches?

The McRib sandwich is a barbecue-flavored pork sandwich regularly sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain McDonald's. It was first introduced to the McDonald's menu in 1981, following trial marketing the previous year. The sandwich is made of a restructured pork burger, formed into a small rack shaped like ribs, barbecue sauce, white onions and pickles. It is then dipped in McRib Sauce, a sweet and sour barbecue sauce similar to Hunt's Original.

The McRib contains around 70 different ingredients, including one that is particularly worrying - a food additive called. A Twitter user who goes by the name of “Strange and Amazing Facts” shared that the McRib is made from meat products including heart, calluses and more. Luckily, the mcrib locator blog debunked theories that the hamburger is made of kangaroos or unicorns when they published the ingredient list. Sauces like Sweet Baby Ray's are a sweet touch to the McRib sandwich, but Hunt's Original Barbecue Sauce or Bull's Eye Sweet & Tangy are quite close.

Cloning McRib sandwiches exactly like McDonald's requires pork, pork ribs, sandwich rolls, barbecue sauce, dill pickle, white onion, and salt. It's almost impossible to find an exact replica of the McRib home-style roll, but most hoagie buns will work. What differentiates McRib from this everyday horror is that:

a) McDonald's is enormous to the point that it is more useful to think of it as a company that markets basic products than to think of it as a restaurant chain;

b) it is made of pork, which makes it a unique product in the QSR world and

c) it's only available sometimes, but refuses to disappear altogether. The McRib has been reintroduced and discontinued several times since its introduction in 1981. McRib lovers are fanatics, but that wouldn't be the case if the phenomenon hadn't had decades to marinate in the hearts and minds of its fans.

Last November, the United States Humane Society filed a lawsuit against Smithfield Foods, the pork supplier McDonald's McRib, alleging that the meat distributor houses its pigs in unethical farm conditions. The sandwich, as well as the cultural phenomenon of chasing the McRib, were the main theme of the Simpsons episode I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can, in which he parodies himself as the Ribwich and gains cult followers. There have been many theories over the years about what McDonald's puts in its McRib sandwich pie. However, with its 70 different ingredients including a food additive called, it is clear that this sandwich has something special.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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