McDonald's McRib sandwich has been a fan favorite since it was first introduced in 1981. The menu item consists of pork soaked in barbecue sauce and served on a roll with onion slices and pickles. It has gained a cult following due to its smoky barbecue flavor, pickle slices, and mysterious comings and goings. The McRib is made from restructured meat products, which are manufactured in large processing plants with stainless steel, production lines, and cryogenic freezers. It is randomly available at individual restaurants, making it a highly sought-after item. The McRib was created by Rene Arend, who wanted to make it stand out against competitors Burger King and Wendy's.
He suggested that the meat be modeled after a piece of ribs rather than the classic round burger. To refine the technology behind the McRib, Roger Mandigo co-wrote an article in 1995 explaining the process. National Livestock and Meat Board Vice President of the Swine Program, Mark Thomas, stated that the McRib “really brought the idea and concept many steps forward”.The McRib has become an annual tradition for burger fans who look forward to its return each season. There is even a website dedicated to tracking its availability, as well as a Facebook community with more than 15,000 followers.
The McRib might not have changed the fast-food world, but it has certainly made an impact on its loyal fans.