The McDonald’s McRib is back, hitting restaurants nationwide today. The legendary boneless pork sandwich, famously molded to resemble a rack of ribs, is both a feat of modern engineering and shrewd marketing.
It garners almost as much attention for its pseudo-meat shape as its impermanence on restaurant menus.
The barbecue-sauce-smothered sandwich was supposed to return at the end of October, but was pushed back to help boost end-of-the-year sales.
Better late than never.
1. The McRib came about because of a shortage of chickens.
In a 2009 interview with Maxim, Rene Arend, McDonald’s first executive chef and inventor of the Chicken McNugget, explains that the McNugget was so popular when it was first introduced in 1979 that demand quickly outstripped chicken supply.
The legendary pork sandwich was developed out of necessity. Franchises that didn’t have the Chicken McNugget needed a new hot-selling product — and that’s when Arend scrambled back to the test kitchen.