Ah, the McRib. The popular pork sandwich slathered in barbecue sauce and topped with pickles and onions first appeared on McDonald's menus nearly 40 years ago, and has popped up as a specialty items here and there ever since. Now, for the first time in nearly a decade, it will be available nationwide starting in a month, on December 2nd.
Typically, the McRib is only sold at select locations or regions "for a limited time." While it's been a consistent menu item in places like Germany and Luxemburg, it's relative scarcity in the U.S. jacked up its popularity whenever it's been offered. When it's been announced that the McRib is available, excitement and long lines have often followed.
What IS the McRib? The restaurant chain describes it as "saucy, tangy, tender and shamelessly delicious." It's essentially a boneless pork patty - mostly ground pork shoulder - shaped to appear like a rack of ribs (yes, that takes some processing.) The BBQ sauce and pickles and onions are added, and instead of a hamburger bun the McRib comes on a longer, toasted roll.
Your typical McRib sandwich contains 480 calories (by comparison, a Big Mac has 550 calories). It provides 24 grams of protein, 22 grams of fat (7 grams are saturated), 45 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and 12 grams of sugar. It also packs 890 milligrams of sodium, a hefty percentage of your daily allowance.
It's not health food by any means, but if you skip the fries and instead opt for a side salad, it makes the nutritional quality better. In fact, some nutritionists suggest getting the apple slices as your side, as apples are not only healthy, but complement barbecue flavors well (I gotta try that!)
For some, the nationwide return of the McRib will be considered a Christmas present in a tough year (your body may or may not agree.) Either way, look for it at your favorite - or any - McDonald's starting December 2nd!
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