Saturday, November 12, 2011

The McRib sandwich

Excellent Evil Ingredients of the Week
This week I really did something special for you, my people. I tried the McRib. Yes I drove into the parking lot (because to get the whole experience you need to eat in the restaurant, and I didn’t want my car to smell like cheap food), I hid my chef’s coat in shame and headed inside.

It's been many years since I stepped foot in McDonald's. I must admit I used to like the egg mcmuffin and had them from time to time while on the road. Well the place sure has improved their appearance. It was modern and well-designed and didn’t even smell bad. Who doesn’t love the smell of deep fat frying? I looked for the McRib on the menu but didn’t see it so I asked the man at the counter and he assured me they had it. The sign for it was on the other end of the menu, which I could not see. He asked me if I wanted the meal, which included fries and a drink, I said why not. I don’t think it's that popular of a choice here because looking around the room I think I was the only one having it. My food arrived on the line shortly and then I head over to the drink area. I was very relieved to see unsweetened ice tea so at least my beverage was healthy. And the tea, I must say was excellent. Just the right strength. Then I chose my booth and sat down.

I unwrapped my sandwich and opened up the long bun. The McRib itself is boneless and made of a grey rubbery pork patty which is covered with a sickly sweet BBQ sauce 4 pieces of chopped white onion and 2 pickle slices. The texture is what really was gross. The bread and the pork could be gummed. No teeth necessary for this meal! Is this because poor people can’t afford dental care so, as a service to our under insured population, they make it easy to chew? It was all about fat, sugar, and salt, which I understand, is a dangerous and addictive combo. This led me to wonder what’s in this thing so I went to the Internet. This is what I found out. There are 70 ingredients in this item!
McRib Pork Patty: Pork, water, salt, dextrose, preservatives (BHA, propyl gallate, citric acid)

McRib Bun: Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, high fructose corn syrup, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, corn meal, wheat gluten, soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oils, dextrose, sugar, malted barley flour, cultured wheat flour, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, soy flour, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide), calcium propionate (preservative), soy lecithin.

McRib Sauce: Water, high fructose corn syrup, tomato paste, distilled vinegar, molasses, natural smoke flavor (plant source), food starch-modified, salt, sugar, spices, soybean oil, xanthan gum, onion powder, garlic powder, chili pepper, sodium benzoate (preservative), caramel color, beet powder

Pickle Slices: Cucumbers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, alum, potassium sorbate (preservative), natural flavors (plant source), polysorbate 80, extractives of turmeric (color).


Source: McDonald's official ingredient list (PDF file)
If you like this style of food there are some good fast food copy cat websites (like this one) which tell you how to make a much better, healthier version of this dish at home. But I guess that really defeats the purpose.

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