Did You Know a Team of New England Scientists Created the McDonald’s McRib?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
McDonald’s announced its famed McRib sandwich would be going on its farewell tour during the 2022 holiday season. While it remains to be seen if this is a farewell-farewell or a Tom Brady “farewell,” it’s a tough break for fans of the Golden Arches.
But while you mourn the loss of the McRib, you can also celebrate its history. Like McDonald’s itself, the McRib’s journey to greatness bean right here in New England.
Know how people joke about the McRib’s origins, how maybe it was constructed in a lab like some sort of delicious, fast-food Frankenstein? Well, it turns out that’s exactly right.
You have a scientist in Natick to thank, along with the U.S. Military. Seriously! A process called “meat restructuring” was developed by the Army to deliver sustainable meat to soldiers – literally greasing the skids on what would eventually become the McRib.
In the 1960s, scientists at the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Engineering and Development Center were tasked with creating fabricated meat, according to Vice. Much like a good McRib, development lasted for close for a decade.
By the mid '70s, soldiers were eating the not-yet-named pork patty. Then by the early '80s, one of the Center’s collaborators, McDonald’s, approached the Natick Center about doing business.
As the military does not patent its food technology, the McRib was born. A seasonal favorite of New Englanders, it has become a national phenomenon, and was even being parodied on The Simpsons.
It’s not surprising that a beloved McDonald’s menu item started out in the region, as two of the chain’s founders, brothers, Dick and Maurice McDonald, hailed from Manchester, New Hampshire.
It's been a rollercoaster fall for McDonald's customers, as the chain reintroduced its Halloween "Boo Buckets" just before teasing the McRib's demise on its official site. But what Mayor McCheese giveth, he also giveth away.