As pumpkin spice season comes to an end, McRib season is about to begin! The beloved sandwich is set to return to McDonald's menus nationwide for a limited time on Monday, Nov. 1, the Golden Arches confirmed Thursday. The McRib features a seasoned boneless pork slathered in tangy barbecue sauce and topped with slivered onions and tart pickles.
While the McRib has returned to menus on numerous occasions since it was first introduced back in the '80s, this is no ordinary year, as the sandwich's 2021 return will mark the McRib's 40th anniversary. The sandwich originally debuted in 1981 in Kansas City, Kansas, and quickly became a fan-favorite, though it did not reach international fandom until 1994, when it was brought back in honor of the theatrical release of the live-action Flintstones film. After that, the McRib remained a staple of the McDonald's menu in the '90s and early 2000s, even going on to appear on menus in Germany, New Zealand and France. However, all good things must come to an end, McDonald's launched three farewell tours for the sandwich in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The sandwich returned to the national menu from 2010 to 2012, after which it disappeared until 2019.
"In the 80s, the masterminds behind McDonald's food innovation had a truly unique idea: an undeniably delicious sandwich that could be enjoyed during the colder seasons," Mike Bullington, Senior Archives Manager at McDonald's, said in a press release when confirming the McRib's impending return back in September. "Whether you're a McRib loyalist or first timer, there is no denying that the McRib is one of the most iconic sandwiches of the last four decades and we have thousands of emails and tweets from fans to prove it."
To celebrate the sandwich's cultural importance on its 40th anniversary, McDonald's is helping launch the McRib into the 21st century with a contest for McDonald's first-ever NFTs or non-fungible tokens, unique pieces of virtual art that can't be duplicated. The chain announced Thursday it will be giving away "digital versions of the fan favorite sandwich - almost as saucy as the McRib itself."
To enter for a chance to win a piece of McDonald's history, McRib lovers simply need to follow the official McDonald's Twitter account and retweet the Sweepstakes Invitation tweet any time between Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 from a public account. By Nov. 12, according to the chain, McDonald's will select "10 fans who will receive the exclusive McRib NFT to add to their personal collection and enjoy even when it's not on the menu."