Americans are apparently torn over McDonald's classic McRib sandwich, as an announcement from the fast food giant that the pork sandwich would be returning to restaurants for a limited time drew hefty "applause" and plenty of "boos" on Twitter.
In a press release Monday, McDonald's announced that the boneless barbeque pork sandwich would be making its way to select locations nationwide (use the McDonald's locator), but would only be available through Nov. 14, 2011, as part of the company's "Quest" campaign.
"The Quest has begun! McDonald's today launched 'The Quest for the Golden McRib' digital game, which challenges consumers' wits, smarts and most of all, love for the glorious McRib," according to the press release.
This is the second time McDonald's is re-introducing the McRib sandwich to customers, after having done so in 2010 for its "Legends" campaign.
McDonald's describes the popular sandwich as "a boneless pork patty made from USDA inspected quality boneless pork, topped with slivered onions, sliced dill pickles, a signature barbeque sauce on a toasted home-style bun."
According to the company's website, the McRib has 500 calories, 40 percent total fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of protein, and 980 miligrams of sodium.
"The McRib has an enthusiastic and dedicated fan base," said Marta Fearon, McDonald's U.S. Marketing Director in the press release. "And we thank those customers for contributing to our decision to bring back the McRib nationwide in 2011. At this time, we can't speculate on its return in the future but we hope McRib fans will enjoy it now while it lasts."
If reaction to the news on Twitter is any indication, McRib fans are already salivating over the sandwich, while anti-fans seem to be gagging over the news.
On Twitter, where the word "McRib" has been trending all day, one user seemed particularly excited about sinking her teeth into the sandwich.
"Soooooooo excited about this mcrib," wrote Giovanna Lorraine, "I'm about to murder."
Adam Griffith tweeted, "I'm very excited to hear that @McDonalds McRib is back & that it is somehow under 600 calories. It's like magic."
Some Twitter users, however, were in no way fans of the sandwich, no matter its calorie count.
Ms. Michelle, a vegan, tweeted,"*Correction: Processed pork with artery clogging cholesterol. RT @McDonalds McRib’s signature taste: boneless pork & our McRib sauce."
Robin Thede was apparently concerned about the health of those excited about the McRib. She tweeted, "I feel like people who celebrate the return of the #McRib sandwich also only think that fruit is for special occasions."
McDonald had a solution for that, suggesting to its Twitter followers: "McDonald's McRib’s signature taste: boneless pork, slivered onions, pickles & our signature McRib sauce. Pair w Apple Slices 4 less than 600 cals!"
Other commenters on Twitter took a more humorous route.
"I keep reading tweets that say 'The McRib is back.' I knew it: McRIbs are made from human backs," wrote Ruth Bourdain.
One Twitter user even managed to tie the McRib sandwich to a current event: "FACT: 99% of people want the McRib to come back. We are the 99%," tweeted Tony Bacigalupo, adding the hashtag "#occupymcrib."
Comedic actor Rainn Wilson of "The Office," perhpas had one of the most popular tweets of the day: "McRib is people! @McDonalds McRib is PEEE-PULLL!!!!!" His comment, referencing the 1973 cult classic "Soylent Green," was retweeted more than a hundred times.