Monday, February 26, 2018

Oh Sweet Szechuan Sauce!



Have you been to McDonalds lately? No? Well, you may want to change. Then again, you may be making the best decision after all. One way or the other, I'm sure your stomach thanks you. Me, I never eat at McDonalds anymore, unless it's a chance to get a Halloween Charlie Brown pail or a Shamrock Shake. But today, I broke my own rule and decided to head to the Golden Arches for a highly anticipated item. What made me risk a night on the toilet and perhaps even clogged arteries? The infamous Szechuan Sauce!

The sauce, first introduced in 1998 in conjunction with Disney's promotion of Mulan, caused an uproar and instant demand from the rabid Rick And Morty fanbase after a random reference on an episode that aired last year. Fans took to social media immediately and started demanding that McDonalds bring back the sauce and as expected, the outcry was too much to ignore and McDonalds brought back the sauce in a very limited run in October. Of course, when I mean limited, I mean that only a certain number of stores received maybe 50 packets at most. Well....that didn't exactly sit well with fans. Some devoted fans even drove hours to claim their prize to no avail. After the response, McDonalds announced they'd make it right and bring the sauce back sooner than later.

And sooner came. Fans rejoiced to own their dipping sauce and the day was saved.

Was it though? I say that with a little trepidation. I had tried the sauce back while on vacation in 1998 during it's release and I just wasn't impressed then. In fact I was downright repulsed by it and put it out of my mind for the longest time. Why would I dip my nuggets in such nonsense? I really tried but just wasn't happy with it.

Naturally, I became curious as I saw hints surfacing online between April and October. I got the sense that after the demand it would be back but I didn't think it would be so quick. After all, we waited for almost 20 years for Ecto Cooler. But it is what it is. It's here and I decided to go grab some to see if it still refused to get along with my stomach or if my taste had changed and matured. If it was good enough for an evil genius on a cartoon, it has to be good enough for me.


There's the goods. The server got a little generous and gave me 4 packets instead of the normal two most have been getting. I'm digging the design, it's pretty likable. It kinda looks like the font New Line  would use for an early 90s action movie poster. I approve. But now it's time to dig in...


Pee-yuu...it's pretty smelly. Like rotten Slim Jims dunked in stale hot wing sauce. I for one can guarantee Randy Savage wouldn't snap into this idea. I'm one of those people who are so repulsed by bad smells that  I either laugh hysterically or throw the food out entirely. But, I'm in this for the long haul and I'm willing to risk my dining room smelling like old meat for the sake of art. So I pinched my nose, and dunked my Chicken McNugget and...



...actually the odor aside, it's not as bad as I remember it to be. In fact, I kinda like it better more now than I did in 1998, but then again I didn't have great taste back then. At age 15, I considered TGI Fridays to be the finest cuisine I had ever tasted. That and I thought Barenaked Ladies and Fastball would've toured forever. Anyway. The sauce.

It's got the same sweet and sour plus orange sauce taste that I remember to have, but it also tastes like spices were added as well. Now saying it's "not as bad as I remember" isn't high praise but it's also not harsh criticism either. It's just kind of "meh". I'm kind of indifferent about it. I get the sense if this wasn't a huge deal to the fans of the cartoon, it wouldn't be considered to be brought back. But, Rick and Morty fanatics can't be underestimated.They made magic happen. Thankfully, I still had about 5 other nuggets to go and I had some ketchup to dunk them in for a more familiar and comforting taste. To me at least. I know some people who balk at the idea of putting ketchup on nuggets but I'd also guess the same people would shun the thought of this Szechuan sauce. Is it something you should try at least once so you don't feel regret over missing it like I did for missing Pepsi Holiday Spice? Yeah, absolutely. It'll be a topic that could come up in ten years when you and your friends are discussing limited food promotions. And while I'm still not amazed, I get the sense this won't be around forever and it's definitely gonna be remembered as something the fans helped bring back. Which is pretty spectacular if you sit and think about it.



There you have it. The sauce is back and here to stay (perhaps?). No one said the sauce would be pretty or even good but they promised you a special sauce and that's what they delivered. So head out, grab some sauce, and give it a shot!



Oh and of course I got my Shamrock Shake.






YUM.



-Chad

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