They say that smell is the sense most closely tied to memory. Anyone who has ever smelled an ex's perfume can attest to that. When I opened the McRib box, the smell brought to mind my mother's Oldsmobile station wagon; the barbecue sauce reminded me of its burgundy velour interior. It was when I took the first bite, though, that I remembered exactly how long it had been.
The Serious Eats team emailed me last week with news that the McRib was coming back, on Election Day, November 2nd. (Those who read my column forwarded me similar news.) I wrote the McRib re-release date onto my calendar.
Rumors circulated this week that the McRib had been released early in certain locations. A reader confirmed that it was, indeed, available in Brooklyn and Queens. After confirming with the restaurant via telephone, I spent the entire subway ride trying to remember how long it had been since I'd last had a McRib. Sixteen years? No, that's how long it's been since the Pirates were above 500. Ten years? No, longer than that. When I ordered one, the cashier (noticeably younger than I) asked me, "Have you ever had one before?" I said it had been ten years, at least.