“The Sauce!” McDonald’s Szechuan sauce a unique endeavor

I am a diehard “Rick and Morty” fan. I’ve seen every single episode, binged the first two seasons in two days in preparation for season 3’s return, and have repeatedly turned to the show in stunned emotional amazement. I genuinely believe Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland are two of the most innovative writers of the current generation as far as animation & comedy are concerned. However, with every fanbase, you have some truly rabid folks. When McDonald's announced that they were bringing back Szechuan sauce in October, I was ecstatic! Finally, an opportunity to try an item that’s been revitalized into current cultural history. 


Unfortunately, nothing worked as planned--initially. 


You see, McDonalds only did a limited release of the sauce, and of the limited amount of stores that got the sauce, every store only had 100 packets. The fan base exploded, with one dude jumping up and down shouting with fervor “I’M PICKLE RICK!” Riots occurred, protests outside of McDonalds happened, and the disappointment was immense. The weight of the world slammed onto McDonalds faster than Rick and Morty could slam back into Earth C137 after visiting the Council of Ricks. Naturally, McDonalds mobilized to fix their mistake: after an abysmal disappointment that made headlines all around the world, they would bring back enough sauce “for an army” in the winter. As did most “Rick and Morty” fans, I waited. Life resumed as it would pre sauce. I ended up in a relationship, did really well last semester, and took some time to rest. As of last week, McDonald’s announced the return of the sauce--along with a three part podcast on the cultural phenomenon around the sauce. As luck would have it, I was able to stop over to McDonalds with a good friend of mine so that I could try the sauce. 


This was it. The moment. 

The packaging kind of threw me off. During the short-lived promotion of the sauce back in October, the packaging appeared to be inspired by “Rick and Morty”--with space cadets and psychedelic colors galore. However, this packaging appeared to make it look kind of bland. I wouldn’t pick it from any other sauce on the McDonald’s menu based on packaging alone, it wasn’t very appealing to me appearance wise. However, if this review were based on appearances only this would be a very pointless review. What matters most is the substance of the sauce--what’s in it. Nevertheless, I was excited to shred one of these bad boys up. 


The next thing that I noticed when dipping the actual sauce onto the chicken nugget was just how thick the sauce was when coated onto the nug. The sauce has a very dense, syrupy texture. There’s none of the runniness that exists with other McDonald’s sauces, this sauce clings onto the nugget and envelops it into starchy goodness. The taste? 


Strong. There’s an overpowering tanginess and a zesty, Eastern aftertaste that is reminiscent of barbeque sauce meeting soy sauce. It’s extremely unique, and there’s hardly any spiciness to the blend at all. It’s definitely an acquired taste that I find better pairs with McDonalds fries rather than the chicken nuggets it is advertised with. Ultimately, I’d eat the sauce for the meme--but I prefer the delicate, light tasting sweet and sour sauce that pairs with any and every meal I get from McDonalds. Most “Rick and Morty” fans, however, would find the sauce a fruitful endeavor, if not for the novelty aspect of it.