*Our first Food Duel is brought to you by EBH supporter and Food Duel official, Yohan Eleztnik. An avid McRib eater, he tries to put aside his bias and ref a fair fight.
Fall is a splendid time in the Midwest, marked by crisp air and trees adorned with brilliant colored leaves that pause momentarily before drifting silently to the ground. The morning sun glints off fields of frosted grass as flocks of geese drift south on the wake of a winter’s wind.
Autumn also offers a cornucopia of culinary delight, stimulating olfactory senses and tantalizing taste buds. Every hungry man pays tribute to the endless appetizers, dishes, and desserts dedicated to the holidays. However, we would be recalcitrant without a seasonal nod to the staple of fast food. Post Halloween, and precursor to Thanksgiving, comes a heavy hitter with a parent company boasting over billions sold. None other than the McRib!
This rare sandwich was recently pulled out of retirement in mid-October to please the masses. Hearing the tease on the radio and seeing the banner exclaiming, “Back for a Limited Time” transported me to a barbecued world of bliss. A hint of onion, extra pickle, and a pressed rib patty bathed in sauce complemented by a large fry and diet Dr. Pepper is truly heaven on earth. This time around though, the McRib was wraught with controversy. I decided to get to the bottom of it.
Alas, the information super highway can be a friend and foe. Perusing pictures of my fall friend, swimming in sauce, and resting on a delicate white bun, Google beckoned a click. I was a deer frozen in the headlights of an approaching semi; staring straight at me was the dreaded nutritional facts label! My inner being screamed stop, but my finger was out of control scrolling through calories, fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium.
“Damn you grams and milligrams!”
Adding insult to injury, resting below the nutritional eulogy, was the pallid slab of pressed meat and byproducts stripped of all condiments. Decades of decadent food lust and marketing genius was instantaneously purged from my mind. Like a spurned lover who just found his prom date in a dark corner of the gym with the football team quarterback, I searched for a glimmer of hope; a way to get back in the game. A dalliance with an old friend was in order. A comparison of my beloved McRib against a challenger. Fast forward to tonight’s duel.
Duels are often overrated, sometimes settling issue that has nothing to do with honor. Even the Marquess of Queensbury rules must be set aside. A battle. A street fight. When the dust settles, the winner takes all. Enter into the “fast food arena” the McDonald’s McRib vs. White Castle Sliders.
Similar to the McRib, true affinity of the White Castle slider calls for consumption of a single with onion and pickles. There must be no cheese to mask the blended hints and textures presented on fresh steamed bun. Now, with pleasantries complete, let’s meet our fighters….
In the Red corner, the McRib, weighing in with:
Calories from fat: 240
Total fat: 26g
Sat Fat: 10g
Trans Fat: 0g
In the Blue Corner, a standard pack of 4 White Castle singles, weighing in at:
Calories from fat: 240
Total fat: 24g
Sat Fat: 10g
Trans Fat: 2g
The fight starts out an even match. Both corners supported with a large French fry and tasty 21 ounce carbonated diet beverage of choice. Its punch counters punch through seven rounds of FDA nutritionary metrics. In the final round White Castle hits the canvass falling to a combo of sodium and transfat.
Cheering the champion, a few more jingles, coupons and promotional propaganda should push the modern food triangle to the back of my mind where it belongs, and I’ll be well on my way back to McRib bliss. Obviously there are greater evils than a seasonal splendor. Afterall, maybe the quarterback was just helping Mary Lou find her contact lens.
When it comes to deciding the ultimate victor though, I am only one man. I must rely on the wisdom of the masses. Which sandwich do you raise upon your shoulder and bestow the belt to?