In an interview with VICE, rap giant Gucci Mane once said that without the sauce, you’re lost. However, you can also get lost in the sauce. Turns out, the saying can be taken literally.

This February, McDonalds announced that it would, once again, resurrect their infamous Szechuan dipping sauce.  20 million units of it, to be exact. Once a promotional item for the 1998 animated film Mulan, the Asian-inspired condiment resurfaced during the season premiere of “Ricky & Morty” in April 2017.

In the episode titled “The Rickshank Rickdemption”, Rick’s consciousness is placed in a “brain link”, which allowed him to relieve some of his memories, which included obtaining the limited-edition sauce. In an emotional monologue, the titular character revealed that it’s his life objective to taste the now discontinued condiment. He wasn’t alone.

Shortly after the episode aired, fans took to social media, rallying that the fast food giant bring back the limited-edition sauce. Months later, the burger behemoth sent showrunners Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon their own personal jug with a note, promising the opportunity for “a few lucky fans to experience the glory.”

Last October, McDonalds keep it’s promise, but with a twist. For one day, select stores nationwide would get a “very, very limited” supply. Packets were decked out with a signature foil, inspired by the Adult Swim cartoon and came with a collector’s poster. Once the day arrived, thousands swarmed their respective locations, hoping to finally get a taste of nostalgia. According to several accounts on social media, stores carried roughly 27 packets, which sold out instantly.

Hardcore fans can purchase the limited-edition packets online, but it’ll set you back anywhere from $500-600.

Fast forward to 2018. The sauce is back, but is the hype? Apparently not. When the golden arches announced the return of its teriyaki-flavored condiment, the world didn’t shake this time. The lines didn’t wrap around the building and, quite frankly, there was enough to go around. When I approached the cashier, I anxiously asked if they were out of Szechuan sauce. Her first response was “Oh, that’s how you say it.” She then explained that a lot of people asked the same question and added that they were far from running out.

So, how does it taste? Bland. It doesn’t take a culinary expert to realize how mundane the flavor is. Like many of McDonalds’ other dipping selections, Szechuan isn’t anything new under the sun. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s take on it is unmemorable and falls flat. It took five out of my ten chicken McNuggets to accept that the flavor doesn’t get any better. Is the sauce bad? Not really. It’s more so an acquired taste. Would I recommend it? Yes, but only to prove that overrated hype can’t bypass a simple taste test. Fans that were fortunate to try the condiment in the 90s, might agree that nostalgia is its own seasoning.

Bloggers projected that last month’s supply to empty out in a week, so the opportunity to try the pre-packaged delicacy has probably expired. However, with Disney’s plans to release a live-adaption of Mulan in 2020, its unlikely that we’ve seen the last of the Szechuan sauce. Here’s to hoping that it’ll taste better then.


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