Nerd Caliber
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October 9, 2017

Fans Say Not Cool Over Bungled Szechuan Sauce Event

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Written by: Luis Correa
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At the beginning of Season Three of Rick and Morty, Rick goes on a dark rant about his obsession with a minor sauce known as Szechuan that McDonald’s produced as a promotional tool for the 1998 release of Mulan. The sauce itself was a plum flavored little thing that by all accounts had been mediocre in taste. That did not stop the fans of Rick and Morty from writing petitions and tweeting at McDonald’s to bring back this sauce so they could sample it. McDonald’s — which had been looking to showcase an abundance of new sauces for their chicken tenders launch — happily joined in on the cult show’s newest obsession. It provided the creator with a case full of the sauce with a tongue in cheek message about it being from a dimension where it’s always 1998.

McDonald’s seemed to not understand how much they fueled the Rick and Morty fans when they further decided to host a short contest where the winner would get a jug of the Szechuan sauce. McDonald’s ran its limited, one-day sauce event and it quickly went wrong.

On October 7th, McDonald’s held an event for all of their sauces and within that list of sauces there was a super-limited run of the now coveted Szechuan sauce. Some stores had “sauce” posters to be sold and the really rare stores had the sauce in house on a first-come, first-served basis.

As expected, the event went down really fast with way less sauce available than what had been first implied. A lot of information concerning the event either failed to be communicated properly by the stores and McDonald’s corporation or had not been researched properly enough by avid Rick and Morty fans. The event began at 2 p.m. on Saturday and many locations had run out of Szechuan sauce within a few minutes of the event opening. Allegations on the internet helped to fuel more discontent as rumors began of employees stealing or hoarding sauces for themselves or to be sold on eBay. I looked on eBay and saw packs of the sauce going for $100 to $250. Of course those prices are often inflated dramatically to see if someone would be willing to pay that much but it also shows how quickly people are ready to capitalize on any trend.

There have been reports of fights in lines, protests that involved police intervention and in some places a hastily announced random ticket system meant to help move the line, but which just infuriated the people who had arrived early.

McDonald’s corporation had left a lot of the management of this event in the hands of the individual stores which ended up being a very bad idea. Realistically, it was to be expected that something like this would happen with how devout the Rick and Morty fandom has become and how obsessive it’s been toward anything mentioned in the show.

McDonald’s released a statement on Twitter that acknowledges the failure of the event and how they plan on re-introducing the sauce as a permanent item on the menu. It will make its return some time in the winter and be much more widely available for those who missed out on trying in in the ’90s or a few days ago. Hopefully you can hold out until winter comes but if not, try out the tribute recipe posted below.

McDonald's mea culpa to Rick and Morty fans.

McDonald’s mea culpa to Rick and Morty fans.

Justin Roland, one of the co-creators of Rick and Morty also tweeted out his displeasure as to how the event went down.


Hopefully the recipe below will get you over the unbearable loss you might be feeling by not being able to get to sample of a 1998 sauce that isn’t all that great to begin with. I sampled this sauce in ’98 and I remember it being OK, but then it’s not really about the sauce, is it? Furthermore, let us not forget that regardless of the negative outcome, this is something that people wanted to participate in for the enjoyment of their fandom and should not be shamed for wanting to be apart of it. It’s akin to participating in the ice cream maker guy (Star Wars for those who don’t understand what I’m talking about) conga lines at Star Wars Celebration or dressing up as your favorite movie character at the premiere. It’s just fans trying to enjoy things that make them happy and it’s a shame that there are those who think it’s OK to mock them while completely forgetting the lengths they went to when they wanted to participate in an event. (Cosplaying at conventions for an example.)

Poor management by McDonald’s coupled with an underestimation of how much the fans of that show wished to sample the mediocre sauce led to a failure of an event. One can hope that Wendy’s doesn’t hear about this lest McDonald’s gets the most epic of roasts on Twitter.


If you’re an adventurous soul and your journey to McDonald’s has fallen through then here is tribute recipe created by Reddit user Xeropoint:

Mince 6 cloves of Garlic and sweat (heat them up in a skillet)

add 4 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

add soy sauce to taste (DO NOT USE LOW SODIUM SAUCE)

add 2 tablespoon Plum Sake (Drink additional 3 oz Plum Sake)

Reduce sauce slightly (Drink additional 1.5 oz Plum Sake)

3 1/2 tablespoons cock sauce (Sriracha)

add 2 tablespoon brown sugar

Red pepper flakes to taste

Minced Ginger to taste

Consume remaining Plum Sake

Simmer that shit for a solid 5 minutes, stirring pretty much constantly. The brown sugar helps it keep the proper consistency, so it’s important to use. Play around with the recipe to your taste. Might want more or less balsamic vinegar. Might want more or more Plum Sake. I’d definitely recommend you make it several times to figure out your own flavor.
Sake is not required. You can add more of the other liquid ingredients (careful with that soy or it will be super salty). If you do this, I’d add a bit of Orange Zest to it.

Cook over Medium heat  

About the Author

Luis Correa



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