Legendary Szechuan Sauce Returns to McDonald’s

The company obliged after customer pleas and petitions.

By Ethan L. Johns
October 02, 2017

Image: McDonald’s/Twitter

Back from the dead… but how? Was it cloned from stem cells? Pulled from an alternate dimension? Nope, just created in a factory from a 20-year-old recipe. When they are released on October 7th, McDonald’s’ new Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Tenders will come with a very special side of something that was long thought to be extinct: Szechuan Sauce.

The release of the company’s new chicken product is accompanied by a series of limited-edition, collectible, screen-printed posters which depict each one of the 10 sauces that can be ordered, including Honey Mustard, Spicy Buffalo, Sriracha Mac, Sweet & Sour and, of course, teriyaki-style Szechuan Sauce.

Originally released in 1998 in tandem with Disney’s Mulan as a limited-edition promotional dip for chicken nugs, renewed interest in the sauce was piqued after it was mentioned by name in an episode of the animated Adult Swim show, Rick and Morty, back in April.

"I'm driven by finding that McNugget sauce. I want that Mulan McNugget Sauce," says Rick to Morty. A Change.org petition ensued, which was signed by over 44,000 people.

Speculation was further driven by a tweet published by Justin Roiland, a co-creator of the show, which depicted a 64-ounce bottle of the stuff along with a note, which claimed the stuff came from a dimension where it is perpetually 1998. It read, “A few lucky fans will also get to experience the glory, but the first bottle in this dimension is for you.” As if we are to actually believe that a multi-billion dollar publicly-traded corporation doesn’t have the capability to whip up some high-fructose corn sauce.

If you’re jazzed about this new product release, there are some tasting notes available; Rick and Morty writer and producer Mike McMahan wrote in a tweet, “The sauce is [...] delicious. Notes of Panda Express, and sumac. Jk no sumac- sugar and spicy soy sauce. Look, it's great.”

So line up if you want a taste of the 90s (the best decade ever, according to those who grew up in it—obviously), because when the sauce is gone, it’s gone. Until they decide to bring it back again.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns