McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce Returns On Monday

The company produced an entire podcast to apologize for the Great Saturday Sauce Shortage of 2017.

By Ethan L. Johns
February 23, 2018

Image: McDonald’s

When burger giant McDonald’s decided to re-release a very special, now-infamous chicken nugget sauce back in October, it was not prepared for the massive outpouring of viral, internet-induced hysteria that was to follow. The original, ultra-limited return of “Szechuan Sauce”—a sugary teriyaki dip, originally released in 1998 in conjunction with the Disney film “Mulan”—ended in riots and disappointed customers, an event which Genius Kitchen has dubbed, “The Great Saturday Sauce Shortage of 2017.”

Now, it seems that McDonald’s spent the ensuing time, would we say, lost in the sauce. On Thursday, the company announced that it would be bringing Szechuan back (“yeah!”) in a much larger limited edition run, beginning Monday, February 26th.

Twenty million packets will be available in the US (with a qualifying purchase, of course), which the company hopes will be enough to last at least a little while.

Of course, merely manufacturing more sugar sauce was not enough for McDonald’s; instead, they partnered up with Studio@Gizmodo and Onion Labs to create an entire podcast about the fiasco. The three-episode podcast starts at the beginning, with an episode called “Good Intentions” that discusses the company’s… good intentions. Then, it proceeds to discuss “The Szechuan Sauce Riots,” which occurred after “overnight crowds” and “interstate travel” led to a sauce shortage. The final installment, “Making Amends,” deals with the company’s plan to make it all better by providing lots of sauce to the world.

Included in the series are vignettes about the origins of the original re-release, which was brought about by an episode of the cartoon “Rick and Morty,” as well as details of the concert where the DJ Deadmau5 gave out tastes of his $15,000 Szechuan Sauce jug to fans.

“Our super-limited batch, though well-intentioned, clearly wasn’t near enough to meet that demand,” the company wrote in a statement. “We disappointed fans and we are sorry. To fully make amends, we felt it was important to not only bring back much more sauce this time, but to also admit our mistakes, answer questions and give fans access to the story behind the story.”

All well and good. But we're really just wondering how that dude feels now—you know, the one who traded his Volkswagen for a pack of Szechuan Sauce? Ouch.

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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