China: Around The Nation

McDonald’s vintage ‘Sichuan sauce’ makes headlines in China after US$14,700 sale on eBay

Fans have started online campaign for the fast-food chain to bring back the limited-edition condiment, but Chinese internet users poke fun at it

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 April, 2017, 3:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 April, 2017, 5:29pm

McDonald’s Sichuan dipping sauce has made headlines in China after a vintage pack of it appeared to have been sold on eBay alongside another flavoured sauce for a whopping US$14,700 this week.

The packet of “Mulan Szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce” had been briefly available in some Western countries in 1998, when the fast-food chain was promoting the release of Disney’s animated film Mulan.

It was put up for auction on eBay together with a vintage McDonald’s wasabi sauce by a seller from Britain this week, the Beijing Evening News reported.

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The seller said he had found the two packets of limited-edition dipping sauce while cleaning out “a really old car”.

The sauces received 187 bids before they were eventually sold for US$14,700.

“I hope somebody who wants to eat some 20-year-old gnarly sauce gets this,” the seller wrote in the listing’s description. “I would prefer not to sell it to a collector.”

Sichuan cuisine – which originates from China’s southwestern Sichuan province – is characterised by its bold, pungent and spicy flavours.

McDonald’s Mulan Szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce has been described as tasting sweet, sour and spicy.

While some Chinese internet users expressed doubts about the high bids for the vintage sauces – one listing last week reportedly reached US$99,000 – others were simply amused by the attention the Chinese-style sauce was receiving.

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Some also poked fun at the sauce for not authentically representing Sichuan cuisine or Chinese culture.

“Don’t even need to try the sauce to know it’ll be sweet and sour with a tinge of spiciness – nothing to do with Sichuan,” one of the top comments on Weibo read.

“People in Sichuan haven’t even tried McDonald’s Sichuan sauce,” another wrote.

The sauce was recently thrust into the spotlight by popular American animated sci-fi sitcom Rick and Morty.

In the show’s third season premiere in the United States on April 1, main character Rick told his compatriot Morty: “I want that Mulan McNugget sauce, Morty, that’s my series arc, Morty. If it takes nine seasons, I want my McNugget dipping sauce Szechuan sauce.”

Following that episode, thousands of fans started a petition online, demanding for McDonald’s to bring back the sauce. The petition had almost 35,000 signatures by Thursday.

In response to the viral attention online, the fast-food chain responded on its Twitter account, paraphrasing a Rick and Morty catchphrase “wubba lubba dub dub” in a tweet: “McNugga Lubba Dub Dub.”

“If a man does not have SzeChuan sauce, then he is lost. But the same man can be lost in the Szechuan sauce,” one Twitter user quipped.