The infamous sauce will be available to Kiwis at McDonald’s restaurants across the country for a limited time starting Wednesday, March 4th. Earlier this week, the official Facebook page of McDonald’s New Zealand teased the arrival of the sauce by sharing a photo of a Rick and Morty-like green portal and a hand coming through it. The hand is holding a chicken nugget coated with the familiar brown sauce. “Coming soon, the best sauce in the universe,” read the caption.
In a follow-up comment, the fast-food chain revealed that packets of Szechuan sauce will only be “available after 10:30 a.m. … while stocks last.” The company also confirmed that there will be 200,000 packets available to Kiwis.
“We wanted to give Kiwis the chance to try one of the rarest sauces in the world,” McDonald’s New Zealand managing director David Howse said. “There are 200,000 units of sauce, so that works out to be approximately 1 sauce for every 25 people.”
First introduced in 1998 as part of a promotional tie-in with the animated Disney movie Mulan, the McDonald’s Szechuan sauce was developed to resemble authentic Chinese Szechuan sauce. Packets of the sauce were originally included with Chicken McNugget Happy Meals and came with one of eight Mulan children’s toys. When the Mulan promotion ended, the Szechuan Sauce was seemingly gone for good, until it made an unexpected resurgence in pop culture almost 20 years later after it was featured in the Season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty.
Aired in 2017, the episode begins with Rick in a dream sequence ordering McDonald’s food from within his memory to taste the long forgotten Szechuan sauce one last time. Rick also mentions the sauce in the latter part of the installment, telling Morty that it’s his character’s “story arc” to taste the sauce once again even if it takes nine seasons or 97 more years. Apparently, fans of the series became so curious about the sauce that they flooded McDonald’s with requests to bring it back.
In October 2017, McDonald’s finally re-released the sauce. But its limited supply resulted in fan outrage and massive effort to sell the packets on second-hand markets, like eBay and Amazon.
“Yesterday, we were truly humbled by the amazing curiosity, passion and energy this community showed to welcome back Szechaun sauce — even if just for one day. Thank you, a million times over,” the chain said in a statement at the time, announcing the sauce’s wider release within that year. “We want to make this right. You’re some of the best fans in this, or any, dimension…and we plan to deliver on that promise as soon as possible. Stay tuned.”
The first half of Rick and Morty Season 4 wrapped airing on Adult Swim last December. The second half of the 10-episode season, meanwhile, has no release date yet.