Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fry Sauce

Fry Sauce = Yum!
What?   You have no idea what I'm talking about? 

I just discovered that not everyone in the United States knows about Fry Sauce.

Let me backtrack a bit--
I love regional cooking, regional traditions and regional history/food history.

It's SO distinct in the South (grits, country ham, Cajun, GOOD--meaning real-- BBQ) the East ( lobster rolls, clam chowder, baked beans) the Midwest (cheese, pork sausage, jello desserts they pass off as salads--don't get me wrong, I love Jello desserts passed off as salads. I'm just sayin'--Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza), the Southwest ( chilies,  enchiladas, rustic cooking, Mexican influence, tacos,)  The Pacific Northwest (smoked salmon, Alaskan King Crab,  trout, fresh water fish, fruits, berries). 
And so on.  Let me state, for the record, that Texas and California have their very own food stuff and styles.  They make it up, put their own inique spin on it (Tex-Mex and Fresh Mex and Baja Style).

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I felt a camaraderie with the people when it came to food.
Then I moved to Nevada--The Great Basin area of the United States--there's not even a Wikipedia entry for foods of this region.  It's sad really.  
I guess  we could be lumped with chuck-wagon food  (cowboy beans, beef steak, fried potatoes).
I wanted to be known for something cooler than a T-bone steak tho.  Or a bowl of cowboy beans cooked in a Dutch Oven.

And then.... I heard some new friends from Texas say they just had Fry Sauce for the very  first time and really liked it.  I thought  WTH? It's fry sauce.   Then they explained they had never heard of it before, let alone  tasted it.
I emailed my friend in California--and said "can you believe it?--she said she has never had or heard of Fry Sauce.
I said,  YES YOU HAVE.  It's only stupid Fry Sauce--everyone's heard of it.

Then I Googled it.  It seems as if it is a regional thing. Apparently not everyone has heard of it.  Huh. Interesting.

 Fry sauce is a simple combination of ketchup and mayonnaise popular in Utah restaurants as a dipping sauce for French fries. Utah-based burger chain Arctic Circle claims to have invented fry sauce in the 1940s.  (this is from A history of fry sauce by Marsha Maxwell.  Click the link to find out more and to get the recipe on making your own fry sauce.  Be sure and click the AC link to see more about the burger chain)

Fry Sauce is not only popular in Utah. While it might have originated in Utah, there were Arctic Circle burger chains all over, UT, NV, ID, OR and WA when I was growing up, and we all loved AC!
WE HAVE OUR OWN REGIONAL FOOD IDENTITY!   How cool is that?  I'm so relieved.

Of course, it's just mayo and ketchup.  Mixed together.  Most 2 year olds could do it.   But it's good.  I like it better than ketchup.  I love it, in fact.
I LOVE stupid fry sauce!!

Unless I go to Zips. (Which is a really, localized burger joint in Washington and Idaho. )  THEN, I dip my french fries in their homemade tarter sauce.  Mmmmmm.   But that's another story.  For another time. 
Well, wait a minute!  Hold the phone!  Keep your pants on!   Hold your horses!
 I already told that story...see here.

Now, go eat some French Fries everybody. Make fry sauce and see if you like it.

PS:  I'm sure they have a version of Fry Sauce in every region of the U.S, right?  Except for Texas and California rumor has it.

For the record.... I present 
 "The Great Basin"
(yes, we really do have wild horses, and no we are not all cowboys)


bermudaonion said...

I know people who make sauce like that and others who use just mayonnaise. Of course, I'm not sure where any of the people I'm talking about are from originally.

Karen said...

I used to work with a guy who would mix mayo & ketchup for his fries. I never knew there was a name for it though. I thought he invented it!

teresa said...

i grew up in idaho enjoying fry sauce all of my childhood years. then we took a trip to ny and asked for some at their local mcdonald's and they looked at us like we were crazy! ha! i'm living in nj now and occasionally i do miss me some fry sauce!

Michelle said...

I wanted to read this the other day and I got sidetracked (big surprise). Anyway, I wanted to read about fry sauce because I've never heard of it either. After reading your description, I had to laugh. My son mixes ketchup & mayo and thinks it's the most awesome thing that HE invented! I'm not going to burst his bubble...

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