Monday, July 27, 2009

The one you've been waiting for: Fry Sauce

31 Posts in 31 Days: #27

Some might say Utahns are a quirky bunch.

We love ice cream.

We love the Osmonds (okay, that's a stretch -- we like them a lot, they're our Jackson Five -- in a manner of speaking).

We do not all have plural wives, but we sure get asked that a lot when we go back East.

We love green Jell-O. With stuff in it (raisins, shredded carrots, baby marshmallows, pineapple, pears, goldfish crackers...)

We love Funeral Potatoes. Everywhere else you would call this dish "Cheesy Potato Casserole" or something like that. And we like to top it off with crunched up potato chips or corn flakes.

But the thing, the piece de resistance, the queen mother of all Utah quirkiness is Fry Sauce.

It is the essential condiment for a complete meal -- not ketchup, not mustard, not relish, not A-1 Steak Sauce, but fry sauce. In Utah fry sauce is ubiquitous. But when you venture outside the state boundaries, and you ask for fry sauce, the person behind the counter of your favorite eatery will likely look at you as though you have just landed from another planet. And if they're feeling generous, they'll toss you a couple of ketchup packets.

Ketchup is not fry sauce.

Fry Sauce was invented in Utah, by the founders of a local fast food chain: Arctic Circle. This Utah origin helps to explain its dull, if utilitarian name: Fry Sauce. In Utah, when it comes to names, we're long on othodoxy and short on imagination (we name our streets 100, 200, 300 etc...)

At the time of it's creation, McDonald's was just coming on line, and the founder of Arctic Circle wanted to do something to make the taste of his burgers unique (at the time burgers were prepared with ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions), so he changed the condiment selection.

And he changed the world. (Okay, maybe not the world, but you have to understand, we are VERY passionate about this stuff). And I am about to unveil, right here on this very blog, to each of you denied this little taste of heaven in your backward and repressive home towns, the recipe for Fry Sauce:

Stir together.
Dip fry, place in mouth.
Roll eyes back in head, curl toes with ecstasy.

There you have it. The secret is out. Now you can know what we in Utah have known since 1950 -- that Fry Sauce is ambrosia.

Nearly every food establishment in Utah, that sells french fries, has some version of fry sauce. Some fiddle with the ratios -- adding more or less of one of the ingredients. Some places even substitute items like barbeque sauce for the ketchup, but if you stray too far from the recipe, it won't be fry sauce, and the people will not eat it. Franchises new to Utah learn quickly that if you have fries, and no fry sauce, you will have a lot of unsold french fries.

When the Winter Olympics were here in 2002, we even had an official fry sauce trading pin (we had a green Jell-O pin too.)

Enterprising souls have even bottled and sold fry sauce in the grocery stores. This is where I draw the line -- surely you have ketchup and mayonnaise in your refrigerator, and if you can't mix up your own fry sauce, you have bigger issues than your condiment dilema.

So, there you have it. Maine may have it's lobster, New Orleans may have jambalaya, New York it's pizza but for pure, unadulterated, universal food love, nothing -- NOTHING -- touches fry sauce in Utah.


The Rambler said...

Now...because of this post I will always think of Utah and it's fry sauce :)

Thank you.

(I have a couple of Utah-ians that work for me so I'll inquire more about this state awesomeness :)

Ahem, and I'll have to try this my self. What's a girl to do that serves fries everyday? MMMMM...

Lori said...

I bought a bottled fry sauce at Costco once, it was nasty. I will always just make my own. You can't have a corn dog without it.


Cajoh said...

Never heard of Fry Sauce. I always like Ranch Dressing on mine.

This would be a great addition to my Friday's Feast. This week I am leaving it open to anything food related. Let me know if you want to link up and I'll add your post.

Kelly Deneen Raymond said...

I have seen this concoction eaten by others, but I have never heard it called Fry Sauce! I love to learn new things. :)

Aaron said...

Fry sauce is disgusting.

I am with CaJoh.....Ranch all the way baby....

Kristen said...

Call me crazy, but I like Crown Burger's fry sauce because they add a TINY bit of sweet pickle (or something like that) to their sauce. It's my favorite.

And I'm with Lori, when you buy it in the stores it usually is disgusting. Homemade is much better (or the above mentioned fry sauce of the Gods).

kayerj said...

well said! I had a life size poster of Donny Osmond on my wall as a teenager--I thought they were better than the Jackson 5

Pam Emmons said...

The very first place I go when I get to Utah, no matter what time of day it is, is Dairy Queen. I don't really even like french fries, however, I have to start my trip off with fry sauce from DQ, or it's not a good trip.

Honey Mommy said...

Mmmm.... Fry sauce. I like to add a little dab of mustard to mine to give it a little zing. :o)

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I am officially grossed out. I hate ketchup and mayonaise. Out here we call that...with some horseradish sauce, tartar sauce. And I don't like that either.

But thanks so much for sharing!

Suzanne said...

You got that right!

That was a tricky way to get 2 posts out of fry sauce - the 1st just an intro - a "teaser" - the next an in-depth "tutorial."

Unknown said...

I had no idea! I have had it before - just not my thing but hubs likes it. :)

Izzy, Emmy 'N Alexander said...

lol! I think I'll have to try this one. But seriously, gold fish crackers in jello? That is over the line. :)

Terri said...

Huh. I thought Utah was in the southwest, not the midwest. Sounds like something right out of Minnesota.

BTW: Mayonnaise? Oh yeah. (It's Best Foods here though, west of the Rockies.) Some things were made just as a medium for the mayo.

{krista} said...

A fry just isn't a fry without the zesty taste of fry sauce! Even in lil ole Idaho!

imbeingheldhostage said...

AAAAAggggggghhhhhh. ARE. YOU. Trying. To. Kill. Me?! Arctic circle and fry sauce. I'm salivating here. And YES to green jello (and seriously, I'm all for plural marriage again as long as I get to pick the mud-ugly window-washing fool that he marries).

Tater tots LOVE fry sauce. Who am I kidding, everything goes better with it.

what is that on my hip? Oh, more hip...

Susan said...

Hmmmm, I'm not a big mayo fan, but I might try it just for a change.
When I lived in West Virginia all the restaurants served blue cheese dressing with their fries. I still love that!