Those of us who love fry sauce can’t get enough of it. But in the midst of practically drinking your fries slathered with pink sauce, have you ever wondered who invented it?
People are now debating this very issue. The Mormons claim it’s their contribution to culinary history, crediting one of their own, Don Carlos Edwards, founder of the Arctic Circle restaurant. As the story goes, sometime in the 1940s Edwards mixed some ketchup, mayo and pickle juice together, and the condiment was born. But then he changed the recipe, and now it’s a secret.
Any historian knows there’s always more to the story, especially when the word “secret” is involved. That’s why I went in search of the condiment’s true origins, which I now suspect reach back to the beginnings of the church, when Joseph Smith discovered the golden plates.
According to church history, the plates were revealed to Smith in Palmyra, N.Y., by an angel named Maroni. Smith used the plates, and some other things the angel told him about, to translate the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately for those us seeking proof today, he returned the plates to Maroni, so they’re not available for public viewing, so it’s also possible they included a recipe for fry sauce. That would have been kept secret, of course, until the right time and place came for it to be revealed.
That time and place was possibly the moment Edwards thought to combine ketchup, mayo and whatever other ingredient it is that launched fry sauce into the realm of heavenly concoctions.
However, there’s another version that may be more likely, and that is that traveling Mormon missionaries brought the idea back to Utah. Argentinians also lay claim to inventing the condiment. Their story dates back to 1925 when a bored teen named Luis Federico Leloir blended ketchup, mayo, cognac and Tabasco and called it salsa golf. It became one of the country’s favorite dips. Leloir later won the Nobel Prize, although for a different reason.