The ketchup company Heinz sparked an international internet temper tantrum last month when it announced the potential launch of a new product: Mayochup.
Heinz plugged it as a new thing, a pre-made combo of ketchup and mayonnaise.
Those of us in the western U.S. know it’s not a new thing. It’s our beloved fry sauce.
Internet outrage poured out. There were those appalled at the idea of mixing ketchup and mayo. Others cried cultural appropriation. A Washington Post story listed multiple Latin American countries laying claim the invention of fry sauce, from Argentina where its legend begins in the 1920s as “salsa golf,” to Puerto Rico, whose residents call it “my-oh-ketchup.” In Costa Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela it’s called “salsa rosada” or “pink sauce.” Germany has a version called rott weiss, which translates to “red-white.”
According to this version of the origin story, the condiment was invented by a Salt Lake City chef and Mormon named Don Carlos Edwards. Edwards got his start selling burgers at a stand at a Pioneer Day celebration in 1924 (Pioneer Day being the official Utah holiday commemorating the arrival of Brigham Young and the first Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley).
Edwards’ success grew into his Utah-based restaurant, Arctic Circle, which opened in 1950. Fry sauce and kids’ meals with a toy were two of his inventions, according to the website for the chain, which now spans six western states. Its fry sauce recipe is a closely guarded secret.
This is how fry sauce first came to our neck of the woods.
In 1958, Howard and Bethel Sharp, members of the LDS church, opened an Arctic Circle in Clarkston. In the 1970s, they opened Sharp’s Burger Ranch in Lewiston. The Clarkston restaurant was later renamed Sharp’s, and to this day Sharp’s is renowned for its fry sauce, which, anyone who has eaten at both places can tell you, tastes a lot like Arctic Circle’s.
The Region’s Best Fry Sauce
We asked Inland 360 Facebook fans where they go for the best fry sauce. Here’s the top six, ranked by popularity, starting with the No. 1 hands-down winner, Sharp’s Burger Ranch. The post was viewed by nearly 5,000 people.
- Sharp’s Burger Ranch, Lewiston and Clarkston
- Cougar Country Drive In, Pullman
- Zany Graze, Lewiston
- Zip’s Drive In, Moscow and Lewiston
- Humble Burger, Moscow
- Seasons Bites & Burgers, Lewiston
What’s the Secret to Addictive Fry Sauce?
Fry sauce aficionados know there is more to addictive fry sauce than just ketchup and mayonnaise. There’s usually another ingredient, and at some restaurants that is a closely guarded secret. Here’s a list of some of the most common additions and some suspicions.
Buttermilk (Many claim this is the secret ingredient used by Arctic Circle.)