WFAEats: What’s Up, Mayochup?

May 25, 2018

COMMENTARY:

Now that cook-out season is here, a new condiment may be heading your way: mayochup.

Put simply, it’s a blend of mayonnaise and ketchup. But nothing in the world of food marketing is ever simple.

Following the announcement that Heinz plans to sell its mayochup in the U.S., the company has had a Wall Street wobble while “Twitter lost its mind.”

Heinz launched a social media campaign in April, hoping to whet our appetites for the stuff.

“Want Mayochup in stores? 500,000 votes for ‘yes’ and we’ll release it to you saucy Americans,” the company tweeted.

That did not go down well. Sure, mayo and ketchup separately improve lots of similar foods – hello, burgers and fries – so it follows that combining the two would be doubly delicious. The tangy taste of ketchup blends beautifully with the creamy smoothness of mayonnaise. Plus it’s that pretty pink color. (Mayochup is available in a few countries abroad.)

But a lot of folks are clamoring to claim the stuff as their own.

Food producer Goya was founded by immigrants from Spain and has grown to become the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S. Their Mayo-Ketchup is widely available. Utah residents are speaking up in favor of fry sauce, crediting restaurateur Don Carlos Edwards for putting it on his menu in Salt Lake City back in the 1940s. Intriguingly, multiple sources attribute the concoction to Argentine Nobel Laureate Luis Federico Leloir. He was dining at a golf club in the 1920s when he mixed up what became known in his country as salsa golf. In some Latin American locales, it’s called salsa rosada. A German company manufactures rot weiss (red white) sauce in a squeezy tube that dispenses ketchup and mayo in cute little stripes.

Which begs the question: Do we really need a “new” version of mayochup on U.S. grocery store shelves? Why would anyone wait for that when you could order an existing version online or just drive to a store to buy it?

More to the point: What does all of this mean for those of us living in the South, a land of complex culinary habits and frequently divided loyalties?

The answer to that actually is simple: Make it yourself. The recipe is impossible to ruin: Combine mayonnaise and ketchup in any combination you like.

Start by using Duke’s mayonnaise, founded in Greenville, S.C., by entrepreneur Eugenia Thomas Duke. Swap out that grocery store ketchup with one made locally from purveyors on carolinasauces.com. Get fancy and replace the ketchup altogether with Chef Alyssa’s Champagne Tomato Jam. Stir in a spoonful of your favorite barbecue sauce. Steer your car away from the grocery store and head for a farmer’s market where you’re sure to find even more ingredient possibilities.  

You can call your concoction whatever you like once you make it your own. How about “tomayocue” sauce? “Mayobarb?”

Best of all, you’ll have something unique to wrap your mouth around and share with others who appreciate your ability to recognize – and create – something with good taste this season.

Amy Rogers writes WFAEats, a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and tackle the meatier side of the food scene in and around Charlotte.