While most of the U.S.
just eats its french fries
, in Utah
it is common to enter a restaurant
or fast-food joint
and be confronted with a choice between ketchup
and another, disturbingly pink
sauce, referred to by locals as "fry sauce
Composed mainly of ketchup, mayonnaise and vinegar, this interesting concoction is generally well-loved by native Utahns but gets mixed reviews from outsiders and newcomers. Sound gross? You must not be from Utah.
It usually ends up slightly runnier than ketchup, with a color that could be described as pink, but probably closer to salmon.
In Utah fry sauce is a statewide phenomenon, with each restaurant adding its own spices to make a unique flavor. Even nationwide chains sometimes create fry sauce specifically for their Utah establishments.
The best fry sauce is arguably still that of its inventor, the Arctic Circle fast food chain. 1950s Arctic Circle owner Don Carlos allegedly wanted a new flavor that would help his fledgeling restaurant stand out among the McDonald's and Burger Kings of the world, so he invented the stuff by combining mayonnaise, ketchup and pickle juice. It was a hit and caught on throughout Utah--where it is now also sold in grocery stores--but, curiously, it has failed to make headway elsewhere.