Heinz is bringing Mayochup to America, but who really invented the mayonnaise-ketchup matrimony?
Famous for ketchup and baked beans, the Heinz Company is now dead-set on introducing to American audiences what it claims is a novel concoction: Mayochup. Think of it as a union between ketchup and mayonnaise.
“Want #mayochup in stores? 500,000 votes for ‘yes’ and we’ll release it to you saucy Americans,” Heinz tweeted. Of the 930,000 votes on the Twitter poll, 55 percent gave their approval. That means the company will soon bring the bottled Mayochup onto American shelves.
Heinz’s rendition of Mayochup is already sold overseas, particularly in the Middle East. However, for many, Mayochup isn’t anything new and stories have peppered across the Internet on how the combination first came into existence.
Legend has it that in 1925, a young man was eating prawns with friends at a golf club in Mar del Plata, Argentina. As a joke, the young man requested different condiments from the kitchen to mix with the traditional aderezo of mayonnaise. The spontaneous experimentation resulted in a union between mayonnaise and ketchup, plus a dash of cognac and Tabasco. The friends called it “salsa golf” and found it was delicious with the prawns. “It was just a bunch of bored kids doing what bored kids do,” said Victor Ego Ducrot, author of The Flavors of the Homeland. Forty years later, salsa golf exploded in popularity with big brands, from Fanacoa to Hellman’s, producing the mix commercially. The young man who originally invented salsa golf was Luis Federico Leloir, the 1970 Nobel Prize in chemistry winner for his discovery of sugar nucleotides and their role in the biosynthesis of carbohydrates. Leloir reportedly said, “If I had patented the sauce, I would have earned much more money than as a scientist.”
The mayonnaise-ketchup creation is popular across Latin America. Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela and others call it “salsa rosada.” Puerto Ricans call it “mayoketchup”. Variations also exist across other parts of the globe, from Eastern Europe to the Middle East. Even the Brits have their own version, known as “Marie Rose sauce”.
In fact, America already has a home-grown mayo-ketchup origin story. Utah’s Don Carlos Edwards allegedly began serving mayonnaise-ketchup concoctions to his customers back in the 1940s, calling it “Fry Sauce”. It is now a staple in Utahan society.
So while Mayochup isn’t necessarily re-inventing the wheel, it does bring a new twist to the condiment by putting it in a bottle. Admittedly, this has raised scepticism among critics. Samantha Schmidt asserted in The Washington Post, “But whatever it’s called, wherever it’s consumed, many lifelong lovers of the sauce agree on one thing: it’s disgraceful to squeeze the stuff out of a bottle.” NPR station reporter Nadege C Green raised doubts about the ability of Heinz to produce a tasty concoction: “Yeah, you have to custom mix it. Gotta have the right mayo to ketchup ratio. I don’t trust this at all.”
We can’t know for sure until Mayochup hits the supermarkets. But one thing’s certain: Heinz knows how to put the “sauciest” in its sauces.
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