Fry Sauce is a thick, smooth, pink-coloured condiment used sometimes as a burger sauce, but now primarily for dipping French Fries into. It is very popular in the American state of Utah.
A basic recipe for it is one part ketchup, two parts mayonnaise. Other ingredients are then added: seasonings such as spices and / or garlic, pickle juice, relish, horseradish, etc.
The Arctic Circle chain of restaurants in Utah (and other western states now) say they have been making Fry Sauce since at least the 1950s, and that they were the first, in fact. As of 2010, the Arctic Circle restaurants dish out 120 gallons of the Fry Sauce daily in 78 restaurants. They also sell bottles to take home. Their ingredients include sour cream, lemon, and eggs.
Fry Sauce was originally meant to be a burger condiment.
In 1924, a man named Don Carlos Edwards started selling food at fairs and carnivals. In 1941, he opened the “Don Carlos Bar-B-Q Restaurant” at 900 South and State Street in Salt Lake City. In 1950, he opened a burger and fries place on Main Street, a block away. He called this restaurant, “Arctic Circle.” At some point after this, Edwards came up with “pink sauce” as a condiment to spread on the meat patties in hamburgers. He made the sauce from ketchup, mayonnaise, a little garlic and some spices. He then later adjusted the recipe a tidge, to perfect it for use as a French Fry dipping sauce.
At one point, Arctic Circle trademarked the phrase, “Arctic Circle Original Fry Sauce”, saying that they first used the phrase on 1 April 1956. (Trademark # 78489185.) They seem to have abandoned the trademark in 2006.
The Arctic Circle restaurant was promoting Fry Sauce as a feature item by the mid 1960s.
Literature & Lore
“French Fries. The Finest Made. Served with Our Own Special Fry Sauce. 15 – 25 cents.” Arctic Circle Drive-in Advertisement. Appearing in The Bakersfield Californian. Bakersfield, California, USA. 7 February 1964. Page 8.
Benson, Lee. Fry sauce and Arctic Circle hit big 6-0. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Deseret News. 8 March 2010.
Vergakis, Brock. My oh my do we love fry sauce! Associated Press. Appearing in: Deseret News, Salt Lake City. 6 January 2007.