Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mayoketchup: THE Puerto Rican condiment

Scott and I used to work at a boarding school, and the kids there went through a phase where they would mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, sometimes a little hot sauce or mustard, and use it as a dipping sauce for their French fries. They called it "Fat Sauce," and after the school nurse noticed an increase in the children's waistlines, the school promptly banned Fat Sauce and all of its variations.

Little did we know, these children weren't seeking attention, they were displaying culinary ingenuity and appreciation of cultural gastronomy! Good job, kids!

My first experience with Mayoketchup was at restaurant called Fuentes (I think) in Puerto Nuevo. I went there with my hotel friend, Carlos, and we ordered tostones. He asked me if I wanted some mayoketchup. I will eat almost anything put in front of me, especially if it is a cultural food, so I said, "Of course!" and dunked my fried plantain into the light orange dip in front of me. As it approached my lips, the familiar smell sparked hellish memories of my 9 months working at said boarding school, and I proclaimed. "Oh my god, this is Fat Sauce." Carlos seemed totally confused, and replied, "Oh, uh, here we call it mayoketchup." Of course you do!

Mayo and I have a difficult history, namely that its smell alone is often enough to give me the heaves. But I am here to experience all that is Puerto Rican culture has to offer, and somehow mixing it with ketchup takes the edge off. Some people have told me that mayoketchup is also used as a salad dressing, but I don't know if I'm up to that yet. Interestingly, Wilo Benet, Puerto Rico's celebrity chef (I am so obsessed with celeb chefs), has included a recipe for mayoketchup in his book Puerto Rico True Flavors, which I highly recommend for anyone looking for great Puerto Rican recipes and drooly pictures. And if Wilo Benet makes it, it's legitimate in my mind.

For those of you who aren't lucky enough to find Mayoketchup at your local Walgreens, don't fret! You can make your own! Just follow these step by step instructions:


1. In a bowl, mix 1 part ketchup to 2 parts mayonnaise.
2. Add garlic salt or powder to taste and mix well.
3. Dip fried foods into mayoketchup and enjoy.
4. Think about what you've done.

And on that note, I'm off for a run. Even writing about Mayoketchup makes me fatter.


Renee said...

I would like to add a few comments that I didn't mention in the original blog.

The first is that you should think about the fact that mayoketchup is usually served with tostones, which are fried not once, but TWICE! Starch, twice fried, mayoketchup.

Second, I asked my sister if her Puerto Rican boyfriend eats mayoketchup, and she says he doesn't but that he puts French dressing on everything, including his rice. This French dressing phenomenon appears to be a real thing, the other day I went to a little cafe for eggs and toast, and the waiter asked me if I wanted French dressing, and I said, "FOR WHAT?" Live and learn, I suppose.

So there you go, mayoketchup and French dressing.

Minerva said...

Oh, yes, anytime I eat tostones, the fat sauce (good name) is served with them. But in my opinion the said mayoketchup is a great improvement over ketchup, which I dislike so much that - if I eat French fries - I do it with mayo, like the French do. Now I have an option ;-)

Abby said...

rachael ray is making a stir-fry sauce using yellow mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, and brown sugar. the side dish for her asian-inspired meal is ranch mashed potatoes, because we all know how a traditional asian meal just isn't complete without a little ranch dressing to top it all off. i think rachael ray would LOVE mayoketchup. she would probably think it is yum-O!

Renee said...

Oh my god, THAT is so disgusting. But then again, SHE'S so disgusting.

Edgardo said...

Hi Renee,

Nice blog. I found you searching for Wilo Benet on Google's Blog Search. My company designed his site ( and book so I kind of need to keep up with Wilo's news.

Anyway, I will keep coming back for the culinary posts and restaurant reviews.

And for Mayoketchup, it didn't cross my mind that it could be fattening... and I put on hot dogs!!!! People, try it!

Renee said...

Hi Edgardo!
Well, your company rocks because that book rocks. It is my only souvenir from Puerto Rico so far, and I have already read it like 10 times (yes, I read cookbooks for fun).

Also, I highly recommend the website, not only because you can read the yummy menus (yes, I read menus for fun) BUT there are also some recipes from the book...mmmmm

Oh and Edgardo, by the way, please tell Wilo that I love him and that if he would like to sign my book/donate a meal to a poor medical student I will hop on the next guagua to Pikayo (I'll be here until August 12th)

Thanks for reading my blog! And yes, it's true that mayoketchup is fattening but it is also certainly true that people should try it! Estamos en Puerto Rico, baby!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to TSA I was able to bring back two bottles of this stuff in my carry on from PR. TSA sucks!!! I could have had 32 oz. of ANYTHING in those bottles but Thanks to the TSA idiots I get to enjoy MayoKetchup at home :-)

AllyDeVito said...

Thanks for posting. I just watched a "Man vs. Food" episode on the Travel Channel where he visits Puerto Rico and has a sandwich with mayoketchup on it. Growing up, my friend's mom would make a special sauce using ketchup, mayo and mustard to put on hamburgers. You can add the condiments separately, but mixing them all together makes the burger taste different. I actually like it.

Thom said...

hello, on a recent trip to PR we found Mayo Ketchup everywhere. We don't have this in the US. Would it be possible to have someone ship a few bottles to Colorado?

Thom said...

hello, on a recent trip to PR we found Mayo Ketchup everywhere. We don't have this in the US. Would it be possible to have someone ship a few bottles to Colorado?

Antonio Luis said...

Tom! you can do it yourself!

Some people and some restaurants add spices like:
olive oil

You would make your own mayoketchup recipe.

Arun Ani said...

visit to get the original sauce from Puerto Rico which is now available in all 50 states. We have been making it for 25 years and everyone has tried to copy us but no one has been able to duplicate our original recipe from the islands. Thanks everyone for their support.

Leen said...

It taste a thousand times better if instead of garlic powder or garlic salt you use fresh garlic (muddle one large clove per 2 tbs of Mayo)

Leen said...

It taste a thousand times better if instead of garlic powder or garlic salt you use fresh garlic (muddle one large clove per 2 tbs of Mayo)

Seven Hills said...

Just found your blog while looking for a recipe. I had mayoketchup in BoquerĂ³n, Puerto Rico while living aboard a sailboat there. It was served as a dip with corn bread sticks. My mouth waters every time I think about it!

Bob Stephens said...

Hi Renee! Maybe this is a New England thing, but here mayo+ketchup is do-it-yourself Russian dressing. Yes you can put it on salad, particularly chef salad. -Bob & Terri