15 Obscure Sauces You Likely Haven't Tried, But Should


You won’t find Ajvar at your local Kroger, and Safeway probably isn’t going to stock Monkey Gland Sauce anytime soon. All the more reason for adventurous eaters to seek out these odd and wonderful sauces. Because who doesn’t get tired of ketchup every once in a while?


Thankfully, there are no monkey parts in this tangy South African sauce. Instead, you’re getting a free-for-all of savory ingredients, including chutney, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, wine, ginger and garlic. It may sound weird, but South Africans know a thing or two about grilling, and this sauce is a classic in their country. Use it as a lively companion to steak, or as a burger topper.


While this condiment may be obscure to American diners, it is wildly popular in its home country of Japan. It’s a creamier, richer mayonnaise that’s made with egg yolks (as opposed to whole eggs) and rice vinegar (instead of distilled vinegar). Chefs love to use it, so there’s a good chance you’ve had it already and just didn’t know.


Washington D.C. residents are familiar with this sweet and tangy sauce, which accompanies Chinese takeout orders in the region and goes well with all sorts of fried food. It’s available by the bottle, or you can try making your own using ketchup, sugar, hot sauce and some Hungarian paprika. There’s also a Chicago variety mumbo sauce that’s made for barbecuing.


This rich, creamy concoction originated in Mississippi and is commonly used as a salad dressing and as a dip for fried food. A close relative of French remoulade, it calls for plenty of mayonnaise, plus some horseradish and cayenne pepper to give it a spicy kick.


A resourceful food scientist came up with this stand-in condiment during World War II, when the Philippines experienced a tomato shortage. Since then, it’s remained a traditional topping in the region, and has its own surprisingly lively flavor. Made with sugar, vinegar, various spices and, of course, crushed bananas, Filipinos use it on everything from French fries to spaghetti.


This savory brown sauce is a hit in England (the name stands for “House of Parliament”), while in America it’s been mostly relegated to ethnic and specialty grocers. And that’s a shame, because it’s a spicy, complex combination of tomatoes, malt vinegar, dates, tamarind and rye flour. Try it over a burger or as a dipping sauce for fries. Or, do as the Brits do and serve it with a full English breakfast.


This Brazilian sauce is one you probably shouldn’t make on your own. That’s because it uses the roots of the cassava plant, which contain cyanide and are poisonous unless properly strained and boiled. The finished yellow sauce is often seasoned with basil, garlic, and chicory and poured over roast duck to create the classic dish Pato No Tucupi.


This Italian sauce is made using anchovies that have been fermented in oak barrels for at least five months. The taste doesn’t suit all palates, but those who prize the briny, oily fish will revel in a recipe that dates back to Roman times. Toss it with your favorite pasta along with some olive oil, garlic and lemon, and dig in.


Often referred to as a Chinese barbecue sauce or Chinese satay (and sometimes sha cha sauce), sa cha combines ground-up shrimp, brill fish and various spices. If the prospect of making that sounds daunting, you can always opt for a bottled variety, available online and at specialty retailers. Its pungency makes it an ideal base for a hot pot, or as a dipping sauce. It’s also great as a grilling sauce for beef.



This red pepper and eggplant sauce hails from Serbia, where diners enjoy it as a dip or as a sandwich spread. It makes a great alternative to ketchup, but preparation can be daunting since it entails roasting, peeling and seeding the red pepper and eggplant. You might opt for a jar of the “Serbian Salsa” from a specialty retailer, or online through Amazon.


The story goes that Nobel prize-winning chemist Luis Federico Leloir came up with this chilled sauce at a golf club in Argentina (he wasn’t happy with their shrimp cocktail, apparently). Though it sounds fancy, salsa golf is essentially ketchup, mayonnaise and lemon juice, making it similar to other dipping sauces around the world. Argentines like to turn up the flavor with spices like oregano and cumin, and serve it in fancy glasses.



If you’re bored with ketchup, or just looking for something different to dip your fries in, look no further than this tangy Georgian plum sauce. It’s available by the bottle via specialty retailers. Or, if you’re feeling confident around the kitchen, you can try this recipe courtesy of The New York Times that adds dill, coriander and cilantro. It also works well as a glaze for chicken.



The phrase “concentrated yeast extract” doesn’t really excite American diners. And even in its home country of England, Marmite is polarizing, with a slogan that reads “Love It Or Hate It” (seriously). So the salty, savory spread isn’t for everyone. But as with Vegemite, its Australian competitor, those who love it, love it.


Next time you grill chicken or ribs, try slathering on this traditional Hawaiian sauce. Made with pineapple, soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger, it’s got a sweet taste that makes it a great alternative to barbecue sauce. The name alone, which translates to “turn, turn,” tells you it’s made for the grill.


To celebrate the U.S. and Cuba’s newly amicable relationship, why not try this tart sauce that’s a favorite in the island country? Making it yourself means tracking down sour oranges, but shelling out a little more for a bottle might be easier. Use it as a marinade for chicken, or enjoy it as a dipping sauce with fried plantains.

Recall Alert: Swiss Rolls And Bread Sold at Walmart and Food Lion Linked to Salmonella
Evan-Amos, Wikimedia Commons // CC 1.0

New items have been added to the list of foods being recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. According to Fox Carolina, snack cakes and bread products produced by Flowers Foods, Inc. have been pulled from stores in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The baked goods company, based in Georgia, has reason to believe the whey powder it buys from a third-party supplier is tainted with salmonella. The ingredient is added to its Swiss rolls, which are sold under various brands, as well as its Captain John Derst’s Old Fashioned Bread. Popular chains that normally sell Flowers Foods products include Walmart and Food Lion.

The U.S. is in the middle of a salmonella outbreak. In June, Kellogg's recalled Honey Smacks due to contamination and the CDC is still urging consumers to avoid the brand. The cereal has sickened dozens of people since early March. So far, there have been no reported illnesses connected to the potential Flower Foods contamination.

You can find the full list of recalled items below. If you have one of these products in your kitchen, throw it out immediately or return it to the store where you bought it to be reimbursed.

  • Mrs. Freshley's Swiss Rolls
  • Mrs. Freshley's Swiss Rolls
  • Food Lion Swiss Rolls
  • Baker's Treat Swiss Rolls
  • Market Square Swiss Rolls
  • Great Value Swiss Rolls
  • Captain John Derst's Old Fashioned Bread

[h/t Fox Carolina]

The Annual Festivals That Draw the Most People in Every State

Every state has that one big event each year that draws residents from across the region or even across the nation. Louisiana has Mardi Gras. Kentucky has the Kentucky Derby. South Dakota has Sturgis. Genfare, a company that provides fare collection technology for transit companies, recently tracked down the biggest event in each state, creating a rundown of the can't-miss events across the country.

As the graphic below explores, some states' biggest public events are national music and entertainment festivals, like Bonnaroo in Tennessee, SXSW in Texas, and Summerfest in Wisconsin—which holds the world record for largest music festival.

Others are standard public festival fare. Minnesota hosts 2 million people a year at the Minnesota State Fair (pictured above), the largest of its kind in the U.S. by attendance. Mardi Gras celebrations dominate the events calendar in Missouri, Alabama, and, of course, Louisiana. Oktoberfest and other beer festivals serve as the biggest gatherings in Ohio (home to the nation's largest Oktoberfest event), Oregon, Colorado, and Utah.

In some states, though, the largest annual gatherings are a bit more unique. Some 50,000 people each year head to Brattleboro, Vermont for the Strolling of the Heifers, a more docile spin on the Spanish Running of the Bulls. Montana's biggest event is Evel Knievel Days, an extreme sports festival in honor of the famous daredevil. And Washington's biggest event is Hoopfest, Spokane's annual three-on-three basketball tournament.

Mark your calendar. Next year could be the year you attend them all.

A graphic list with the 50 states pictured next to information about their biggest events


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