The multinational corporation’s marketing arm played coy and preyed on our tattered ideals of democracy, calling for a vote on the terrible non-idea. Then, after 930,691 Twitter-ballots were cast, we, the people, “won” the right to use our hard-earned cash to purchase Heinz’s pre-mixed mayo-ketchup right here on American soil. Annnnd the PR stunt continues, with even more ridiculousness, via online debate about the name. Mayochup? Ketchonnaise? Tomayo? I have no cares to give, but thousands of other people do.
All the anti-Mayochup rants have already been ranted: It already exists in the form of fry sauce and salsa rosado; it’s just special sauce minus the relish; etc. But it must be said: This deeply stupid non-development represents not just the triumph of convenience over sense-making, but that of end-stage capitalism over human dignity. Combining the contents of two containers is now officially too much cooking for America, and the solution, of course, is to buy another thing.
Then there’s the massive logical fallacy here: If you are a condiment control-freak — and I’m pretty sure the right to mix your condiments to your specifications is protected by the Constitution — the chances that Mayochup’s mayo-to-ketchup ratio will be correct for you are disappearingly small. And there’s the fact that the only acceptable vehicle for both ketchup and mayonnaise is a hamburger, and everyone knows that for a burger you spread mayo (and mustard), dip ketchup. J.K.! This is America, and it is your God-given prerogative to put both ketchup and mayonnaise wherever you want, even on your hot dog, you freak.
In sum, Mayochup is solutionism at its worst: an uncalled-for fix to a non-problem, intended only to further line the pockets of one-percenter ketchup magnates and overcrowd America’s refrigerator doors. It is ludicrous. End rant.
But! The day before this stupidity was unleashed, Susan Raunig happened to send me an email about a very real, super-serious condiment-and-tomato-related problem. After being the pasta-maker at vaunted Cafe Juanita for eight years, Raunig now teaches pasta-making classes via her Kirkland-based business, Villa Francesca. She first wrote to me in January about getting a horrible, “pink and pithy” out-of-season tomato on a brewpub BLT. She sent a photo, and the tomato in question looked entirely regrettable.
“Why do chefs/cooks/restaurants INSIST on putting horrible tomatoes on the plate even though they are obviously not edible?” Raunig agonized. I wrote back right away (yes, this is my life) with observations along the lines of how restaurants feel a great deal of (perceived? Real?) consumer pressure, wintertime-tomato-wise, and how there are too few people who seek to change the tomato-industrial complex. I mentioned really liking the idea of exploring canned or even sun-dried tomatoes as replacements when tomatoes aren’t in season around here — that is, almost all the time. (Sun-dried tomatoes, in case you’re unfamiliar, used to be a thing, got overused in wrongheaded applications — so many salads! — then fell into undeserved obscurity.)
Raunig liked the idea, too. And whereas I merely added it to my 27-page-long Google doc “Bethany ideas NEW,” she set out to reach this goal: To make a tomato-and-mayo combo that would make all-year-around BLTs great again. Compared to the unwanted fix to a non-issue that is Mayochup, this is worthy, lofty. And it’s not about assisting people to new levels of laziness — it actually takes the tiniest amount of effort.
And it is worth it. Yes, the skies are brightening, the daffodils are here, and leaves are back — the miracle of leaves! — yet a good local tomato is still a long, long way off. But you can do this: Make your next BLT a BLSDTM (hottt!). I tried it yesterday, and Sun-Dried Tomato Mayo adds a rich, creamy, deeply flavored, umami-bomby, almost too tomatoey sensation to a BLT (as well as a beautiful rosy color). A hamburger, IMHO, would also benefit massively from Raunig’s innovation. To dip fries in it would be fabulous. It’d even be spectacular on your hot dog, if that’s your thing ? this is America, so go for it. Weirdo.
SO-MUCH-BETTER-THAN-MAYOCHUP SUN-DRIED TOMATO MAYONNAISE
Because making your sad out-of-tomato-season BLT into a marvelous BLSDTM is the opposite of totally stupid (courtesy of Susan Raunig).
1/4 cup mayo
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
2-3 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
Chop sun-dried tomatoes finely. Mix all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
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