In a place known for its just-passing-through population, stories about D.C.’s hometown culture are always a welcome treat. Theresa Vargas’s story about carry-out staple mumbo sauce (or mambo, depending on whom you ask) paints a picture of a beloved condiment known only to born-and-bred Washingtonians, most of them a part of the District’s African American population.
The story of mumbo sauce is a needed reality check for us transients — D.C., in fact, is a home town to many.
“It’s definitely a part of the subculture,” Annapolis resident-cum-mumbo manufacturer Arsha Jones told Vargas. “It’s the D.C. that isn’t the president and the politics.”
Confession: As a member of the population not raised in Washington, I admit I’d never heard of mumbo sauce. (I moved from Chicago, a city that drowns everything in Frank’s Red Hot; coincidentally, it’s possibly the birthplace of mumbo.) That being said, I can’t wait to try something unique to the District — especially if that something is described as tasting like a blend of barbecue and sweet-and-sour sauce. Yes, please.
Here’s a video on how to make the sauce:TweetHave you tried mumbo sauce? Let me know what you think, and let me know if you've discovered something else in the culinary world that's unique to the District by using #dcmumbo.
Before you go, check out the photos that accompany this story. And if you’re salivating at the thought of this D.C. delicacy, get recipe tips from Clinton Yates — he mentioned earlier today that he whips up mumbo regularly.