Sign up for our free newsletter

The exact origins of D.C.’s indigenous condiment—mumbo sauce (also called “mambo” and even “mumble”)—are murky at best. The typical journalistic backgrounder goes something like this: some people maintain it is the District’s own invention; others believe it is actually descended from a type of barbecue sauce in Chicago. Over at WaPo, Y&H alum Tim Carman learns from “an old fogey Washingtonian” that the mysterious chicken wing dipping sauce may have predated the contemporary Chinese carry-outs that popularized it: “Could it be that mumbo sauce has developed on two separate tracks — one based on an older African American mumbo sauce and another based on the sweet-and-sour version that followed later on?”

Photo by Chris Shott