Having forgotten to buy cream, I didn’t bring a chocolate torte this year, but I figured homegrown black cherry tomatoes were a decent trade-off, with some Durkee sauce on the side and a plastic knife to scoop it out with and a note explaining that they go together.
It’s one of the great old traditions of summer. My dad tells me he learned about Durkee’s (there should be an ‘s there. There really should) from Richard’s great uncle (probably before we were even born, right, Dad?)
Three times I saw someone bending over my bowl and wondering out loud, without reaching in, Are those tomatoes?
I did not go on and on about their having been picked in the early morning for peak sweetness, yadda yadda; I just said, Yes, and homegrown, too!
A few got eaten. The Durkee was left untouched. Leaving me wondering, is that combination just an East Coast thing? Don’t these people know how good this is? I couldn’t find it in any stores here and had to order a six-pack online, so hey, I had plenty to share if they’d let me.
Okay, searching for it to offer you all a link, I got this:
This popular tangy sandwich spread has been around for over 100 years! It was even served in the Lincoln White House!”
With a picture of the bottle.
But when I searched for info on that actual item on the manufacturer’s website, it seems that after hanging in there since the mid-1800s, it… Is on the list of all their products but isn’t under Sauces and it isn’t filed under F. Wait, don’t tell me they’re not making it now!
Looking a little harder, I found this on food.com, along with a recipe for faking it:
“Eugene R. Durkee created the first prepared and packaged salad dressing called Durkee Famous Sauce in 1857. To appreciate his endeavor, it is important to remember this was created prior to refrigeration. His creation was carried west by the pioneers. Historians have found old, discarded Durkee dressing bottles along covered-wagon trails. Durkee Famous Sauce was even purported to be stocked in Mary Todd Lincoln’s pantry and served to Abraham Lincoln in the White House during the Civil War.”
The real stuff, as currently constituted (i.e. with soybean oil) is still on Amazon after all. Phew.
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