Ghetto Sauce - "Taste So Good Make You Wanna Smack Your Mama" / by Alex Young

 Photo by Amani Davis 7/5/15

Photo by Amani Davis 7/5/15

Ghetto Sauce was created by Freddie Lee, it took him 20 years to finesse this bomb ass sh*t. The sauce’s website claims you can put it on: ribs, meatloaf, steak, hamburgers, grilled salmon, chicken, fish, spaghetti, Bloody Mary mix, chili, baked beans, even soups and pizza. I have discovered myself to be very partial to the chicken and baked beans recipes. Ghetto Sauce is available at the Historic Soulard Farmers' Market in St. Louis, in grocery stores, and online. In many ways does this sauce make basic foods delectably ghetto.

Unfortunately, all who enjoy the sauce do not share in romanticizing the ghetto experience. The St. Louis grocery store, Shnucks, thought their customers would be offended by the name “Ghetto Sauce” and changed the name to “American Gourmet Sauce”. To me this is as consistent with St. Louis’ treatment of its marginalized populations as ever: ignore their existence as much as you can, and appropriate their contributions as quickly as possible. Fortunately, an article came from a STL paper about the name change and it popularized the sauce like never before. The flavor of Ghetto Sauce is one of a kind, and the name is icing on top of the cake. Comical and true to the legacy of the people who birthed it, “Ghetto Sauce” should be a household name. It represents the American dream; but also the worst nightmare of some of the very same people who coined the phrase.

 Photo by Amani Davis 7/5/15

Photo by Amani Davis 7/5/15

What is incredible about Ghetto Sauce is it tells the same tale of the African American narrative: making pleasure from pain. It seems that nothing good should ever come from the ghetto, but the marginalized populations in America prove time and time again that they can make something from nothing. Ghetto Sauce is yet another example of this undying reality. I will say personally this sh*t is the most fire sauce ever. EVER.  Over the summer I threw down on some incredible veggies, beans, steak, burgers—and obviously—bomb ass wings.

Ghetto Sauce means, “We come from the ghetto and still do positive things”. It is a reminder of the value the most oppressed people in this nation have, and the hope that lies in staying true to oneself. It is remarkable when people use the tools around them to produce positive things for not only themselves, but for the mainstream population.