Welcome to DC!
For those who live outside of the area, Washington, DC is known as the Nation’s Capitol and home to the President of the United States. From politics, to the Smithsonian Museums, to the National Mall with all of its monuments – Washington, DC has much to offer visitors. Little is known, however, about the local culture of the District of Columbia, unless you have spent significant time mingling with its residents. Like half smokes, Go-Go music and “Taxation Without Representation,” mambo sauce is a DC staple that’s here to stay. (photo source)
The History of Mambo Sauce
Mambo sauce has been a favorite among the Washington, DC subculture for years – decades even. The red tomato based sauce is sweet and tangy, with a bit of a kick. Often used as a condiment on fried chicken wings and French fries, mambo sauce is, for the most part, only found at local Washington, DC Chinese carryout restaurants.
Locals who are familiar with the history of mambo sauce say it originated during the late 1960’s from Wing-n-Things, an African American owned chicken wing restaurant. The first location of Wings-n-Things was located on 7th and Florida Ave NW, and mambo sauce was created as an original condiment to be served with their fried chicken wings. The sweet sauce became so popular that Asian restaurants across the DC metropolitan area adopted the sauce and created various other versions of their own.
This unique DC delicacy is closely related to Go-Go music, a funky regional music style that blends rhythm, blues and early hip-hop. This genre of music was inspired by artists such as Chuck Brown, Trouble Funk, Junk Yard Band, E.U. and Rare Essence, just to name a few.
Chicken wings with mambo sauce can be enjoyed any time of the day, but they have always been a late night favorite after a hard night of partying at the Go-Go. This tasty and unique sauce cannot be found anywhere else in the world!