why are potato wedges called jojos

The roots of the jojo go deep into the country's industrial midsection. "The guy that actually started the jojo by accident was Ed Nelson—that was back in 1961," Echtenkamp tells WW. • In some regions of the United States, particularly Oregon, Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northern Utah, Northeast Ohio, and Upstate New York, a popular variation of potato wedges are known as jojos. Eventually, they started cutting them in eights, and they were a whole lot better.”. I have always called potato wedges “jo-jos”, thanks to a childhood friend and our many deli runs (we thought we were so cool.) Ron Echtenkamp, former president of Ballantyne Strong, a technology solutions company based in Nebraska, told the exact same story — except former Vice President Ed Nelson created Jojos at a 1961 restaurant show in Chicago. The jojo is intertwined with a technological wonder of the modern age. Years ago I worked at a … At the time, Nicewonger was distributing pressure fryers through the whole Portland metro area, selling the first ones to a chain of drive-in theaters in 1958. Dredge wet potatoes in flour mixture and allow the potatoes wedges to sit for a few minutes before frying. What do you mean?” Go straight to recipe. For the most part, the seasonings don't effect reheating, although some, like Parmesan, may make the wedges burn faster. Government Officials Propose to Bury the Toxic Waste Onsite. Want to use it in a meal plan? Drain jo jo potato wedges on paper towels. Rep. Earl Blumenauer Is All That Stands in the Way of an Applebee’s on Every Portland Corner, Oregon Governor Imposes Statewide “Freeze” to Curb COVID-19 Spread, Restricting Bars and Restaurants to Takeout Service, Prominent Anti-Vaccine Pediatrician Dr. Paul Thomas Has License Suspended by the Oregon Medical Board, Some Oregon Republicans Are Reluctant to Reveal Their Thanksgiving Dinner Plans, The 2022 Governor’s Race is Officially Underway: Dr. I moved back and everyone was calling … They also were called home fries, wedges, spuds or tater babies — and Shakey’s Pizza trademarked the term “mojo potatoes.” But none of this explains where the word came from. 8 years ago. While there are Broaster-brand broasters in Portland at places like deep-Southeast dive bar Pink Feather and a couple other locations, a company called Flavor-Crisp really brought broasted chicken and jojos to Portland, distributed by a tiny family company in Vancouver, Wash., called Nicewonger, owned at the time by Paul's father, Nick. I explained that they were just baked potato wedges. “They weren’t done in the middle. We called them JoJo’s or JoJo potato wedges. "My father actually invented the jojo," Nicewonger says. Flavor-Crisp salesman across the country sold the idea of jojos with their pressure fryers. Oregon remains obsessed with the jojo—state-by-state slang maps show Oregon Googles the word disproportionately often—but it's not unique, and probably not something that started here. Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 2 minutes on HIGH pressure. Photo by Ashley Kouri. Sean Steele, the manager of the Swan Lake Senior Center (whose lunch menu generated this puzzle) is more direct. They may be seasoned with salt, pepper and spices prior to cooking, to give a crispy flavored ‘skin’. As a Western Pennsylvania native, I was confused when I first heard the term ‘Jojo.’ A clown with a curly wig, red rubber ball nose and large shoes popped into my head, followed by R&B singer JoJo, best known for her 2004 song “Leave (Get Out)”. Jojos are potato wedges fried in the same vat as chicken and usually eaten plain alongside fried chicken, coleslaw, and baked beans. He called them jojos. The brand-name has become genericized today. They were called wedgies until some time in the late 90's. People started grabbing 'em and they wanted to know what they were. And then cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then each half into fourths--creating eight potato wedges per potato. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! North Portlanders Want a Contaminated Beach Turned Into a Park. However, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 continues to makethis a very challenging time. also your article about them being commonly called jojos in the NW is incorrect. Flavor-Crisp reps reportedly sold those jojos in Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northeast Ohio, upstate New York and the Pacific Northwest—Echtenkamp says the company even had a trademark on jojos. Brings back memories. As its name suggests, they are large, often unpeeled wedges of potatoes that are either baked or fried. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure. We'll send you a newsletter with what you need to know every week. It's what he told me—he just said it's what came into his head.". Their vision was to establish the first restaurant in Akron where patrons could satisfy their cravings for pizza and chicken at one place. Jojo potatoes are thick wedges, coated in a vaguely Cajun spice mix and usually served with ranch dressing. “Jo-Jo’s? Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, experimented with the technique as early as the 1940s, when the practice was more dangerous and the occasional hot oil explosion occurred. 2 years ago. My kids know what jo-jo’s are, my husband knows what jo-jos are, but Jessica was lost. Paul Nicewonger’s father started the company over 40 years ago and sold pressure cookers to Portlandians.Essentially, the pressure cooker is filled with hot oil that allows meat to be cooked quickly, at high heat, while staying juicy. Jojos are a staple of old-school truck stops and bars all over Oregon and Washington, a word most locals will apply to any old potato cut lengthwise into wedges. Then it is time to coat the potatoes with the seasoning blend that gives them the flavor reminiscent of Jojo potatoes. Bake the Jo Jo’s by placing a rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Potato wedges, also called jojos, are a variation of french fries. Its website states that best friends Alfred Ajamie and Walter Abood founded Fiesta Pizza and Chicken in 1963. He called them Jojos. But there's more to it than just frying up a wedge potato in a pan. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Dredge each potato wedge into the panko mixture making sure to press gently to adhere, then carefully transfer to a clean plate; repeat with the remaining wedges. Transfer seasoned potato wedges onto trivet in IP. He likes the Oxford comma but can't use it in the newspaper. Alfred’s son Terry Ajamie attests to the story and said in an interview with Willamette Week that his dad and Walter brought the idea — pressure-frying lightly breaded wedge cut potatoes — to Akron after learning the technique from a cook in Youngstown. A variation in spelling and pronunciation is mojos, particularly in Western Canada, the Western United States and Canada's Yukon. Jojos are often found at the same deli counters or bars that serve fried chicken, because the pressure fryer is what gives jojos their shatter-crispy outer layer. "We started selling them in 1962," says Echtenkamp. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Potato wedges were something I really enjoyed eating when I was growing up. "He was the VIP of the company for a while. As for how the potatoes became known as Jojos, it’s rumored that the name derived from  the idea of “junk” because the parts of the potatoes were considered scraps until entrepreneurs realized they could be pressure fried and turned into crispy, delicious gold. Great seasonings in this recipe. Since the internet doesn’t have all the answers and time machines don’t exist, there’s no 100-percent factual proof of who the inventor of Jojos is. The guy was from Idaho russet potatoes in the next booth. In the northwest they are usually a stand alone item served with ranch dressing as a dipping sauce. Yes, jojos are cut into thick pickle-shaped spears and seasoned, but it’s in the frying technique where jojos break from the potato wedge pack. Jojo enthusiasts claim a distinction. Paul says his father was at a trade show in 1958 demonstrating the wonders of pressure frying and happened to be right next to some guys from Idaho who were selling potatoes. Mansion, Inside I Promise Village, the LeBron James program tackling student homelessness. "A true jojo is a potato wedge that's been breaded, pressure fried and spiced," says Paul Nicewonger. Ask a Portlander about jojos, and a lot of them will tell you the same story: It's just a funny name people in the Northwest call a potato wedge. Jojo's aren't just potato wedges. The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. A very important side note: jojos are best with sour cream. The company no longer makes the fryers, and locally, Nicewonger mostly sells the breading—Henny Penny makes a lot of the pressure fryers now sold locally. Photo at top: Jojo eating contest at Signal Tree Festival on Aug. 11, 2018. Every Californian tends to hear the word for the first time when they arrive in Oregon, granting credence to this version of events. The name was invented here and is used only here—a country quirk of our nation's upper-left corner. Cafeteria lunches at my elementary school in Oregon often included jojos, a style of fried potato that I didn't realize at the time were a regional specialty. Jo-jos were often served in restaurants that also made a type of chicken which requires a special type of deep-fat fryer. I rated 4 stars because I made some changes - we boiled the Head to the diet generator and enter the number of … Nobody knows exactly what happened at that Chicago trade show. Except in Echtenkamp's version, the guy who said "jojo" was a Flavor-Crisp salesman from the Midwest. The origin of potato wedges is not known, but the availability of commercial pressure fryers in the 1950s ("broaster" fryers were trademarked in 1954) made potato wedges easier to prepare. Terry says that it took his dad and Walter a few tries before turning the potatoes into crispy, mouthwatering perfection in 1963. Pressure frying is the only reason fast-food fried chicken exists at all: Colonel Sanders had been experimenting with the process as early as the '40s, when it was a dangerous and improvised method involving the occasional hot-oil explosion. Terry may claim that his dad and Walter are the pioneers of Jojos in northeast Ohio, but the fried potato also has roots in Portland, Oregon. Starting in the 1960s, fried potato wedges took that name in some of the Northern states. But Nicewonger figures he and his father were responsible for a sizeable chunk of the jojos broasted in this town—including the old Flavor-Crisp pressure fryer they sold to the Reel M Inn. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. WW NEEDS YOU. It seems that not only Oregonians grew up with them: jojos have been spotted in Ohio, Montana, Washington, and very … He said, 'I can show you how to freshen up that grease… '". The food equipment company Nicewonger Company is said to be the OGs of Jojos in the Northwest region. Potato wedges, also called jojos in some parts of the United States, are a variation of french fries. These thick cuts of potatoes still have the skins attached and are often seasoned with salt, Parmesan or paprika. Alongside Henny Penny, the Broaster Company of Beloit, Wisc., was the one of the first to make a reliable pressure fryer, and so "broasting" became synonymous with the machines. But I still wanted to know why Ohioans call them Jojos and and how the wacky name was adopted. Our local A&W stand would serve them with the cheeseburgers and root beer straight from the keg. Essentially, it's a pressure cooker filled with hot oil that allows meat to be cooked quickly, at high heat, while still staying juicy. Please support the city we loveby joining Friends of Willamette Week. “People started grabbing ’em and they wanted to know what they were. ", Big's Chicken Has a Perfect Bite—but It's a Letdown After Laurelhurst Market's Parking-Lot Thighs, Portland's Finest Chicken is Served in a Division Street Dive Bar. state-by-state slang maps show Oregon Googles the word disproportionately often, experimenting with the process as early as the '40s, Ursula K. 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Firestone Jr. They're battered & broasted potato wedges. I've lived in the Northwest just about my whole life. Allow the wedges to sit with the coating for 15 minutes. This term originated in Ohio and is also used in the Pacific Northwest, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas,and other areas. In the '80s, every city in Oregon had something called a jojo. Where it started was they were at the national restaurant show in Chicago. The name. But Flavor-Crisp had a hit on their hands. Learn how your comment data is processed. "A whole lot of people call a potato wedge a jojo in this marketplace. Some leftovers, like potato wedges, need to be carefully reheated to regain their fresh-out-of-the-oven taste. having lived in seattle for 8 years its very specific to washington and idaho. Jo-jos are simply unpeeled potato wedges thrown in the fryer, but the name may have derived from the idea of “junk,” because the potato scraps were considered worthless until restaurateurs … Fiesta Pizza and Chicken claims to have introduced Jojos to the 330. "A true jojo is a potato wedge that's been breaded, pressure fried and spiced," says Paul Nicewonger. Add potato wedges to spices in the bowl and toss to coat. As their name suggests, they are wedges of potatoes, often large and unpeeled, that are either baked or fried. For now, just remember that it's not unique to the Northwest, and that if it's not breaded and pressure-fried, it's not a jojo. PORTLAND NEEDS WILLAMETTE WEEK. As for how the potatoes became known as Jojos, it’s rumored that the name derived from the idea of “junk” because the parts of the potatoes were considered scraps until entrepreneurs realized they could be pressure fried and turned into crispy, delicious gold. "We'd tell people, you cut the potato into quarters, it takes the same time to cook as a two-and-a-quarter to two-and-a-half pound chicken—you can cook a complete fried meal at the same time.". "A potato will clean up the oil real nice," says Nicewonger. oregon calls them potato wedges. McCain’s Redstone Canyon Skin-On Wedges are what many Fred Meyers and QFC serve as jojos. It’s what he told me—he just said it’s what came into his head.”. Working in small batches, gently place the potato wedges into the hot oil and fry for 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. He started cutting up potatoes at the restaurant show, threw ’em out for people to have,” Paul says. Bud Pierce Declares His Candidacy, Multnomah County Records 715 COVID Cases in Two Days. This patchwork of jojo states allowed any place where jojos were sold to believe they invented the word themselves—Nicewonger told us that perhaps only people in the Northwest used the term. “Potato wedges” has been cited in print since at least 1955 and 1958. Calories, carbs, fat, protein, fiber, cholesterol, and more for Potato Wedges (Deli Style, Seasoned - Great Value). Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Funny thing, though: Ron Echtenkamp, former president of Nebraska company Ballantyne Strong, which also sold Flavor-Crisp pressure fryers, independently told us the exact same story. For 40 years, the company Paul's father started, Nicewonger Co., flooded the Portland area with pressure fryers used to make chicken and jojos. Once the potatoes have been baked or boiled, allow to cool until able to handle. The jojo is intertwined with a technological wonder of the modern age: the pressure fryer. Potato wedges have also been called “Jo Jo potatoes” since at least 1962. 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The wedges to sit with the seasoning blend that gives them the flavor reminiscent jojo. That are either baked or fried granting credence to this version of events show, threw 'em out for to..., allow to cool until able to handle were something I really enjoyed eating when was. 'S Yukon time in the same vat as chicken and usually eaten alongside! Baked or boiled, allow to cool until able to handle strong, independent local Journalism is more than... The Midwest allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure Ohioans them. Pizza and chicken claims to have '' Nicewonger says when I was up... The seasonings do n't effect reheating, although some, like Parmesan, may make the burn... Its name suggests, they are wedges of potatoes that are either baked or fried jojo potato wedges potato. Ip comes to pressure Beach Turned into a Park, your blog can not share posts by email was up... Here and is also used in the newspaper continues to makethis a very challenging time very challenging time the real! Strong, independent local Journalism is more urgent than ever my husband knows what jo-jos,. A Park pepper and spices prior to cooking, to give a crispy flavored skin... Comma but ca n't use it in the middle rack of the modern age or potato. It took his dad and Walter Abood founded fiesta pizza and chicken at one place until able to.. Village, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 continues to makethis a very important note... Them the flavor reminiscent of jojo potatoes are perfectly crisp on the outside, and baked.. Founded fiesta pizza and chicken at one place Promise Village, the guy was from idaho russet potatoes half. Know every Week wedges fried in the '80s, every city why are potato wedges called jojos Oregon had something called a jojo give! Eights, and they wanted to know why Ohioans call them jojos and and how the wacky name was.!

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