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Durkee Famous Sauce redux - An American Cult Classic Since 1857

If redux means the last post was in 2004.

While I doubt the sauce has changed, the above was more of what do do with it ... though the suggestion of mixing it with butter for popcorn has me interested.

My question is should I try it? Is it that delicous? For a small 10oz jar it is a little over $4 at a local market.

I know it is just mustard and mayo ... which makes me question the price ... but according to some people Durkee takes these two lowly ingrediants and somehow creates magic in a jar.

The title is from the Durkee site which claims that Mary bought it for Abe Lincoln's snacking pleasure. They claim the pioneers carried it westward with discarded Durkee's bottles found along covered wagon trails.

For $2, I would have bought it ... but $4 for a small jar of mustard and mayo ...

So hype ... or hyper-delicious?

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    1. Cool. $4 more for good stuff.

      1. I have used a bottle. It was fine, but not special enough to buy another. I have bought other spice mayos, such as dijonaise, and a line that Frenches made, but haven't done a side by side comparison. More often I just doctor up a bit of plain mayo to suit the occasion.


        1. It's the only way I make deviled eggs (of course I am from texas) It is definitely not just mustard and mayo...it's delicious!

          1. I have been a regular Durkees user since I was a child, (40 plus years).
            Is it great? No. But do I crave it sometimes? Sure. I love it on a turkey sandwich, but my favorite use is as a dipping sauce for french fries.
            I have noticed a consistancy change in the last few years, it is thicker than it used to be.
            Anyone else notice this?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Tee

              Yes. The consistency is much thicker now than it used to be. Still good stuff, though, and I think I usually see it priced around two bucks a jar. Good on most any kind of beef sandwich, including burgers.


              1. re: Jim Washburn

                I agree on the burger application, good on dogs too.
                BTW I liked the thinner consistancy better, did you?

                1. re: Tee

                  Yes, I did like the thinner consistency better.


            2. Durkee's was a special addiction of my first wife's (and it wasn't any seven bucks back then, either!). It definitely is more than simply mayonnaise and mustard, and it has its own charms. There was a now-lamented beer-and-burger joint in Nashville called The Sutler whose signature sandwich was the Hurkey, a generous slice each of a good-quality commercial ham (Stevison's, I think it was) and roast turkey breast, topped with cheese and a "secret sauce" between slices of sourdough bread, then lightly grilled. I immediately identified that mystery sauce as Durkee's.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Will Owen

                I've been asked to bring a bottle to a family function. Does anyone know where I can find some? Is it available at places like Safeway?

                1. re: ilikebakingsoda

                  I bought mine at Raley's/Nob Hill. Not sure about Safeway, but it would be in the mayo section.

              2. The Ayres Tea Room in Indianapolis served the most delicious chicken salad - the recipe revealed that just a touch of Durkee's was used in the recipe - with mayo of course. The recipe is one of the most sought after in Indy and Durkee's can be found in many grocery stores here. It gives chicken or ham salad a nice little kick, but do not use it in place of mayo - it's alittle too tangy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Spoonula

                  I just purchased a jar today at Albertson's here in southern California.
                  Soybean Oil, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Sugar, Mustard, Salt, Whole Egg Solids,
                  Food Starch Modified, Xanthan Gum & Spice Extractives.
                  One thing I can say for sure, the ingredients are a lot different than when Mary Todd Lincoln went shopping.

                2. Will someone please list the ingredients? If it just says mustard and mayo and "spices", would you speculate it's yellow or dijon mustard, and what would those spices be? Go ahead and guess. I've never tasted it myself.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: niki rothman

                    Here's a copycat recipe from Todd Wilbur - includes egg, vinegar, and yellow mustard, but interestingly, no mayo!


                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Thanks for going to the trouble of digging up that recipe. But you know, based on the fact that the only ingredients with flavor are yelow ball-park mustard, margarine, and "dark" vinegar (what do you suppose that is?), unless this is one of those recipes where the result is far, far, greater than the sum of the parts (synergy?), this sauce is not going to be to die for. Also, it's not all that easy to make either. And I don't even like yellow mustard...BUT, maybe "dark" vinegar refers to thousand year old million dollar an ounce balsamic. But if that's the case, why not just drizzle it on without the margarine and French's mustard ruining things?
                      But THANKS! anyway.

                      1. re: niki rothman

                        I would assume "dark" vinegar to be either cider or red wine vinegar (although the latter could give a REAL off color to the final product!). And I agree - the margarine aspect really icked me out.

                        I grew up having Durkee's in the house; my father loved it and would slather it on sandwiches whenever he was making them. I don't recall either my brother or sister ever liking it - and I definitely didn't like it enough to warrant my buying it once I was out on my own. When I see it on the shelves of my local Stop & Shop, I smile from the childhood memory of seeing the bottle in the fridge. But then I bypass it for some kickass mustard with ale, burgundy, or some other intriguing addition, and all is right with the world. :-)

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          So far, it doesn't sound like the Durkees is that wonderful - how would you describe it? A mustardy vinagrette? Yet thicker? You've made me remember I've been craving some of that wonderful Pommery brand French whole/cracked grain mustard. They sell it in a nice re-useable ceramic crock. It was made for a nice ham and jarlsberg sammich.

                          1. re: niki rothman

                            I remember it as a thin, mayonaissey (sp?) mustard-flavored sauce - I think a vinaigrette is thinner than what I remembered. The eggs and vinegar must be what gave it that mayo flavor.

                            And I'm a mustard fan - I cannot resist picking up a new-to-me jar whenever I see them in W-S, Sur la Table, wherever. I think I've got about 15-18 jars in my pantry/fridge. For whole grain mustard, I've really liked Inglehoffer in the past, but reading another thread awhile back got me to pick up a French brand - can't recall the name (I'm at work), but it looks great!

                            Have you seen the Mustard Museum? I'd be in trouble. :-)



                            Edited to say the whole grain I've recently picked up is the Edmund Fallot and the Laurent Du Clos.

                            Now I need to get me some ham and cheese and make me a sandwich!

                          2. re: LindaWhit

                            Looks to me like just another variant of the old "boiled dressing" that was a staple of Midwestern cookery, at least until Miracle Whip came along. Still, Durkee's has its own particular tang, and somehow tastes less "industrial" than MW. As for that recipe, I think I would use a similar amount of salad oil instead of the margarine.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Get yourself two slices of white bread (store-bought Sunbeam, Holsum, etc.), slather some Durkee's on it and load it up with slices of room--temperature, leftover Greenberg Smoked Turkey. Now that's eatin'.

                              1. re: River Rat

                                Well.........since I said I grew up with Durkee's in the fridge and wasn't a fan, I think I'll stick with mustard, thank you. :-)

                      2. Count me as a big Durkee's fan. And I don't think I pay $4 a jar for it.

                        1. Love it - mostly because I grew up with it. It is a cult classic in St. Louis and is the best on a homemade turkey sandwich with bacon (the dressing in somewhat sweet and is great with the salty bacon.) My mom always plopped it along with mayo on a salad dressed with italian dressing for her classic house dressing. Really good and different.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 1gardenmom

                            My great grandma is going to roll over in her grave, but I'm not the type to have secret recipes. So I'll admit it: Durkees is the secret ingredient in her macaroni salad and the reason why my mom is the only one in the family who can reproduce my great grandma's dish (much to mom's delight). Nobody else knows about the Durkees.

                            I think it's pretty good on a turkey sandwich but I would only buy it for the magical mac salad properties.

                          2. Make Southern style potato salad: FAST !!!

                            2-3 large potatoes (bake in microwave then skin)
                            1-2 eggs - hardboil or 'quick style': beat well and pour into mdm hot skillet, making a flat layer of cooked egg. Mince finely.
                            While potatoes are cooking, dice 1/4+ c. onion and 1/4+ c. sweet pickle. (Can use dill).

                            Make sauce:
                            1-2 T. mayo
                            1-2 T. Miracle Whip
                            2+ T. Dukee's (to taste)
                            1-2 t. yellow mustard
                            1/2+ t. celery seed
                            salt/freshly ground black pepper to taste

                            Place onion, pickle in mdm bowl. (Stainless is best for quick cooling.) Dice baked potatoes into 1/2". Pour over onion and pickle and mix. Heat will slightly cook onion.

                            Make sauce in a separate bowl. Pour over potatoes, onion, pickle, to your liking - 'dry' or 'wet'. Potatoes will absorb some sauce - so you may want to add a little extra. Mix well.

                            Place covered bowl in freezer section of your refrig - set timer for one 30-45 min. Potato salad should be cool to eat at that time. Keep refrig'd.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Linda G.

                              if you leave out the miracle whip, that's my exact potato salad recipe to serve with fried chicken. Save the high brow bleu cheese/jalapeno potato salad for salmon....give me this southern recipe with my fried chicken. Delicious!