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Do you think tartar sauce is gross?

Tartar sauce is gross, in my mind. I hate mayo and sweet pickles. It's creepy looking.

But when it comes time to eat a fish sandwich, I really love putting tartar sauce on it! Or sometimes dipping pieces of my fish fry into it! I just can't think about the ingredients of the stuff.

How about you guys? Gross, neutral, or love?

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  1. I like it but find it highly optional. It's kind of a stupid condiment when you start thinking about it, it seems invented by a kid.

    1. the opposite...I like mayo and sweet pickles but wouldn't dream of putting tartar sauce on anything!

      1. It has it's place in the food world.....I like to spice it up a bit with Chili/Cayenne Pepper and Horseradish......which coincidentally is what the Blooming Onion Sauce is from Outback.

          1. Hate it!
            I don't like Mayo or relish, so won't eat Tartar sauce.

            But I don't think it's gross, I just wouldn't eat it, PLUS when placing an order for fish in a restaurant I instruct the server that NO tartar sauce is to come on my plate. Leave it in the kitchen. I don't want a piece of my food to end up with some Tartar sauce on it, and I don't want to either have to smell it up close, or handle the small cup and remove it from my plate. Save the restaurant some money, don't garnish my plate with it and then have to throw it out.

            My parents always used this product, but always mixed in cocktail sauce. I don't eat the cocktail sauce either. All I want on my fish is some fresh lemon and pepper.

            1. It can be gross. I make mine from an old Fannie Farmer cookbook. It uses mayo, shallot, capers, sweet pickles, olives, fresh parsley, and (most important ) tarragon vinegar. I've never had better.

              2 Replies
              1. re: grampart

                Hey! You can't leave us hanging like that. What are the proportions?

                1. re: Big Eater

                  This makes about a cup.
                  3/4 C. Mayo
                  1/2 Shallot, chopped fine
                  1 Tsp. Capers
                  1 Tsp. Finely Chopped Pickles
                  1 Tsp. Chopped Olives
                  1 Tsp. Chopped Parsley
                  1 Tbsp. Tarragon Vinegar (I use 1-1/2)
                  Mix Well.

              2. For me, fried fish has to have either tartar or cocktail sauce. I never BUY the stuff. Tartar sauce = mayo, sweet pickle relish and liberal slosh of hot sauce. Cocktail sauce = ketchup, hot sauce, and enough horseradish to make it PINK!! Crab cakes always get cocktail sauce.

                1. A well executed home made tartar sauce as well as a well executed home made cocktail sauce are revelatory and inspiring. A glop of mass produced stuff in a little plastic cup = not so much.

                  1. Delicious when it is made with dill relish. Either way I like it and I also love spicy cocktail sauce with extra horse radish.

                    1. Love it. HOWEVER, it has to made correctly.

                      My major two issues with tartar sauce as has come to be known far too often is fake mayo and sweet relish. Why people have come to think slathering fish with sugar is acceptable is far beyond my realm of understanding. Real mayo is NOT sweet, and sugar laden pickles are just so, so, wrong,imo.

                      Tartar sauce with real mayo and capers or chopped savory pickles (or both,) is good eats for me. Fish with gobs of sugar just seems wrong.

                      1. Works for me on a sandwich of some fresh grilled tuna, a thin slice of Bermuda onion and some Romaine lettuce...

                        Fish is the only thing it goes on....

                        Does anyone use it on anything but fish?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: PHREDDY

                          Off topic, not a tartar sauce, but my go to store-bought condiment for home made crab cakes, conch fritters and clam stuffies is

                          Robert Rothschild Onion Blossom Horseradish Sauce.

                          But I truly appreciate a house made tartar. Never found a commercial brand to appreciate.

                          1. re: PHREDDY

                            I like to dip fried okra and fried green tomatoes in the dill style relish.

                          2. Love it especially when indulging in a good, fresh fishermen's platter. Nothing better.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: foodieX2

                              I go for the bigger size...."fishermen's" platter

                              1. re: foodieX2

                                You hit the edit button....didn't you?

                              2. Ehhh.....I've had some good freshly made tarter sauce at more upscale restaurants that I've enjoyed before, but as a whole I usually don't like it. Because of this I've resorted to using ketchup on my fried fish and crab cakes in the past. I love ketchup and can use it on mostly anything fried.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: SaraAshley

                                  I can't stand the way it looks--it reminds me of 1000 Island dressing. I do, however, like tuna salad made with mayo and sweet pickles.

                                  When I eat fried fish, as in fish and chips, I can't get enough ketchup!

                                2. It's awesome stuff. Fried stuff + mayo + something sweet or briny = awesomeness

                                    1. Yuk tartar sauce. No reason to eat it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. Only if made improperly.

                                        I enjoy tartar sauce with crab cakes, but only my homemade: mayo, chopped cornichons (not pickle relish), chopped green olives (with or without pimento, but pimento is a good color addition), small capers, a little squeeze of lemon and a little of the brine from the cornichons. Add hot sauce if desired. Let the flavors blend for a while before serving.

                                        1. I would never buy it. It's so easy to make with either sweet or dill minced pickles, cornishons, sometimes with capers, tarragon, chipotle, cayenne, or salsa picante, depending on what it's complementing.

                                            1. Love it...especially the recipe I use from a hotel in Chicago. Made with dill pickle, onions and capers.

                                              1. Love. Any fried fish must have tartar sauce.

                                                I think it has to do with mayo. Some people just skeeve it.

                                                I make mine with: mayo, relish, parsley, onion powder and a little lemon juice.

                                                For shrimp and raw clams- Cocktail sauce: ketchup, chili sauce, worcestershire, lemon juice and lots of horseradish.

                                                  1. On its own? Yes, sort of not very good.

                                                    But, as you say, paired with other things (fish sandwich, etc.) it's quite delectable.

                                                    But isn't this true of most condiments? I mean, I wouldn't want to sit there and take shots of straight ketchup. But give me some fries, and yeah, it's ALL GOOD.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      ipse, got the buy-one-get-one-for-1ยข filet o fish deal yesterday and thought of you as i bit into the steamed bun, with the tartar sauce and cheese oozing out on one side.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        Yes, but on it's own, ketchup doesn't gross me out haha. Now I'm craving fish fry with lemon and tartar sauce.

                                                      2. I like tartar sauce with dill pickles.

                                                        1. tartar sauce -- well-made -- is sublime and always good with fried shrimp and fried fish.

                                                          best tartar sauce i've ever had -- anywhere -- is actually that from cracker barrel, and i've looked in vain for their recipe.

                                                          1. Who eats tartar sauce out of the jar or without anything?

                                                            As you noted, it's meant as a condiment for either specific dishes or whatever you enjoy it with.

                                                            And "creepy looking?" Ho boy.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              A friend of mine puts tartar sauce on his burgers. At first I thought it was wird but it mkaes sense. I put both mayonnaise and pickles on mine.

                                                              I am yet to try tartar on a burger.

                                                              1. re: jpc8015

                                                                I very rarely make a burger sauce that is similar to tartar sauce: mayo, chopped pickles, a dash of hot sauce, a sploodge of ketchup.

                                                                But usually, I'm pretty happy with just mayo and ketchup on the bun.

                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  I never put ketchup on a burger. Mayo, brown mustard, pickles, tomato, lettuce, onions, grilled onions, fried egg, cheese, bacon, and ham are all options. No ketchup.

                                                                  1. re: jpc8015

                                                                    Mustard? Gah. No way in hell for me. But my man likes it.

                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                    I do something similar for my husband's burgers. He likes my "special sauce" of everything you mentioned with the exception of ketchup. I use bbq sauce instead. Sometimes I include a bit of horseradish if I have some on hand. Mix it all up and put it on top of an extra cheesy juicy burger with grilled buns brushed with melted butter. Add a cold beer and he's all set.

                                                                      1. re: breadchick

                                                                        Sounds pretty delish. I could see using bbq sauce instead of ketchup. More flavah.

                                                                2. Perfectly happy with it to go with fried fish.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                    With fish and chips I like malt vinegar AND tartar sauce with the fish, ketchup for the chips.

                                                                  2. I don't like Miracle Whip either!..and my fried clams never, ever get near the tartar sauce......a splash of lemon maybe.

                                                                    But.some do, so I don't say anything. And if a tiny bit of my fried fish comes into contact with it, I'm not ging to go Ballistic.

                                                                    Often wondered tho...why not also serve it with French fries? Those garlic mayo sauces in the Netherlands and Belgium are divine...couldn't fries be improved with Tartar Sauce too? (for those who like it to begin with).

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                      Yes. Aioli is great with fries. Tartar sauce is a cousin to aioli.

                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                        Aioli is another thing I enjoy but don't like thinking about the ingredients. That damn mayo. I guess I secretly like it...though NEVER on it's own haha

                                                                    2. Like my mother, I aways make my own - Hellman's mayo, chopped onion, chopped sour pickle, chopped capers, tarragon and a bit of dijon mustard, splash of lemon juice, NO SWEET RELISH.

                                                                      1. Right out of the fridge, no. After an hour or two out, yeah. I'm another one that doesnt crave it if there isnt any, but I like it well enough. I also punch it up with a little hot sauce.

                                                                        1. TOTALLY gross! I'm with you on that for sure!

                                                                          1. Love...but homemade. Easy enough. Only commercial brand I like is Legal Seafood brand. But still prefer homemade.

                                                                            1. Gross, gross, gross.

                                                                              Aioli, however, is fine.

                                                                              1. Don't care for it. I prefer just squeezes of lemon or lime and fresh ground pepper on my fish.

                                                                                1. I vote for "gross." Jarred mayo is particularly disgusting, so adding chopped sweet pickles to it really isn't helping anything IMO. However, you can put chopped up dog kibble in homemade mayo and I would probably eat it! Real mayo is such a different animal than the cream colored glop in a jar made by Hellman's, Best Foods, Dukes, etc.

                                                                                  1. I don't think I've ever had it with "sweet" pickles..... The only tartar sauce I've had always had regular dill pickle, cornichons or capers in it, not sweet relish....that sounds like a bad shortcut.....

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                      My bad, I thought it was made with sweet pickles. I don't touch the stuff, hence my ignorance. Again, the jarred mayo glop is really the deal breaker for me in tartar sauce. I'll take the chopped pickles, hold the mayo.

                                                                                      1. For everyone who hates tartar sauce because of the sweet pickles, great news. No jarred tartar sauce whose ingredient list I have read contains sweet pickles. All of them that I have read list DILL pickles. So you're now free to enjoy tartar sauce.

                                                                                        1. Love it. It isn't a fish sandwich without tartar sauce -- really, any fried fish is better with some of it. And locally here, the Frisch's Big Boy sandwich with their sauce is wonderful.