Add potato wedges to spices in the bowl and toss to coat. He likes the Oxford comma but can't use it in the newspaper. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Except in Echtenkamp's version, the guy who said "jojo" was a Flavor-Crisp salesman from the Midwest. 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. 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. A variation in spelling and pronunciation is mojos, particularly in Western Canada, the Western United States and Canada's Yukon. For 40 years, the company Paul's father started, Nicewonger Co., flooded the Portland area with pressure fryers used to make chicken and jojos. Jojo potatoes are thick wedges, coated in a vaguely Cajun spice mix and usually served with ranch dressing. PORTLAND NEEDS WILLAMETTE WEEK. Photo by Ashley Kouri. "The guy that actually started the jojo by accident was Ed Nelson—that was back in 1961," Echtenkamp tells WW. As its name suggests, they are large, often unpeeled wedges of potatoes that are either baked or fried. 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. having lived in seattle for 8 years its very specific to washington and idaho. Learn how your comment data is processed. He called them Jojos. I've lived in the Northwest just about my whole life. It seems that not only Oregonians grew up with them: jojos have been spotted in Ohio, Montana, Washington, and very … Bake the Jo Jo’s by placing a rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. 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. 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. "My father actually invented the jojo," Nicewonger says. They were called wedgies until some time in the late 90's. These thick cuts of potatoes still have the skins attached and are often seasoned with salt, Parmesan or paprika. "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.". My kids know what jo-jo’s are, my husband knows what jo-jos are, but Jessica was lost. The food equipment company Nicewonger Company is said to be the OGs of Jojos in the Northwest region. I have always called potato wedges “jo-jos”, thanks to a childhood friend and our many deli runs (we thought we were so cool.) 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. Photo at top: Jojo eating contest at Signal Tree Festival on Aug. 11, 2018. The jojo is intertwined with a technological wonder of the modern age. What do you mean?” Go straight to recipe. Mansion, Inside I Promise Village, the LeBron James program tackling student homelessness. Sean Steele, the manager of the Swan Lake Senior Center (whose lunch menu generated this puzzle) is more direct. Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING. “Jo-Jo’s? 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. And then cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then each half into fourths--creating eight potato wedges per potato. 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. Flavor-Crisp salesman across the country sold the idea of jojos with their pressure fryers. People started grabbing 'em and they wanted to know what they were. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Starting in the 1960s, fried potato wedges took that name in some of the Northern states. This term originated in Ohio and is also used in the Pacific Northwest, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas,and other areas. Jojos are potato wedges fried in the same vat as chicken and usually eaten plain alongside fried chicken, coleslaw, and baked beans. He started cutting up potatoes at the restaurant show, threw ’em out for people to have,” Paul says. In the northwest they are usually a stand alone item served with ranch dressing as a dipping sauce. 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. Calories, carbs, fat, protein, fiber, cholesterol, and more for Potato Wedges (Deli Style, Seasoned - Great Value). The jojo is intertwined with a technological wonder of the modern age: the pressure fryer. 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. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure. Our local A&W stand would serve them with the cheeseburgers and root beer straight from the keg. A very important side note: jojos are best with sour cream. Jojo enthusiasts claim a distinction. Want to use it in a meal plan? Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce. Ask the man whose family is responsible for more of them locally than anyone. I rated 4 stars because I made some changes - we boiled the Transfer seasoned potato wedges onto trivet in IP. The roots of the jojo go deep into the country's industrial midsection. Head to the diet generator and enter the number of … However, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 continues to makethis a very challenging time. They may be seasoned with salt, pepper and spices prior to cooking, to give a crispy flavored ‘skin’. 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. 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 … The brand-name has become genericized today. "A true jojo is a potato wedge that's been breaded, pressure fried and spiced," says Paul Nicewonger. Then it is time to coat the potatoes with the seasoning blend that gives them the flavor reminiscent of Jojo potatoes. Some leftovers, like potato wedges, need to be carefully reheated to regain their fresh-out-of-the-oven taste. Once the potatoes have been baked or boiled, allow to cool until able to handle. Potato wedges, also called jojos in some parts of the United States, are a variation of french fries. “Potato wedges” has been cited in print since at least 1955 and 1958. 8 years ago. The name. 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)”. 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. Jojo's aren't just potato wedges. "He started cutting up potatoes at the restaurant show, threw 'em out for people to have. According to Nicewonger, his father was at a restaurant trade show demonstrating the marvels of pressure-frying chicken, and just so happened to be next to some guys from Idaho who were hawking potatoes. 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. Every Californian tends to hear the word for the first time when they arrive in Oregon, granting credence to this version of events. I don’t know about you, but I find these Jojo potato wedges so hard to resist. Jo-jos were often served in restaurants that also made a type of chicken which requires a special type of deep-fat fryer. Please support the city we loveby joining Friends of Willamette Week. 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. “People started grabbing ’em and they wanted to know what they were. He said, 'I can show you how to freshen up that grease… '". WW NEEDS YOU. He called them jojos. "He was the VIP of the company for a while. North Portlanders Want a Contaminated Beach Turned Into a Park. 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. The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. "We started selling them in 1962," says Echtenkamp. It’s what he told me—he just said it’s what came into his head.”. 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. 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. Dredge wet potatoes in flour mixture and allow the potatoes wedges to sit for a few minutes before frying. Potato wedges have also been called “Jo Jo potatoes” since at least 1962. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. But Flavor-Crisp had a hit on their hands. As their name suggests, they are wedges of potatoes, often large and unpeeled, that are either baked or fried. 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. Great seasonings in this recipe. We called them JoJo’s or JoJo potato wedges. Fight me. After spending some time at pizza shops and bars, I learned that Jojos are potato wedges. 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. In some regions of the United States, potato wedges are known as jojos. 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. The name was invented here and is used only here—a country quirk of our nation's upper-left corner. Your email address will not be published. Jojos are potato wedges … Post was not sent - check your email addresses! 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. "A potato will clean up the oil real nice," says Nicewonger. “They weren’t done in the middle. Thoroughly wash potatoes, cut in half, and slice into But there's more to it than just frying up a wedge potato in a pan. 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. also your article about them being commonly called jojos in the NW is incorrect. "A true jojo is a potato wedge that's been breaded, pressure fried and spiced," says Paul Nicewonger. Their vision was to establish the first restaurant in Akron where patrons could satisfy their cravings for pizza and chicken at one place. For the most part, the seasonings don't effect reheating, although some, like Parmesan, may make the wedges burn faster. We'll get more into the local lore as Jojo Month rolls on. We'll send you a newsletter with what you need to know every week. "There are a lot of places that will call anything a jojo," Nicewonger says. "A whole lot of people call a potato wedge a jojo in this marketplace. Years ago I worked at a … Brings back memories. 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. Government Officials Propose to Bury the Toxic Waste Onsite. But I still wanted to know why Ohioans call them Jojos and and how the wacky name was adopted. 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. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Fiesta Pizza and Chicken claims to have introduced Jojos to the 330. Eventually, they started cutting them in eights, and they were a whole lot better.”. 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. Potato wedges were something I really enjoyed eating when I was growing up. 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. 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. 2 years ago. These famous potato wedges are sold in many places. McCain’s Redstone Canyon Skin-On Wedges are what many Fred Meyers and QFC serve as jojos. Where it started was they were at the national restaurant show in Chicago. Jillian Holness is a recent graduate of Kent State University’s School of Journalism. “First, they cut the potatoes in fours, and they were way too thick,” Terry told the magazine. Drain jo jo potato wedges on paper towels. It's what he told me—he just said it's what came into his head.". The potatoes are perfectly crisp on the outside, and tender and moist on the inside. The guy was from Idaho russet potatoes in the next booth. Bud Pierce Declares His Candidacy, Multnomah County Records 715 COVID Cases in Two Days. 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. • 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. ", 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. . I moved back and everyone was calling … Matthew Korfhage has lived in St. Louis, Chicago, Munich and Bordeaux, but comes from Portland, where he makes guides to the city and writes about food, booze and books. Essentially, it's a pressure cooker filled with hot oil that allows meat to be cooked quickly, at high heat, while still staying juicy. I explained that they were just baked potato wedges. Nobody knows exactly what happened at that Chicago trade show. 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. Allow the wedges to sit with the coating for 15 minutes. 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The oil real nice, '' Nicewonger says in Echtenkamp 's version, the seasonings do effect. Chicken claims to have, ” Paul says been breaded, pressure fried and spiced ''... '' Echtenkamp tells WW but there 's more to it than just frying up wedge... Other areas I explained that they were called wedgies until some time at pizza shops and,! Unpeeled wedges of potatoes, often unpeeled wedges of potatoes that are either baked or boiled, to. Restaurant in Akron where patrons could satisfy their cravings for pizza and at...
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