Eventually, they started cutting them in eights, and they were a whole lot better.”. “They weren’t done in the middle. 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. He said, 'I can show you how to freshen up that grease… '". It’s what he told me—he just said it’s what came into his head.”. It seems that not only Oregonians grew up with them: jojos have been spotted in Ohio, Montana, Washington, and very … They may be seasoned with salt, pepper and spices prior to cooking, to give a crispy flavored ‘skin’. 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. However, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 continues to makethis a very challenging time. Where it started was they were at the national restaurant show in Chicago. A very important side note: jojos are best with sour cream. Their vision was to establish the first restaurant in Akron where patrons could satisfy their cravings for pizza and chicken at one place. 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. "We started selling them in 1962," says Echtenkamp. 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” has been cited in print since at least 1955 and 1958. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure. 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. 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. 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. 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. He started cutting up potatoes at the restaurant show, threw ’em out for people to have,” Paul says. also your article about them being commonly called jojos in the NW is incorrect. Starting in the 1960s, fried potato wedges took that name in some of the Northern states. In some regions of the United States, potato wedges are known as jojos. "A true jojo is a potato wedge that's been breaded, pressure fried and spiced," says Paul Nicewonger. The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. state-by-state slang maps show Oregon Googles the word disproportionately often, experimenting with the process as early as the '40s, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Fans Roasted a Clothing Company on Twitter After It Asked the Late Author to Model Its Leggings, A New England-Inspired Sandwich Shop Has Moved Into the Former Toro Bravo Space, and It’s Serving Portuguese Muffins, OLCC Announces Voluntary Recall of Potentially Harmful Cannabis Vaping Product. Brings back memories. We'll send you a newsletter with what you need to know every week. Mansion, Inside I Promise Village, the LeBron James program tackling student homelessness. 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. Drain jo jo potato wedges on paper towels. For the most part, the seasonings don't effect reheating, although some, like Parmesan, may make the wedges burn faster. After spending some time at pizza shops and bars, I learned that Jojos are potato wedges. Please support the city we loveby joining Friends of Willamette Week. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce. The guy was from Idaho russet potatoes in the next booth. Jojo's aren't just 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. having lived in seattle for 8 years its very specific to washington and idaho. Jillian Holness is a recent graduate of Kent State University’s School of Journalism. I've lived in the Northwest just about my whole life. But I still wanted to know why Ohioans call them Jojos and and how the wacky name was adopted. They're battered & broasted potato wedges. • 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. McCain’s Redstone Canyon Skin-On Wedges are what many Fred Meyers and QFC serve as jojos. "There are a lot of places that will call anything a jojo," Nicewonger says. Except in Echtenkamp's version, the guy who said "jojo" was a Flavor-Crisp salesman from the Midwest. Then it is time to coat the potatoes with the seasoning blend that gives them the flavor reminiscent of Jojo potatoes. We'll get more into the local lore as Jojo Month rolls on. . Government Officials Propose to Bury the Toxic Waste Onsite. 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. In the '80s, every city in Oregon had something called a jojo. He called them jojos. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. PORTLAND NEEDS WILLAMETTE WEEK. "My father actually invented the jojo," Nicewonger says. People started grabbing 'em and they wanted to know what they were. Calories, carbs, fat, protein, fiber, cholesterol, and more for Potato Wedges (Deli Style, Seasoned - Great Value). Ask the man whose family is responsible for more of them locally than anyone. 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. Bake the Jo Jo’s by placing a rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. They were called wedgies until some time in the late 90's. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. 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. Years ago I worked at a … Dredge wet potatoes in flour mixture and allow the potatoes wedges to sit for a few minutes before frying. Jojo potatoes are thick wedges, coated in a vaguely Cajun spice mix and usually served with ranch dressing. The name. 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 … I don’t know about you, but I find these Jojo potato wedges so hard to resist. He called them Jojos. "A potato will clean up the oil real nice," says Nicewonger. The potatoes are perfectly crisp on the outside, and tender and moist on the inside. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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. As their name suggests, they are wedges of potatoes, often large and unpeeled, that are either baked or fried. Photo at top: Jojo eating contest at Signal Tree Festival on Aug. 11, 2018. Jo-jos were often served in restaurants that also made a type of chicken which requires a special type of deep-fat fryer. The jojo is intertwined with a technological wonder of the modern age: the pressure fryer. 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. What do you mean?” Go straight to recipe. A variation in spelling and pronunciation is mojos, particularly in Western Canada, the Western United States and Canada's Yukon. The food equipment company Nicewonger Company is said to be the OGs of Jojos in the Northwest region. Potato wedges, also called jojos, are a variation of french fries. Nobody knows exactly what happened at that Chicago trade show. As its name suggests, they are large, often unpeeled wedges of potatoes that are either baked or fried. Great seasonings in this recipe. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Jojos are potato wedges fried in the same vat as chicken and usually eaten plain alongside fried chicken, coleslaw, and baked beans. These famous potato wedges are sold in many places. Want to use it in a meal plan? Our local A&W stand would serve them with the cheeseburgers and root beer straight from the keg. Jojo enthusiasts claim a distinction. I rated 4 stars because I made some changes - we boiled the Flavor-Crisp salesman across the country sold the idea of jojos with their pressure fryers. He likes the Oxford comma but can't use it in the newspaper. 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. For 40 years, the company Paul's father started, Nicewonger Co., flooded the Portland area with pressure fryers used to make chicken and jojos. Every Californian tends to hear the word for the first time when they arrive in Oregon, granting credence to this version of events. Add potato wedges to spices in the bowl and toss to coat. ", 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 explained that they were just baked potato wedges. “Jo-Jo’s? Thoroughly wash potatoes, cut in half, and slice into 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. Sean Steele, the manager of the Swan Lake Senior Center (whose lunch menu generated this puzzle) is more direct. Essentially, it's a pressure cooker filled with hot oil that allows meat to be cooked quickly, at high heat, while still staying juicy. 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. I have always called potato wedges “jo-jos”, thanks to a childhood friend and our many deli runs (we thought we were so cool.) 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. Potato wedges, also called jojos in some parts of the United States, are a variation of french fries. 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. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! These thick cuts of potatoes still have the skins attached and are often seasoned with salt, Parmesan or paprika. Some leftovers, like potato wedges, need to be carefully reheated to regain their fresh-out-of-the-oven taste. 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