DC mayor stirs up controversy with saucy mumbo criticism

Washington’s mayor started a heated Thanksgiving discussion early by telling the city she is “annoyed” with a beloved condiment in the nation’s capital.

“Is anybody else annoyed by Mumbo sauce ? I wish people would stop suggesting that it is quintessential DC. I’m just saying I was a full grown woman before I had heard of mumbo sauce! So there, I’ve said it,” Muriel Bowser wrote on Facebook Tuesday night.

Mumbo sauce is similar to a sweet and tangy barbeque sauce and is often eaten with chicken wings at takeout restaurants that line the city and the greater DC area.

As noted by Eater DC, the declaration from Bowser stirred up controversy, with many commenters embracing the sauce as a DC staple.

“And you claim you’re from DC?!” read one comment.

Another, in an occasionally heated thread, said, “I thought she was from DC….”

A few seemed to take her side: “It tastes like sugared down ketchup mixed with Jell-O. I’m not a fan. Really was expecting more the first time I tried it,” one commenter wrote.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the sauce originated in Chicago, and its history was the subject of a legal dispute by a sauce company based in the DC area.

Bowser, a Democrat, recently won her second term as mayor following a breezy re-election bid devoid of culinary controversy.

Her press secretary, seeking to reduce the uproar, told CNN the debate over mumbo’s merits could be an easy substitute for more contentious topics at Thanksgiving tables in the nation’s capital.

“The Mayor wanted to provide DC residents something to discuss on Thanksgiving beyond the midterm elections, backup quarterbacks and holiday shopping deals,” LaToya Foster said. “All may participate in the debate; however, DC residents must lead the mumbo sauce portion.”