Mumbo sauce is now available at KFC

Capital City Mambo Sauce founder Arsha Jones now supplies KFC. Photograph courtesy of KFC.

DC’s signature condiment has really caught on in the big leagues now. Starting this week, the fried chicken chain KFC is bringing mumbo sauce from local business Capital City to 11 locations across Maryland, as well as locations in Dallas and Atlanta. It is not actually available in DC, where KFC no longer works all restaurants.

While its exact origins are open to debate, the sweet and tangy sauce has been a staple of DC’s black food culture and the region’s Chinese chicken wing and takeout shops for decades. In recent years, it has become a mainstream product available at Walmart or Giant and revisited by top chefs.

In 2011, DC native Arsha Jones and her late husband Charles Jones founded Capital City Mambo Sauce to bottle the cult classic and make it more widely available. (They call it “mambo” sauce rather than “mumbo” after a trial several years ago with Chicago’s Select Brands, which had registered the name in 1958.) Their multi-million dollar business now supplies most of the major grocery chains as well as a wide range of restaurants in the DC area and well beyond.

You can try Capital City’s “tangy sweet” recipe at KFC for a limited time with a chicken sandwich combo, a four piece tenderloin meal, or a two piece breast and wing meal. You can also add it to other menu items for a small fee.

Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind the DC food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian as of July 2016, she was food writer and columnist Young & Hungry at the Washington City Paper. She is originally from Colorado and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

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