Jezebel Sauce - Gastro Obscura

Ingredients & Condiments

Jezebel Sauce

Cooks in the Southern United States still whip up this spicy, seductively sweet condiment from the 1950s.

Jezebel is a biblical figure whose name has become slang for seductive women. Her namesake saucy glaze combines sweet apple jelly and pineapple preserves with spicy horseradish and yellow mustard. After World War II, housewives were enamored with “instant” ingredients, which made the combination a hit during the era of easy, effortless party snacks that relied on nothing but boxed, jarred, and canned goods.

This delightfully-named flavor-punch of a condiment planted roots along the United States’ Gulf Coast. Jezebel sauce made its way around Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and even Kansas, but didn’t gain popularity outside these regions. Southern grandmas have been spooning the stuff over blocks of cream cheese (served with crackers as a party snack), or alongside roast ham dinners since the 1950s. Some cooks add hot pepper jelly, ginger, or jalapeño for even more seductive spiciness. Its origin, however—much like the biblical figure—is left to myth and legend.

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rachelrummel rachelrummel