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French fries with ketchup. Chicken wings with barbecue sauce. And fish with tartar sauce. These pairings of food with sauces are classics that just about anyone will love. And today is the day to celebrate the sauce. 

Specifically, it’s National Tartar Sauce Day! So get ready to grab some seafood and pile on the tartar sauce!

History of National Tartar Sauce Day

While National Tartar Sauce Day is a fairly recent celebration, it has roots that go back to approximately 1400 years ago. When Pope St. Gregory declared that people should abstain from eating meat on Fridays, the people started eating fish, instead, since it wasn’t considered to be flesh. The significance of Friday is that the Christian tradition believes that Jesus Christ died on a Friday.

In the 1960s, the rules changed a bit and many people of the Catholic tradition began abstaining from meat on Fridays only during the Lenten season. Lent is the period of time that falls 40 days (not counting Sundays) prior to Easter. Many people still continue this tradition of eating fish on Fridays during Lent.

And of course, with the tradition of eating fish regularly often comes the delicious addition of tartar sauce!

National Tartar Sauce Day was founded in 2017 by Frisch’s Big Boy, a chain of classic restaurants in the American Midwest. The restaurant established the day in celebration of the sauce that pairs so well with fish, which is eaten in larger quantities during this time of year.

In fact, National Tartar Sauce Day is a rolling holiday that follows the religious calendar and always falls on the first Friday of Lent, either in late February or early March. So get ready to enjoy some seafood because it’s time to celebrate National Tartar Sauce Day!

How to Celebrate National Tartar Sauce Day

Get involved with celebrating National Tartar Sauce Day with some of these fun ideas:

Order Up Some Fish with Tartar Sauce

Of course, the best way to pay heed to National Tartar Sauce Day is to enjoy some with a serving of fish. Head out to a restaurant that serves seafood, like Frisch’s Big Boy, for instance, and order up a plate of fish with tartar sauce. Even McDonald’s serves its Filet-O-Fish sandwich with a portion of tartar sauce on the bun!

Try Making Tartar Sauce at Home

Those who are feeding a family or who just prefer to eat at home might want to have their own fish fry on National Tartar Sauce Day! And what is the best thing to serve with that fish? Well, it’s the sauce, of course!

Making tartar sauce at home actually isn’t very difficult at all and only requires a few ingredients. The main base is mayonnaise with a few other ingredients, like mustard, sweet pickle relish and lemon juice. For additional flavor, some people might prefer to add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, black pepper or capers.

Pile the tartar sauce high on the plates, right next to the fish, and watch the family dig in!

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