#1
Old 05-17-2010, 03:36 PM
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Jojo fries

I'm originally from KY, but have moved to the Seattle area. Recently I have encountered "jojo fries" which seem to be nothing more than spiced potato wedges. My friends are insistent in calling them jojo's, but this term grates upon my ear for some reason. I'm trying to convince them that potato wedges is the more appropriate term, as it does not sound so diminutive.

What is the history of calling them jojo's? Is there something that differentiates them from normal potato wedges?
#2
Old 05-17-2010, 03:42 PM
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Just a regional name. You say potato, I say potato.
#3
Old 05-17-2010, 03:46 PM
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I have ALWAYS wondered about that. In high school only the desperate ate the school lunch in the cafeteria - the rest of us sat in the courtyard and either brought it from home or ate out of the vending machines. (And now I want a Cookies and Cream Hershey bar.) So they'd read the lunch menus out on the PA and every week there would be the Great Potato Life Cycle - you know, start out with baked, end up on Friday with mashed or worse. Somewhere in the middle there was always "jojo potatoes" and we never, ever knew what the hell those were. We'd snicker about it endlessly, but nobody was going to go to the cafeteria to find out so it has remained a mystery.
#4
Old 05-17-2010, 03:47 PM
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Shakey's calls them Mojo potatoes.
#5
Old 05-17-2010, 03:48 PM
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Jojos for life.

there's a bar in Helena Montana that makes the MOSt amazing jojos ever.
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#6
Old 05-17-2010, 03:54 PM
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Never heard of these. Is "jojo" pronounced like "Joe, Joe" or like "Hoe, hoe"?
#7
Old 05-17-2010, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by groman View Post
Never heard of these. Is "jojo" pronounced like "Joe, Joe" or like "Hoe, hoe"?
Like Joe, who prior to becoming a famous potato chef, went out with a gun in his hand. Seems he'd caught his old lady messing around with another man.
#8
Old 05-17-2010, 04:00 PM
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At least one restaurant on Long Island (Flavor Crisp Chicken in West Islip) calls them jojo's.

I do not know if it's regionally accepted in New York or if it's just that one restaurant.
#9
Old 05-17-2010, 04:27 PM
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Western South Dakota, they are jojos here as well.
#10
Old 05-17-2010, 04:31 PM
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Lived in New England, Chicago, and Tennessee for long periods of time and never ever heard of "jojos."
#11
Old 05-17-2010, 04:37 PM
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Northeastern Ohio: jojos are very popular. Seem to be particularly associated with restaurants selling fried or broasted chicken, as bup notes. Many pizza shops have jojos, too. Don't like them, myself.

Everybody knows what broasted means, right?
#12
Old 05-17-2010, 04:53 PM
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Grocery stores around San Francisco sell jojo potatos along with their deli fried chicken. They're not just plain wedges - they're battered and fried and spiced.
#13
Old 05-17-2010, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groman View Post
Never heard of these. Is "jojo" pronounced like "Joe, Joe" or like "Hoe, hoe"?
It's pronounced like this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartyjosh View Post
My friends are insistent in calling them jojo's, but this term grates upon my ear for some reason.
I'm from L.A. (obviously). Down there they were called 'potato wedges'. It took me a while to accept 'jo-jos' when I moved up here. It still sounds funny. Not that it matters, because I rarely eat them.
#14
Old 05-17-2010, 05:07 PM
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I grew up (Vancouver, Washington) eating $0.99 servings of jojos from the Minit Mart (convenience store) on St. Johns.

Never actually saw them called jojos anywhere other than convenience store hot cases in the Northwest.
#15
Old 05-17-2010, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartyjosh View Post
I'm originally from KY, but have moved to the Seattle area. Recently I have encountered "jojo fries" which seem to be nothing more than spiced potato wedges. My friends are insistent in calling them jojo's, but this term grates upon my ear for some reason. I'm trying to convince them that potato wedges is the more appropriate term, as it does not sound so diminutive.
Yeah, good luck with trying to convince people who live in a large city where everyone calls them "Jojos" that they should change what they call them because you're not familiar with the name. You may meet with resistance. While you're at it, you should also try to convince them that they're pronouncing "geoduck" and "Puyallup" wrong. Also, "Seattle" should really be called "Sealth".

Last edited by needscoffee; 05-17-2010 at 05:23 PM.
#16
Old 05-17-2010, 06:21 PM
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Our local grocery has them at the deli counter under the name "Jolo Potatoes". I don't know where the hell that came from, since as far as I knew they were just "potato wedges", or as we called them back in my alma mater, "Squidgies."
#17
Old 05-17-2010, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
Grocery stores around San Francisco sell jojo potatos along with their deli fried chicken. They're not just plain wedges - they're battered and fried and spiced.
Same thing in Salt Lake, both grocery stores and some gas stations sell them in the heated snack display area, along with fried chicken, corn dogs and other similar food-like items...........
#18
Old 05-17-2010, 07:04 PM
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I am in TN and I remember them being on the school lunch menu from the time I was a kid until I worked for the city schools. They also advertised them in the grocery store delis for a long time but I haven't seen them called by name recently.
#19
Old 05-17-2010, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MPB in Salt Lake View Post
Same thing in Salt Lake, both grocery stores and some gas stations sell them in the heated snack display area, along with fried chicken, corn dogs and other similar food-like items...........
In western Maryland, we had a carry-out place that sold pizza, fried chicken, baked beans, and jojo's.
#20
Old 05-17-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartyjosh View Post
I'm originally from KY, but have moved to the Seattle area. Recently I have encountered "jojo fries" which seem to be nothing more than spiced potato wedges.
I think they're lightly battered too
#21
Old 05-17-2010, 07:27 PM
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I'm probably the world's current expert on the term "jojo" as applied to potatoes. Almost certainly they started out life as potato wedges. And, they almost certainly originate as "jojos" in the upper(probably) Midwest. I have a personal interest in that when I moved to Akron OH in 1971, I got some broasted chicken and jojos. Never had them or heard of them before living in Virginia and NC(1950-1970).

I'll come back when I'm through reading the board in about an hour and give you my info.
#22
Old 05-17-2010, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
Grocery stores around San Francisco sell jojo potatos along with their deli fried chicken. They're not just plain wedges - they're battered and fried and spiced.
I've rarely encountered a potato wedge that wasn't battered, fried, and spiced.
#23
Old 05-17-2010, 07:59 PM
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Common usage in Montana for a fried savory potato wedge. Used to make them when I worked at Breen's Exxon in Choteau, and they were for sale in Rex's as well.
#24
Old 05-17-2010, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I'm probably the world's current expert on the term "jojo" as applied to potatoes. Almost certainly they started out life as potato wedges. And, they almost certainly originate as "jojos" in the upper(probably) Midwest. I have a personal interest in that when I moved to Akron OH in 1971, I got some broasted chicken and jojos. Never had them or heard of them before living in Virginia and NC(1950-1970).

I'll come back when I'm through reading the board in about an hour and give you my info.
I was going to go to bed early, now I'm going to wait to hear samclem's Story of the Jojo

I don't know why people keep moving out of NE Ohio these days - it's such a fascinating place!
#25
Old 05-17-2010, 09:19 PM
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Broaster chicken, which is really a pressure-fried chicken, is invented in the early 1950s. At that point, it is mostly distributed in the midwest. That's a general term and encompasses everything from Iowa/Michigan/Ohio and other stragglers.

The addidtion of "jo jo" potatoes only shows up as a term in the early 1960s. Again, only in the MId-West.

Where the name comes from, I don't know, but I'm still looking. Once a month in my newspaper databases. And, if I don't know, probably no one does.
#26
Old 05-17-2010, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
I was going to go to bed early, now I'm going to wait to hear samclem's Story of the Jojo

I don't know why people keep moving out of NE Ohio these days - it's such a fascinating place!
Ah! You're too easy.
#27
Old 05-17-2010, 11:02 PM
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There's this.
Quote:
at least in western Oregon, jo jos must be thick potato wedges, a) cut lengthwise, and b) covered with a light seasoned breading and c) served with ranch dressing or, if you must, ketchup. Jo jos are much bigger than French fries and usually bigger than steak fries, and unlike either, are cooked with their scrubbed skins on.
And, while some places sell jo jos that have been baked, deep fried or otherwise cooked, the best have been prepared in a pressure fryer. Itís a method that was popularized in the 1950s by the Broaster Company of Beloit, Wis ... Where did they come from? Jo jos probably originated, along with other dishes like pommes frites and scalloped potatoes, in the French speaking regions of Europe. Maine farmers of Acadian descent, who migrated from Nova Scotia and other French-speaking areas of Canada, call big, seasoned potato wedges by the same name: jo jos. This explains why jo jos are served on many Cajun menus in the French Quarter of New Orleans, also a destination for many Acadian migrants. But why, then, are jo jos also popular in Ohio and Iowa? The American love of fried foods, it would appear, has no boundaries, and the people who populated the West brought the jo jo with them.
But no one seems to know how they got their name. The words could be rooted in any one of a number of languages, related to many but dependent on none.
FWIW.
#28
Old 05-17-2010, 11:15 PM
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I grew up in Memphis and Mississippi--I remember seeing them in the 70s in Mississippi convenience stores called "jo-jos". In fact, I just recently purchased, in deep south Texas, a seasoning called "JoJo Potato Seasoning" or "Assaisonnement pour Pomme de Terre de Jojo" (by the Spice Depot), alwaysgrindfresh.com
I put this on frozen steak fries (what can I say!).
According to the ingredient list, it includes dehydrated garlic, paprika, salt, rosemary, black pepper, basil, parsley, oregano, and olive oil. So there you go!
#29
Old 05-17-2010, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
There's this.FWIW.
For what it's worth, I have spent a LOT of time in New Orleans, and eaten meals in some of the most upscale, gourmet bistros in town, as well as some of the seediest, funkiest dives around (and had some AMAZING meals in both extremes---It's quite hard to find truly bad food anywhere in New Orleans, no matter how nondescript the joint you are in) and I have never seen anything even resembling jo-jo potato wedges on any menu on any of my many visits............

In fact, rice of one type or another is MUCH more common as a side than any kind of potato dish is; potatoes are just not seemingly a big part of Southern Louisiana cuisine, from what I can tell.

Last edited by MPB in Salt Lake; 05-17-2010 at 11:34 PM.
#30
Old 05-18-2010, 01:49 AM
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I've had these from various convenience store delis, but they were always called potato wedges. Recently we got some chicken from the deli at Ingles in Carrollton, Ga, and my husband said "Oo, we have to get some of the Jojo's potatoes, too!" I had never heard the term before, and though that Jojo was the name of the Ingles' deli lady, or perhaps some member of the Ingles family like Laura Lynn. My husband now tells me he was familiar with the term already.
#31
Old 05-18-2010, 08:06 AM
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I can't speak for Rex's, but at the gas station, they were indeed pressure fried (as was the chicken, the pizza pockets, the corn dogs, and damn near everything else).
#32
Old 05-18-2010, 08:15 AM
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Jojos is the only name that I have heard for potato wedges. As a kid my mom would go to the local tavern (the 2121 in Tacoma) and bring home chicken and jojos for dinner. Included was a sour cream and chive dip for the jojos. Good stuff.
#33
Old 05-18-2010, 08:35 AM
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Grew up in MD have lived in NC and FL. Never heard of Jojos in my life. Only heard them called potato wedges.

I could go for some right now, though.
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#34
Old 05-18-2010, 09:14 AM
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I used to make jojo's at my deli job back in high school. Unpeeled potato wedges, dredged twice in a mix of flour, pepper, and Lowry's Seasoning Salt, and deep fried.
Fresh, with dill dip, serious comfort food.

No idea why they were called jojo's, though.
#35
Old 05-18-2010, 09:50 AM
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Down here in North Florida, we call those tater logs.
#36
Old 05-18-2010, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
There's this.FWIW.
Quote:
And, while some places sell jo jos that have been baked, deep fried or otherwise cooked, the best have been prepared in a pressure fryer. Itís a method that was popularized in the 1950s by the Broaster Company of Beloit, Wis ... Where did they come from? Jo jos probably originated, along with other dishes like pommes frites and scalloped potatoes, in the French speaking regions of Europe. Maine farmers of Acadian descent, who migrated from Nova Scotia and other French-speaking areas of Canada, call big, seasoned potato wedges by the same name: jo jos. This explains why jo jos are served on many Cajun menus in the French Quarter of New Orleans, also a destination for many Acadian migrants. But why, then, are jo jos also popular in Ohio and Iowa? The American love of fried foods, it would appear, has no boundaries, and the people who populated the West brought the jo jo with them.
But no one seems to know how they got their name. The words could be rooted in any one of a number of languages, related to many but dependent on none.
This is complete nonsense. There is no evidence that the term "jo jo" originated in Europe. Plenty of evidence that it didn't.

If "Maine farmers of Acadian descent call big, seasoned potato wedges by the same name: jo jos," then they're farmers who discovered them by buying broasted chicken in the 1960s or later.

I don't have all my files around right now, but I'll look tomorrow night.

Jo Jo potatoes have their origin in the US, in the late 1950s/early 1960s in the general MidWest.
#37
Old 06-08-2010, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
Yeah, good luck with trying to convince people who live in a large city where everyone calls them "Jojos" that they should change what they call them because you're not familiar with the name. You may meet with resistance. While you're at it, you should also try to convince them that they're pronouncing "geoduck" and "Puyallup" wrong. Also, "Seattle" should really be called "Sealth".
Actually, Chief 'Seattle's' Lushootseed name was Seeatch.
http://chiefseattle.com/history/...ttle/chief.htm
and the native american name for Seattle was "Little crossing over place".
https://washington.edu/uwpress/s...ks/THRNAC.html
#38
Old 06-08-2010, 03:25 PM
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I;ve seen JoJo used here in New England occasionally, mostly potato wedges or steak fries. All the same though. I like real french fries (as opposed to the engineered versions), but the big chunks of potato, spiced or not, are very good too. And if you don't have a deep fryer, baked versions turn out well also.
#39
Old 06-08-2010, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
Grocery stores around San Francisco sell jojo potatos along with their deli fried chicken. They're not just plain wedges - they're battered and fried and spiced.
I just back to the Bay Area from several years in Seattle and Portland, where JoJo's are ubiquitous and quite tasty. I asked the deli-worker in SF for some of their JoJo's and she looked at me and said, "Not from around here, are-ya".
Cracked me up.
#40
Old 06-08-2010, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Shakey's calls them Mojo potatoes.
[Letterman]Mojo, Jojo, Mojo, Jojo[/letterman]
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