When we heard that Burger King was running
out of Zesty Onion sauce, a creamy, spicy
dip that goes with their onion rings – or
really anything you want to add a little spice
to – we knew something was really wrong.
We were even more shocked when we heard that
Burger King might not have Zesty sauce in
stock again until next April.
So what’s the deal?
Why are they running out, and why will it
take so long for Zesty sauce to come back?
The real problem with Burger King’s Zesty
sauce is that it contains horseradish, a root
with a spicy flavor that gives the sauce its
Normally, sourcing horseradish to make the
sauce isn’t an issue, but this year, things
Though horseradish farmers say they planted
more horseradish than ever this year, bad
weather in the Midwest hurt crops.
Silver Spring Foods, the largest supplier
of horseradish in the world, said that a combination
of snowmelt in the spring, a wet fall, and
an early frost contributed to making for a
crop that was impossible to harvest.
Apparently, they’re not alone.
They say that horseradish farms in the U.S.,
Canada, and Europe have also been negatively
Unfortunately, this might not be the last
horseradish shortage we live through.
The bigwigs at Silver Springs worry that the
weather patterns that caused the shortage
are just a harbinger of things to come.
Silver Spring’s president, Eric Rygg, told
the Journal Sentinel:
“We think these are new weather patterns that
will not go away.
We’re looking at speed as a way to mitigate
When the weather is good we need to harvest
Burger King says that they’re expecting to
run out of Zesty sauce completely in the new
year, and the next horseradish harvest isn’t
until April 2020, so it might be a long time
before onion ring enthusiasts can get back
the Zesty dip they so love.
Arby’s makes a similarly zesty condiment called
Horsey Sauce that contains horseradish, but
they’re not making predictions as dire as
Maybe the next time you’re craving BK onion
rings, you can swing by Arby’s afterward for
an order of Horsey Sauce for dipping.
Long John Silver’s, the fast food seafood
chain, hasn’t commented on the shortage yet,
but their cocktail sauce lists horseradish
as the third ingredient.
If there really is a country-wide shortage
of the pungent root, they might be in trouble
Burger King also isn’t the only restaurant
that uses a spicy horseradish sauce as an
essential accompaniment for the decadence
of fried onions.
At Outback Steakhouse, their legendary Bloomin’
Onion is served with a creamy, spicy dip made
If the horseradish shortage is as bad as it
seems, they may have to come up with an alternative.
It seems like our favorite sauces are in trouble,
so it made us wonder are there any horseradish
substitutes that could be used to create dips
with that same zingy, spicy flavor?
Luckily, yes, though some substitutes might
be harder to get ahold of than others.
The best horseradish substitute is wasabi.
Horseradish is often used as a wasabi substitute,
but that’s because wasabi is usually harder
to get ahold of than horseradish.
That might change, though, thanks to the current
shortage of horseradish.
An easier to source substitute, though one
that’s less similar in flavor, is mustard.
Look for spicy mustards with a short ingredients
This will add a hot, zippy flavor to dips
and sauces that is similar to the zing of
Another possible substitute is ginger.
Now, ginger is a little sweeter tasting than
horseradish, but it does have a similarly
pungent flavor when eaten raw.
For best results, use raw grated ginger in
place of grated horseradish.
If the horseradish shortage continues, who
We might see some sauce innovations from our
favorite fast food chains using these horseradish
Check out one of our newest videos right here!
Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
foods are coming soon.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.