Remember back in 2017 when it briefly looked like gallon-sized jugs of Papa John’s garlic sauce would soon be available for purchase? Many were heartbroken when it turned out to be an April Fool’s joke — but hey, guess what? It is a joke no longer. Starting on May 11, 2018 for a limited time, you can actually buy huge jugs of Papa John’s garlic sauce. That’s right: A sizeable supply of the stuff can be yours for the low, low price of $20, allowing you to smother everything you eat for the foreseeable future in it, if that’s what your little heart desires. Just, y’know, be prepared to sweat garlic out of your pores for a while (to which I’m sure many of you will say: “WORTH IT”).
Even now, a full year after the 2017 April Fool’s prank, a number of Google autocompletes for “Papa John’s garlic sauce” still center around the question of whether or not you can actually purchase it: There’s “Papa John’s garlic sauce for sale,” the even more straightforward “Papa John’s garlic sauce buy,” and — my personal favorite — the query “Papa John’s garlic sauce bulk,” which I take to be the SEO-friendly version of the question, “Can I buy Papa John’s garlic sauce in bulk?”
Anyone who’s ever asked that last question — including those whose hopes were crushed by that cruel, cruel prank — will undoubtedly be pleased by today’s news. The “XL jugs” of garlic sauce now available for purchase from Papa John’s each contain a full gallon of the stuff. For the curious, the little tubs you can get on the side whenever you order an actual pizza from the chain contain about an ounce of garlic sauce — which means that the jugs hold the equivalent of 128 sauce tubs (assuming we’re dealing with a U.S. gallon, not an imperial gallon).
That’s… a lot of sauce. But, I mean, not for nothing is it a cult favorite, so… have at, garlic lovers. You'll be able to buy it at papajohns.fooji.com starting on Friday; it'll cost you $20 per jug.
Papa John’s wasn’t widely available where I grew up; my teeny tiny hometown wasn’t big on chains in general, so we mostly relied on local and mom-and-pop joints for our pizza. (Not that I’m complaining, mind you — those places were delicious.) As such, I actually wasn’t aware that Papa John’s garlic sauce was even a thing, let alone had such an enthusiastic following, until I was well into adulthood.
Despite my own lack of knowledge about it, though, dipping sauce has long been offered by American pizza chains — although not always as an actual pizza condiment. According to Aditi Shrikant’s detailed history of pizza restaurant dipping sauces, which Eater published in 2017, Pizza Hut kicked off the trend; the original dine-in restaurant in Wichita, Kansas (which, by the way, is now a Pizza Hut museum) began offering warm marinara sauce as an accompaniment for its breadsticks and garlic bread right when the place first opened in 1958. Little Caesars, originally founded in 1959, continued the trend in the ‘80s with its “Crazy Bread” and dipping sauce side — but, writes Shrikant, Papa John’s is generally credited for succeeding in marketing dipping sauce as essential for pizza, rather than breadsticks. The garlic sauce specifically has been served alongside literally every single Papa John’s pizza that has ever been sold dating back to the company’s founding in 1984.
No wonder it’s got a cult following; folks have been in love with the stuff for almost 35 years. That’s quite the relationship.
And, hey, if you, too, are a garlic sauce devotee, the gallon jars of the stuff isn’t all the Papa John’s is selling right now. There’s also other garlic sauce merch, including T-shirts featuring hilariously pop art-esque representations of the beloved condiment. You can grab it all—sauce, T-shirts, the works — at papajohns.foojicom beginning May 11. Bon appetit!