The Alfredo sauce was everywhere.
The Alfredo sauce was in the northbound lanes. The Alfredo sauce seeped into the southbound lanes.
Mile 11 of Interstate 55, in Memphis, was sauced up. Concerned local newscasters, summoning all of their training, dispatched their reports on Tuesday after a tractor-trailer carrying jars of Alfredo sauce struck a median shortly before 5 p.m.
“Danielle, I understand it’s quite a mess there on the highway because the Alfredo sauce is everywhere,” said Richard Ransom, an anchor for ABC24.
Danielle Moss, the network’s chief pasta sauce correspondent, delivered the difficult news.
“The Alfredo sauce is everywhere,” Ms. Moss confirmed.
Their fierce competitor on the Alfredo mishap beat, Kate Bieri of Fox 13, arrived on scene, earning the scoop that the road smelled like Alfredo sauce.
“You can smell it!” she reported on Twitter.
Invented in the early 1900s by the chef Alfredo di Lelio and still featured at his namesake restaurant in Rome, the sauce is made with heavy cream, butter and Parmesan, among other ingredients, and often drizzled over fettuccine, chicken or vegetables.
In an interview Wednesday morning, Ms. Bieri said it did, indeed, smell great — “like we were at an Olive Garden” — when she and Sam Hudson, a Fox 13 photographer, first arrived at about 5:40 p.m. She loves Alfredo sauce, she said.
The white sauce on the road did not continue to smell great as the TV people waited along the highway to go live at 10:30 p.m. It took about an hour before it smelled “really bad,” she said.
“Unfortunately, this is Memphis, and we had some pretty intense sun beating down on that Alfredo sauce, and also humidity,” she said. “It was just not a great recipe for a highway full of Alfredo sauce.”
She clarified that the overturned truck was not a tanker full of Alfredo sauce, as some with active imaginations assumed on Twitter. It contained hundreds, if not thousands, of jars full of Alfredo sauce, all broken and spilled on the road, she said.
The cleanup was left largely to one person in an excavator scooping up the sauce and throwing it into a dumpster, Ms. Bieri said. The responding crew members were “all wearing boots, like they were walking through snow but it was Alfredo sauce.”
The highway was mostly clear by 9 p.m. The driver of the tractor-trailer was brought to the hospital with minor injuries, the police told local reporters.
The spill came a day after more than 150,000 tomatoes were spilled on an interstate in Vacaville, Calif., creating a slimy, slippery mess. And there is a storied history of other delicious things being spilled onto highways, as chronicled by the aptly named truckspills.com.
You could have yourself a very nice evening just with ingredients shoveled off the ground. On the menu would be turkey or chicken, seasoned with onions and garlic, sides of mac and cheese and brussels sprouts, chocolate for dessert. Wash it down with some Bud Light or wine (or milk if underage).