In 1967, Irene Hart was at a family potluck in Fort Greene Park when she tasted the dip that would change her life forever. That’s because Hart would spend the next 50 years trying to guess what exactly gave it that little kick which turned a good dip…into a great dip.
Her incredible journey began when she put some of the dip on a cracker and then asked, “Oh my gosh, what’s in this?” out loud to no one in particular. The answer, she noted, was right on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t quite place what it was.
“My first guess was garlic,” she said. “But then I was like no that seems too simple. It’s gotta be something else. So I just kept on guessing. I guessed cumin, then onion, then I thought maybe a little bit of cayenne?”
Unsatisfied with her answers, Hart resumed her guessing and didn’t stop for 50 years, refusing to leave Fort Greene Park until she got an answer.
“Irene Hart is a hero,” said Diane Thomson, an art historian who is overseeing the park’s installation of Hart’s memorial statue. “She inspired a generation to never give up on finding answers to life’s most important questions.”
“I don’t know if I’d call it ‘inspirational,’” said Irene’s sister Margaret Hart, “Irene had such a big bright future ahead of her, but instead she spent 50 years standing in a park trying to figure out what was in a spinach artichoke dip? Honestly it was just a lot of garlic.”
Hart eventually uncovered the mystery flavor after bringing on a team of experts, Using the latest technology, scientists analyzed evidence recovered from the site of the potluck. Forensic scientist Dr. Rebecca Chapman was the lead researcher of the team that discovered the long-awaited answer.
“It was garlic,” said Chapman. “It’s in pretty much every dip.”
“Yeah I could have told her that,” said Margaret. “I made the dip.”
Hart is just grateful to finally know the secret ingredient in that dip, and is ready to throw herself into a new endeavor.
“I’m just glad this era of my life is behind me and I can finally move on,” said Hart. “Wow what’s that smell? Wait don’t tell me. Let me guess.”
Keep guessing, Irene! And good luck, girl!