The outdoors calls! If you’re not already making the most of the sunny days that turn into breezy cool evenings, it’s time to get out your grill.
Our five top-selling sauces are all made by local producers, and this month we are sampling one each weekend. If you’ve always wondered which you’d like best, now is your chance. Stop by during the tasting times and try them.
Capsicana Gourmet Zing Sauce is a tantalizing combination of vine-ripened peppers, mineral-rich raisins, garlic, spices, and more. Its inventors, Cheng and Weng Ng, grew up in Malaya, Malaysia, where spicy peppers graced many dishes. When they came to America, they missed the flavors of home and invented Capsicana Zing, which became a favorite among their friends. Zing's tangy, rich taste goes well on almost anything: use it as a glaze or marinade, add it to stir fry, sprinkle it into simmering dishes, serve it as a zesty sauce for dipping, or use it as a salad dressing. Give ordinary dishes a fresh new taste!
Cackalacky Spice Sauce (sampled this weekend!) is a Chapel Hill native, invented in 2001 in the kitchen of H. Page Skelton, Sr. and made with southern sweet potatoes. At first, Page shared his Cackalacky sauce with friends and family, but as requests arrived he began bottling for retail. Cackalacky Spice Sauce has won awards and is now in stores across the United States.
Outta the Park BBQ sauce (sampled next weekend, 6/22 – 6/24) comes from the kitchen of Scott and Beth Granai of Cary, NC. They formed their family business in 2009, wanting to share their sauce, a healthier, all-natural version of the sweet and tangy sauce that America loves. The Original recipe has a rich, organic ketchup-tomato base with a zesty blend of fresh jalapenos, ginger, and spices. It starts out sweet, moves to tangy, and ends with a pleasant kick. The Hot & Spicy BBQ Sauce brings the heat to our award-winning Original recipe with a bold blend of hot chili peppers. Both sauces contain brown cane sugar and unsulphured black strap molasses to add the right amount of sweetness, and apple cidar vinegar to balance out the flavors with a pleasant hint of tangy goodness. With our Original sauce we add just a bit of real butter to give our sauce a rich texture that makes it great for grilling. With our Hot & Spicy we use expeller pressed safflower oil instead of butter for that added touch of rich, thick texture.
Bone Suckin’ Sauce (sampled 6/29 - 7/1) originated in a kitchen in Raleigh, NC when Phil Ford, a real estate appraiser, tried to copy his mother's recipe for a western North Carolina-style barbecue sauce. It is an all-natural blend of tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, honey, molasses, mustard, horseradish, lemon juice, onions, garlic, peppers, natural hickory smoke, natural spices, and salt. Thankfully, Phil’s brother and sister-in-law pushed him to market the sauce. They owned Ford's Fancy Fruits & Gourmet Foods in Raleigh and had experience in the gourmet food business. Bone Suckin’ Sauce went on sale in 1992 and rose to fame when it won “the NC Battle of the Sauces” in the March 1994. Ford’s Gourmet Foods brought it to a trade show in New York, where it caught the notice of everyone from buyers from Walt Disney World and Harvey Nichols in London to a writer from The New York Times who mentioned it on the first page of the food section. Today, Bone Suckin’ Sauce is available in over 56 countries.
Old Mule BBQ Marinade began as homemade Christmas gifts during the 1980’s. Family and friends prodded its creators, Cheryl & Steve, to start a business. Six years later they got it started. The name “Old Mule” came from an appreciation for the working mules of the past, who’d helped their parents and grandparents farm. They decided to package Old Mule Sauce in a style reminiscent of the old time general store.
Cheryl and Steve continue to cook and package Old Mule themselves, on the family farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. They slow-cook to thicken the sauce, instead of adding thickeners like xanthan gum. They aren’t trying to set a “new North American record for sales growth,” just to provide customers with a unique, high-quality sauce that adds something special to their gatherings and meals with friends and family.