Monday, July 4, 2016

Food Product Review: Brownwood Farms Cherry BBQ Sauce

There's a lot of components that make up a good BBQ but the sauce is a deal breaker

There's of course the meat which is the foundation for all of it. Then there's the rub. We use a handmade version with all kinds of goodness but I have learned to use it sparingly (Ha! with ribs that would be a pun!). Of course there is the method of cooking (coals, every time, vs. gas), and then slight variations with what kinds of wood to include.

I do think that without the perfect BBQ sauce this could all be for naught. Over the years, we have tried so many of them. Think traditional store ones such as Open Pit (which we still use for chicken drumsticks) and Baby Ray's, as well as exotic ones such as Cherry Chipolte, Memphis sauce, and variations of brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, and tomato mixtures. We have even make homemade ones of the years with different ratios of all of the important goodness, with additions such bourbon, liquid smoke, and celery seed.

Yes, there is merit in making good BBQ sauce but I still sample all the different ones at grocery stores and specialty stores, as well as restaurants. Most of the time, I'm not a fan. They are either too sweet or too tangy. It has to be the perfect balance. I do prefer, from all my tasting, more of a Hoisin or Tomato base, light on any vinegar.

Well a few weeks ago, I tried a new version of BBQ sauce strictly because of it's appealing label and I have my new winner. I really like Brownwood Cherry BBQ Sauce on our amazing baby back ribs. Yes, it's store bought and you might be asking what sets this one apart? There are generous chunks of cherries in here. The sauce is definitely sweet but it's balanced and there's a nice amount of spice, that is not overpowering (making it extra important to go light on the rub).

In our travels to find more of this product, we have also come across other products in their line, including cherry preserves and the Yankee Bourbon sauce. I haven't tried the Yankee on food yet but I did taste it (because I'm not putting anything on a slab of ribs without tasting it first) and my first impression is that there are a lot of similar undertones to this sauce compared with the cherry but without the fruit. It has some bourbon (okay a lot of bourbon) and some anchovies which could make for a good Asian dish. I know, weird talking about Yankee flavored Asian dishes.

Back to those labels. . . If you look really closely the Cherry  has a little piece of fruit in the Eagle's belly that is replaced with a bourbon cask on the Yankee one.

Try this. It's good.

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