SuckleBusters Spicy Peach

I've been a big fan of SuckleBusters' products since I sampled their first sauce more than a year ago. I've reviewed 7 SuckleBusters' products thus far. Each product (BBQ Sauce, Dry Rub and Hot Sauce) has received a four star rating or better. That ought to give you an idea of just how much I've enjoyed this Texas made line.

While I blew through most of the SuckleBusters' line last fall, I was careful to save one sauce for a rainy day. I knew there would come a time when I craved one of their sweet, tangy sauces so I held a bottle of their Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce in reserve.

Shortly after moving to Michigan, I decided it was time to break the seal on Spicy Peach. Like all the SuckleBusters' sauces, Spicy Peach is a thin, vinegar based sauce. It's packaged in 12 oz. glass bottles. The sauce is burnt orange / brown in the bottle and pours very quickly.

Sticking with their motto "No Bad Stuff," Spicy Peach is a relatively simply blend of all natural ingredients. The vinegar base is sweetened and thickened with brown and white sugar as well as real peaches. The sweetness is balanced with natural hickory smoked and finely ground spices.

Straight from the bottle, Spicy Peach is both sweet and tangy. The fruity sweetness is like a peach syrup while the vinegar packs a strong finishing punch. Despite being called "Spicy Peach," there really isn't even a small degree of heat. In fact, I was able to serve the sauce to my one year old for dipping her chicken. After being heated, the vinegar is subdued. The sugars get much more deep and rich.

I used Spicy Peach as a glaze for babyback ribs and as a dip for smoked pulled chicken. As a glaze, the sauce was very good. The peach sweetness complimented the smoked pork well. It also leaves a beautiful glossy shine on the bones without darkening the meat's color too much. I thought Spicy peach was equally good poured over the pulled chicken. I recommend warming the sauce before serving. The heat allows the flavors to melt together for a more harmonious profile.

Spicy Peach joins the list of SuckleBusters' sauces that I highly recommend. It's equally good with pork or chicken and can be used as a glaze or dip. It will be a hit with anyone that loves sweet sauces. Check out SuckleBusters' website if you haven't already. You can't go wrong with any of their products. You can also see my reviews of other SuckleBusters' products on my "Product Reviews" page.

Pirate Jonny's BBQ Curry

Were one to map out the world of food, curry and BBQ would probably be located on separate continents. While various curries are popular all over the world  (India and Asia), the Caribbean, in particular, has a rich history with these spice blends. That's where Pirate Jonny's comes in. Pirate Jonny's specializes in fusing Caribbean cuisine with traditional American BBQ.

Pirate Jonny's BBQ Curry adds curry to a traditional blend of BBQ spices for a one of a kind mixture. According to Pirate Jonny's the blend can be used for a wide range of applications. Thankfully, they provided several recipes with my sample. Otherwise, I'm not sure I would have known what to do with it. Before sampling Pirate Jonny's BBQ Curry, I'd had zero experience cooking with curry. My lone experience consuming curry came at a cheap (disgusting) Indian buffet that won't soon be forgotten.

BBQ Curry is available in 1.5 oz pouches and 10 oz. pirate flasks as well as large and small plastic shakers. It looks like a standard, finely ground BBQ rub. The chili powder really dominates the aroma. There is also a noticeable ethnic scent that I have to attribute to the curry. Unlike many Caribbean (and Indian) curries, Pirate Jonny's BBQ Curry is not spicy. Though there are ground chilies in the blend that are bold in flavor, they are very mild in regard to heat.

I used Pirate Jonny's BBQ Curry on multiple occasions. First, using a recipe sent with my sample, I made roasted BBQ Curry shrimp. With Pirate Jonny's Caribbean influence, seafood seemed like a natural choice. The recipe was very easy. It essentially involved coating fresh shrimp in olive oil and BBQ Curry and roasting them in the oven for just a few minutes. I wish I had a picture of those beautiful prawns. The oil and rub gave them a fantastic color. The earthy spices in the chili complimented the naturally sweet shrimp. The recipe got two "thumbs up" from my wife as well.

Rather than only using recipes provided by Pirate Jonny's, I decided to use a bit of the curry for tacos. I often make BBQ tacos and thought the earthy flavors of the curry may work well. I don't like to use packaged taco seasoning so I'm always looking for unique spice blends to give my taco meat (beef or chicken) some flavor. This time I used a couple teaspoons on ground beef tacos. I think the spices were bit too mild for the ground beef. However, I could see it working well with grilled chicken tacos.

I'm thankful that Pirate Jonny's chose to send a sample of BBQ Curry. It's a flavor that I otherwise would have overlooked. It's broadened my horizons a bit and helped my move past my poor experience at "The restaurant of which we do not speak."

After testing the product, I can safely recommend it for seafood and chicken. Stir frys would be an excellent application for this blend. I thought it was excellent change of pace from my standard shrimp recipe. To learn more about Pirate Jonny's be sure to check out their website. They've got several more Caribbean inspired spice blends to choose from.

The Berry Patch Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce

The Berry Patch at the Market (Colfax, NC) has been a staple of the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market for several years. They are a family owned retail operation that sells homemade baked goods, packaged dry goods and large selection of small batch North Carolina sauces and condiments. I've had my eye on their sauces ever since our first trip to the market seven years ago. Before moving back to Michigan, I made a dash to The Berry Patch's retail location and picked up a few of their sauces.

On a recommendation from the young lady working the cash register, I picked up an 18 oz. mason jar of Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce. She said it was her favorite of all The Berry Patch sauces. As an apple butter lover, I was intrigued by the sauce's ingredients. The thick sauce has a beautiful, brown / mahogany color. Because the most prevelant ingredient is apples, its texture is somewhat like an apple sauce or apple butter.

The aroma out of the jar is incredible. The  apple scent is clear. It's also accented by spices reminicent of apple pie. Additionally there is a smokey element to the sauce. One other ingredient that clearly stands out is the horseradish.

I used the sauce this weekend for some baby back ribs that I smoked with my father. I was testing out a new technique for creating "Applebacks". As you probably gathered from the name, apple flavor is at the center of this technique. The Berry Patch's Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce was perfect for my purpose.

I was blown away with the sauce's flavor. It was far more complex than I had expected. It was sweet, smokey and tangy. The flavors complemented each other so nicely. The combination of fruit and spices reminded me a bit of Nephew's Ghostly Pumpkin. The sweet apples are the first thing that you notice, but the flavors continue to build. Tangy vinegar balanced the sauce well. What really took the sauce to a whole new level was the horseradish. It added a unique depth to the flavor and a bit of spice that was unexpectedly phenomenal.

 I really can't say enough good things about this sauce. The ingredients are all natural and the flavors are an excellent complement to smokey pork. Because it's so thick, I recommend this sauce as a finisher for pork ribs. It doesn't give quite the smooth, high gloss shine that competitors tend to look for, but the color is nice and the flavor is outstanding. I wish I would have bought more than one jar.

The Berry Patch doesn't currently have an online presence. If you want your own Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce, you'll have to travel to the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market to purchase a jar. Before you plan your road trip to North Carolina, check out this sauce rates on our "Product Reviews" page.

Fat Smack's BBQ Sauce

It's always exciting when a new BBQ sauce hits the market. The promise of something fresh and inventive is alluring. Fat Smack's Real BBQ Sauce (Bellville, IL) is one of the newest kids on the block and looking to make waves with Midwestern BBQ lovers.

Fat Smack's is owned by Jim Grindstaff and family. The sauce is the result of years of experiments. Jim endeavored to create a "more natural and healthier alternative to the ordinary, sticky, and artificially flavored sauces that we have become accustomed to."

Fat Smack's is packaged in 18 oz plastic bottles. The sauce is very thick with a slightly grainy texture. It pours very slowly like ketchup from a long neck glass bottle.

Tomato Puree is the foundation for Fat Smack's, giving the sauce a rich mahogany color. The tomato is accented by vinegar, natural sweeteners (no HFCS), spices and natural hickory smoke flavor. The result is a sauce with a bold, earthy flavor and very little sweetness. Though sugar and molasses are included for balance, vinegar tang and a strong black pepper finish are the dominant flavors.

Fat Smack's reminds me a great deal of the Texas born sauces that I have sampled. The savory, earthy flavors combine with the vinegar tang to create a flavor profile very different from the typical ultra sweet sauces of the Midwest. In that sense, Jim succeeded in doing just as he'd planned.

I used Fat Smack's BBQ Sauce on a couple of different occasions. I first used it as a dip for breaded chicken strips. I enjoyed the bold flavor straight out of the bottle. At room temperature, the sauce finished with a strong peppery kick. Later, I brushed the thick sauce on smoked chicken quarters that I served to my family. The sauce clung tightly to the poultry and produced a beautiful color. The sauce doesn't have a high gloss finish that competition cooks look for, but the chicken still looked appetizing enough for the back yard.

Fat Smack's was very well received by everyone in my family that tasted it (all Michiganders). The pepper and vinegar flavors were mellowed by the heat allowing for a very balanced flavor profile. It was an excellent choice for the crowd I was cooking for, as they too, have grown tired of ultra sweet sauces. For my tastes, I think I prefer something just a little sweeter, but I wouldn't hesitate to use it again. In fact, I've already had requests for more Fat Smack's this weekend.

If you're looking for a new sauce to add to your BBQ arsenal, check out Fat Smack's. If you're close to Bellville, IL, you can purchase the sauce at several local retailers. For the rest of you, bottles of Fat Smack's can be purchased directly from their website.  Don't forget to see how Fat Smack's rates on our "Product Reviews" page.

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