Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mama T's Seafood Seasoned Salt

Mama T's Seafood Seasoned Salt is a tasty combination of herbs and spices specifically blended to enhance the flavor of fish and seafood, whether sprinkled on steamed, broiled or grilled seafood or mixed into breading for fried seafood. Made by hand in small batches on the outer banks of North Carolina, Mama T's Seafood Seasoned Salt features the savory flavors of paprika, onion, garlic, parsley and celery salt, and is a quick and easy way to liven up breadcrumbs and commercial breading mixes for any fried foods, not just fish. I like to sprinkle this seasoned salt on salads and steamed veggies, as well as on catfish, flounder, tilapia and other mild fish. It's also good stirred into drawn butter for shrimp and scallops, and you can add it to your deviled crab recipes or homemade fish cakes. But don't let the name limit your creativity: Mama T's Seafood Seasoned Salt also complements chicken, french fries and popcorn, and you can even toss it with pasta and a bit of olive oil for a change of pace -- in fact, use it anyplace you'd use plain table salt for added flavor. Mama T has been making good food for good people for decades, and this seafood seasoned salt is yet another winner from her kitchen.

Zestfully yours,

Mama T's Olive Oil Vinaigrette

Mama T's Olive Oil Vinaigrette reminds me of the homemade vinaigrette dressing my mom used to make for our tossed salads, which was so good that when Mom wasn't looking I'd use bread to mop up any dressing left on my plate. I've always loved a good vinaigrette, and Mama T's hand-made olive oil vinaigrette fits the bill. Extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar are blended with select herbs and spices to create an all-natural vinaigrette that delivers gourmet flavor without overpowering tender young greens. But Mama T's Olive Oil Vinaigrette is more than just a salad dressing or dip for crusty bread: I like to use it as a marinade for vegetables, chicken, and fish. It's also the PERFECT oil & vinegar blend to splash onto hoagie or sub rolls for authentic deli sandwiches at home. Mama T's Olive Oil Vinaigrette is zesty (as in, full of palate-pleasing flavor) without being spicy, which makes it an ideal all-purpose salad dressing and marinade for the whole family. The handy squeeze bottle with tapered tip also makes it easy to control how much dressing you apply to your salad, in case you're counting calories or fat grams. Mama T's vinaigrette is lovingly made in small batches on the Outer Banks of North Carolina by Mama T herself and her daughter, so you'll be supporting a small family business in addition to eating well when you order this delicious salad dressing and marinade.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mama T's Hot Pepper Relish

I discovered Mama T's Hot Pepper Relish a year ago during a long weekend trip to our favorite campground about an hour and a half outside the NC coast. While driving out from there to Manteo to eat at The Weeping Radish German Restaurant & Brewery (paradise on earth if you love German food and hearty German beer brewed according to the traditional Purity Laws), we stopped at Mackey's Ferry Peanuts & Gift Shop in Jamesville on Hwy 64E. This gift store sells Greg's Happy Sauce, as well as a variety of other NC products. They were sampling Mama T's Hot Pepper Relish that day, and I spooned some on a cracker... and experienced fiery pickled pepper bliss!! Mama T's Hot Pepper Relish is the real deal, just like I used to have on Italian deli subs back in New York City, made with a variety of chile peppers cut into chunks and preserved in a savory vinegar base with no added sweeteners. I bought a couple of jars to take home, and devoured them in no time, on sandwiches, burgers and omelets, as an accompaniment to grilled sausages and other hearty BBQ fare, and combined with cream cheese for a zesty dip.

This spring, I got to meet Mama T and her daughter Shirley in person. These charming ladies have been making good food for good people for decades, and I was thrilled to be able to offer their delicious creations through the Carolina Sauce Company online store. Mama T Foods is based in Kill Devil Hills, NC (on the outer banks), and Mama T and Shirley make all their products themselves in small batches using only the finest ingredients. Like the rest of their product line, Mama T's Hot Pepper Relish is quite versatile and works as a zesty table condiment, or as a recipe ingredient in stews, soups, casseroles, meatloaf and more. If you're looking for an old-fashioned spicy and savory hot pepper relish, then this is the one for you. And make sure to visit my blog again soon (or sign up for the free RSS feed), because over the next few days I'll be introducing the rest of Mama T's flavor-packed products!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Peppery Grilled Onions

I learned how to grill whole onions this way from the manual & cookbook that came with Greg's Weber gas grill, but instead of using plain salt and pepper, I like the gourmet "steakhouse" flavor I get from the Knox's Cracked Pepper Dry Rub. You can also try other peppery seasoning blends and dry rubs. Sweet onions are ideal in this recipe, especially if you can find smaller (medium-size) ones, but regular white onions will work too. I usually plan on 1 onion per person.

Medium sweet or white onions
Knox's Cracked Pepper Dry Rub
Butter or margarine
Sliced bacon - one slice per onion

Peel the onions, and remove a thin slice from the bottom and the top of each onion. Using a sharp knife, make 4 cuts from top to bottom of each onion about halfway through, and sprinkle with the Knox's Cracked Pepper Dry Rub (or the seasoning of your choice - you can even use plain salt & pepper for a simpler flavor). Place a pat of butter or margarine in the center of each onion. Cut each bacon slice in half and then crisscross two half-slices across the top of each onion. Wrap each onion in heavy foil and place on your preheated grill. Grill over medium heat for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the onions are soft and the bacon is cooked. If you like, you can slightly brown/caramelize the bottoms of the onions by carefully unwrapping the cooked onions and placing directly on the cooking grate for a few more minutes until golden-brown. To serve, place the cooked bacon half-slices in a cross pattern on a plate, place each onion on top of a bacon cross and gently pull or unfold each onion to look like a flower.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pepper Dog Brisket with Smoky Baked Beans

Greg came up with this mouthwatering recipe on Sunday when we had some folks over for BBQ, brisket, beans, and other tasty cookout fare. You should start this recipe early in the morning because you can't rush proper smoking. The sizes/quantities are determined by how many people you plan on feeding (and your heat preference with respect to the jalapenos)

1 beef brisket
Pepper Dog Dry Rub
1 Quart (or whatever the equivalent large can size is) Bush's Baked Beans
Pickled jalapeno pepper slices, to taste (we used a big handful of peppers from the jar, and it didn't turn out too hot at all)
1/2 onion, finely diced (we used a sweet onion)

Rub the entire brisket well with Pepper Dog Dry Rub. Smoke for about 7 hours -- or until the brisket passes the "tong test" -- over coals with soaked hickory chips (we also had some black cherry wood smoking dust that Greg added to the hickory chips). The smoker should stay around 250 to 300 degrees. Tong Test: You'll know when the brisket is done when you pick it up on one side with tongs and the meat starts to break away.

About 2 hours before you think the brisket will be done (when it starts getting tender but not yet pulling apart), pour the beans, onion and jalapenos into a shallow aluminum pan and stir to combine. Place the pan in the smoker on the first rack underneath the brisket, and let the drippings with the Pepper Dog Rub run onto the beans. Most of the fat will already have been rendered out at that point, but you’ll get some wonderful goodness coming in. Remove the brisket and the pan of beans when the brisket passes the tong test described above. Slice the brisket and serve with a side of beans (and some bread to mop up the juices).

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

BBQ Sauce Sale: Time is Running Out!

To celebrate National BBQ Month, the Carolina Sauce Company is running a special BBQ Sauce Sale, with discount on select barbecue sauces, grilling sauces, dry rubs and marinades. If you need to re-stock your pantry after your Memorial Day cookout, or if you're looking to try some delicious new barbeque sauces or seasonings, now is the time to take advantage of these great savings. If you already placed an order earlier this month with the coupon codes, you can re-use the same codes on a new order and keep on saving. Heck, you can even email the sale link or coupon codes to a friend so that they can cash in on the savings. With Father's Day only a few weeks away, you can take advantage of this sale and send Dad a special selection of tasty new BBQ sauces and dry rubs. And if you haven't yet taken advantage of the special sale, don't delay: This sale ends on May 31st, which means only 4 shopping days are left!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Thoughts

On this Memorial Day, while many of us are enjoying BBQ and grilling with family and friends, let's not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day, a day to remember and honor those brave men and women throughout our history who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Set aside some time to reflect on the many sacrifices that our servicemen and women have made throughout history -- and continue to make today -- to keep us safe and free back home. Say a prayer if you're so inclined, or simply send thoughts of gratitude and respect for their courage and willingness to lay down their lives for us in the line of duty. If you know a veteran, take a moment today to say "Thank you for your service." If you know someone serving abroad, let them know you're thinking of them. Go ahead and enjoy the festivities today, but don't lose sight of the purpose of this national holiday.

Zestfully yours,
Operation Sauce Drop

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"What Stores Carry Your Products?"

Here at the Carolina Sauce Company, we often get emails or calls from people who want to know what stores near them sell our products. They've assumed that Carolina Sauce Company makes all the products available on our website. They don't realize that we're merely an internet retailer. So to set the record straight: Carolina Sauce Company is simply an online source for BBQ Sauces, Hot Sauce, and other zesty products. Other than Greg's Happy Sauce, we don't make any of the products we sell. We have no information on what stores might carry the products we sell, because that's up to the individual manufacturers. Carolina Sauce Company is not a distributor or broker - in other words, we have nothing to do with which stores might sell the same products that are available on our website. As a result, it's impossible for us to know where else you can buy the products we carry online. Of course, we're happy to ship to you, and shipping does get relatively cheaper per item the more you order at once (in other words, it's more economical if you order 6 or 7 (or more) items at one time than if you ordered just 1 or 2 bottles).

I hope this helps clarify any confusion -- and that you'll shop with us on our website!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hottest Hot Sauces: Satan's Blood

First, a disclaimer: Satan's Blood is technically not a hot sauce. Technically, this ultra-hot concoction is properly classified as a food additive. Why? Because it is NOT intended to be used directly on ready-to-eat food but rather only as an ingredient added to recipes during the cooking or preparation process. Yes, Satan's Blood is that hot - in fact, it's #2 on the list of hottest hot sauces sold by the Carolina Sauce Company, measuring in at 800,000 Scoville units. In contrast, military-grade pepper spray rates "only" a mere 500,000 Scoville units.

Satan's Blood contains only 2 ingredients: Pure Capsaicin extract (the stuff that gives chile peppers their fire), and red wine vinegar. I'm guessing the latter is added primarily for the blood-red color it gives this product. And if you're looking for flavor with your fire, you won't get any here because Satan's Blood is PURELY about the heat - painfully, hellishly unforgiving and long-lasting heat. So what's the purpose of such an extreme ultra-hot? Two-fold: First, for the hot sauce collector or the person looking for a provocative conversation-starter to keep on their desk (or shelf or bookcase etc.), Satan's Blood is a must-have. It really does look like an old-fashioned vial of blood from the lab of a mad scientist. The second purpose may be less obvious: If you make your own hot sauces at home and are looking for capsaicin extract to add to your own recipe to bring it up to ultra-hot heat levels, then Satan's Blood is the sauce (or food additive) for you. I guess there's a third purpose, too: If you like making ridiculously hot chili or Buffalo wings or other such food, you can add Satan's Blood one micro-drop at a time to bring the heat level up as high as you'd like, WITHOUT altering the flavors of your recipe (remember, Satan's Blood adds only heat and has no flavoring ingredients).

So do I use Satan's Blood in my kitchen? Nope, and not because I'm a wimp, but rather because I make a living off my taste buds and can't risk burning them out. But I know veteran chileheads who do use Satan's Blood, albeit with the respect it warrants. And I also keep a bottle on display, because it looks really cool.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hellishly Hot Habanero Rub Baste

This recipe comes from the folks who make the "From Hell" line of habanero sauces and seasonings. I dare you to try it! A word of advice: Have some ice cream or cold milk handy for those who can't handle the heat. FYI, if you are on a low-sodium or low-salt diet, you're in luck: The dry rub used in this recipe contains no salt!

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 Tbs Habanero Rub From Hell
1 cup fresh chopped parsley, optional (if I don't have fresh parsley on hand, I use 1/4 cup dried parsley)

Using a fork, mash in the Habanero Rub From Hell and parsley into the butter or margarine, until well-blended. Slather over fish, poultry or meat, then grill or broil as desired, basting with more of the rub/butter mixture.

Zestfully yours,

PS: You can melt the butter for easier blending/basting, and even use it as a fiery butter sauce to dip broiled or steamed shrimp!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Secret to Moist Chicken on the Grill

If you're planning on grilling some chicken for a Memorial Day cookout, here are some "trade secrets" that virtually guarantee moist, juicy, flavor-packed chicken:

1. Brining: Nothing beats brining when it comes to producing juicy, succulent barbecued chicken. You'll need to make the brine and begin the brining process at least 24 hours prior to grilling the chicken. A basic brine is quite simple, requiring only salt, sugar and citrus mixed with water, in specific ratios. You can add other spices to add flavor. I've posted a couple of recipes for brines here along with basic instructions.

2. Freshness: The fresher and higher-quality the chicken, the tastier and juicier the results. Go ahead and splurge on fresh, never-frozen, chicken, and if you can find an all-natural, organically-raised bird, that's even better. Old-timers who grew up on a farm will often complain that today's supermarket chicken has no flavor, and they've got a point, as you'll find out when you taste a fresh, organic bird. But if frozen is your only option, a good brine and the other tips here will give you the next-best results.

3. Cooking temperature and time: Some people swear by low temperatures and long cooking times, but you have to be careful with chicken because it will dry out if cooked too long even at a low temperature. You're better off grilling at medium heat until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees, and then serve right away so the meat won't dry out. A good meat thermometer for the grill is an excellent investment.

4. Dry Rubs & Seasonings: Some folks like to use a dry rub before grilling their chicken, and that's fine so long as the salt or sodium content AND the sugar content aren't too high. Too much salt will draw the natural moisture out from the bird, so choose a dry rub or seasoning that doesn't list salt as the first ingredient. On the other hand, too much sugar can cause the skin or meat surface to burn, and charred chicken isn't tasty. That's also why we don't recommend saucing the chicken until the last few minutes of grilling, so that the sauce won't burn (assuming you're using a thicker, sweeter sauce like a tomato BBQ sauce).  Go light on the rubs or seasonings during grilling, but you can be more liberal with rubs if using a smoker.

5. Marinades and Oil: Many commercial marinades rely on vinegar as one of the main ingredients. While vinegar adds nice tang and can help deliver other flavors, it can also dry out "lighter" meats like chicken. The ideal chicken marinade will have a bit of oil to help seal in the natural juices in the bird, and also to keep any spices or sugars in the marinade from burning during grilling. A good choice would be Bone Suckin' Yaki, which is a savory-sweet teriyaki style marinade and grilling sauce with a splash of sesame oil and olive oil. If you use a vinegar-based marinade, consider adding some oil to the marinade when you use it for chicken.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Steak

If you're grilling steaks for Memorial Day, this recipe will bring sophisticated steakhouse flavor and seal in the juices, with little effort.

Steaks - you decide how many, and what cut
Non-stick oil spray - I use an all-natural oil spritz
Char Crust Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Dry Rub

Coat the steaks on all sides with the Char Crust Roasted Garlic Peppercorn seasoning (you can dredge in a plastic baggie, or rub by hand). Lightly spray or spritz the top and bottom of the steaks with non-stick oil (this will prevent the spices from burning). Make sure your grill is VERY HOT, in order to quickly sear the steaks. Once grill is ready, sear both sides of the steak to desired doneness, turning once. Ideally, use tongs to carefully turn the steaks without piercing, so as to keep the juices from escaping.

You can make this recipe indoors by broiling on the top rack of your oven, making sure you preheat the broiler to very hot.

Variations: You can substitute lamb steaks, or even salmon, for the beef steaks. And you can also try the same coating/searing method with the other flavors of Char Crust Dry Rubs & Seasonings.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 19, 2008

BBQ Sauce on Sale, & More

If you've been reading my blog, you already know that we're running a huge barbecue sauce and dry rub sale through the end of the month -- and if you missed the post, here is the link for the Carolina Sauce Newsletter that has the coupon codes and other info to save you money. But wait, there are MORE great savings during National BBQ Month, and you don't even need a coupon code to get the following barbeque sauces and other products on sale:

*All 4 flavors of Rumboggies BBQ Sauce from Florida, including 3 different mustard-based sauces and a thick, sweet hickory sauce;

*Greg's Happy Sauce, a gourmet marinade and all-purpose cooking sauce that's fabulous on the grill and in the kitchen;

*Bone Suckin' Salsa, in Mild and Hot, full of big chunks of tomatoes, peppers and onions, and made in NC by the same folks who make Bone Suckin' Sauce;

*Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce, an all-purpose hot sauce made in Jamaica and one of the most popular hot sauces of all time;

*Beautiful, hand-made Chile Soap Ristras featuring 5 fragrant and skin-soothing all-natural soaps on each ristra, in either Santa Fe Lime or Santa Fe Cinnamon scents -- decorative AND practical!

So shop with the Carolina Sauce Company and save some money this month while enjoying the zesty life.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wines for BBQ & Other Zesty Foods

Planning a Memorial Day cookout, and not sure what kinds of adult beverages other than beer to serve? Here are some recommendations for types of wines that work well with barbecue & grilled foods, hot & spicy dishes, and other zesty fare. No, I won't recommend specific brands of wine because there's such a huge range of prices and availability can vary so much across the country. Rather, the varieties and styles of wines will be provided so you can shop according to your budget and personal preferences.

*Wines for Barbecue: If you're serving traditional American BBQ, be it ribs (beef or pork) or pulled pork, the obvious choice is an American Zinfandel (the full-bodied red wine, not the sweet pink stuff called white zinfandel). Another good choice is Shiraz from Australia for its big fruit flavors that complement ribs and other smoky meats.

*Wines for Grilled Salmon: Pinot Noir - yes, a red with fish! Salmon is a full-flavored fish, and grilling adds even more robustness, which means it stands up well to a medium-bodied Pinot Noir. But you can also go with a citrusy Gewurztraminer so long as it's not too sweet, or a Chardonnay.

*Wines for Burgers: Again, I like to stick with a classic American wine like Zinfandel for classic American fare like hamburgers, but a fun and fruity Beaujolais will work, or even a Spanish Rioja, too.

*Wines for Grilled Chicken: A mellow Merlot or Chianti will pair nicely, and those wines are usually very "user friendly" (i.e., folks who only occasionally drink red wine will probably enjoy them). Another good choice is a big, buttery-oaky California Chardonnay, if you want to splurge.

*Wines for Hot & Spicy Foods: Generally, I think beer is more refreshing with really fiery dishes, but if you have non-beer drinkers who will be eating hot and spicy foods, then offer sparkling wines from Italy or Spain (I personally love Cava) that are a bit less dry than fine Champagne. Reislings also have a nice sweetness to offset the fire, and here in North Carolina there are some local Muscadine whites that aren't half-bad when served well-chilled with fiery foods.

*Wines for Grilled Vegetables: For whites, I like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio with grilled portobellos, zucchini, onions & peppers (or other grilled vegetables). For reds, you can't go wrong with Pinot Noir or a Chianti.

*Wines for Grilled Shrimp: My favorite wines with grilled shrimp are Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir, but a lighter Australian Chardonnay will also work well.

If you're serving several of the foods listed above for your Memorial Day Barbecue or cookout and want to stick with just 1 white wine and just 1 red wine, then you can satisfy a crowd by offering a Zinfandel or Merlot as your red, and an Australian or California Chardonnay for your white.

And of course, don't forget to offer some hot and mild salsas and relishes and a couple of different mustards as condiments, plus some flavorful snacks for your guests to enjoy while the food is cooking.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Armed Forces Day

Today is Armed Forces Day. How about sending a free gift box of hot sauce or barbecue sauce to a deployed serviceman or servicewoman, to show your appreciation for their sacrifices? All it takes is a donation $20 to send 1 gift box -- or you can donate whatever amount you can afford -- and Operation Sauce Drop will send free sauce to one or more of our troops serving abroad. You can even include a message with your donation, if you wish. The troops really appreciate it, as you can see from their thank-you notes and photos.

Show a soldier you're thinking of them: Send them a taste of home, and help make mealtime more enjoyable.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Regional BBQ Styles

Barbecue is a word with a range of meanings, interpretations and spellings (barbeque, bar-b-q, BBQ, bar-b-que), depending on where you are in the US (and quite possibly in the world - but this article is limited to the US). In fact, depending on where you are, the word barbecue (regardless of spelling) might be a noun, verb or adjective. Barbecue might mean pork and only pork, or it may include beef and chicken, or it might mean anything cooked outdoors on a grill. And don't even get me started on barbeque sauce..... Actually, why not?? Because May is National BBQ Month and Memorial Day weekend is coming up (considered by many to be the official start of the BBQ season), here's a handy primer of some of the better-known styles of American Barbecue, beginning with my home state of North Carolina:

*Eastern NC style BBQ Sauce: Authentic eastern NC style Barbeque sauce is deceptively simple in its short list of ingredients, but when blended in the correct proportions this tart, tangy and spicy thin sauce is the perfect complement for smoky pulled pork BBQ. Genuine eastern NC barbecue sauce is vinegar-based with no (or barely any) tomato and a healthy dose of pepper, usually ground black and/or red pepper flakes. The sauce may be savory, or might include some sugar, and either white or cider vinegar is used. Representative eastern NC barbecue sauces include Scotts Barbecue Sauce and Wells Hog Heaven Barbecue Sauce.

*Piedmont NC Style BBQ Sauce: Named after the Piedmont area of NC and found primarily in the central section of the state (especially in Lexington, NC), Piedmont style BBQ Sauce is also vinegar based but includes a bit of tomato - not enough to create a thick sauce, but sufficient to soften the edge of the vinegar and provide a little more body to the thin sauce, and more richness in flavor while preserving the tang. A typical Piedmont NC style BBQ sauce is Jim's Own Homestyle Barbeque Sauce.

*Western NC style BBQ Sauce: Found in the mountains and west of the Piedmont, western NC style sauce can range from slightly more tomato-ey than Piedmont sauces to very thick and rich, but you can still taste the vinegar tang and the sauce won't be as sweet as the thick sauces found elsewhere outside of NC. Representative western NC style barbecue sauces include Bone Suckin' Sauce and Bog Bottom BBQ Sauce.

*Low Country Carolina and Florida: This region encompasses southeastern NC, South Carolina and Florida, where you will find mustard-based barbecue sauce, some of which also include tomatoes and smoke flavor. Representative mustard BBQ sauces include Joe Bud's Everything Sauce and Rumboggies Southern Style BBQ Sauces.

*Alabama: This state has a unique style of barbecue, in that it features a mayonnaise based barbeque sauce. Creamy, a bit tangy and sometimes slightly spicy, a good example of Alabama mayonnaise BBQ sauce is Red's White Sauce, made in NC by an Alabama native who brought her traditional recipe with her.

*Texas BBQ: Texas has regional styles, just like NC, but is commonly associated with Beef Brisket and beef ribs seasoned with a dry rub and served with a thick, not-too-sweet savory sauce on the side. Representative dry rubs and Texas BBQ sauces include Texas Rib Rangers Seasonings, and Texas Rib Rangers BBQ Sauces.

*Kansas City: Known for slathered ribs, Kansas City BBQ sauces are usually very thick, tomato based sweet sauces (molasses and/or brown sugar are common), often with smokiness. Typical of the flavor of this style is Rumboggies Sweet Hickory BBQ Sauce, which, admittedly, is made in Florida, but represents the style well in taste.

*Memphis: Also known for ribs, but usually served dry with sauce on the side (although you can also get "wet" ribs with the sauce slathered on). Memphis sauces tend to be tomato based, with some mustard and vinegar and spice. The Memphis dry rubs are also savory and spicy. Great examples of both are Corky's Dry Rub and Corky's Memphis BBQ Sauce

Do you live -- or did you use to live -- someplace with its own regional style of barbecue? If so, please tell us about it!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Grilled Bratwurst in Beer

Brats and beer are a hearty, tasty combo that's hard to beat. Try this easy recipe for your Memorial Day cookout (you can multiply it as needed), and it's also great for tailgating.

1 lb bratwurst
12 oz bottle or can of beer (I use a good German beer for best flavor)
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
Hot dog or bratwurst buns
1 can German style sauerkraut
Mustard (I use Scorned Woman Mustard)

Place a foil pan in the middle of your grill's cooking grate. Pour the beer into the pan, then add the sliced onions and peppers. Start the grill and get it to medium heat. Grill the brats on the cooking grate, beside the pan with the onions and peppers, turning to lightly brown all sides. Using tongs, place the browned bratwurst in the pan and let them cook for another 25 minutes,turning occasionally. While the brats are cooking, pour the sauerkraut into another pan and heat on the grill grate, stirring occasionally to heat through. When the bratwurst is done and the peppers and onions are soft, serve the cooked brats in the buns topped with peppers, onion and sauerkraut, and garnish with mustard.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you want a seriously hot mustard to spread on the bratwurst, I recommend Dave's Insanity Mustard

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nando's Peri-Peri Products Back in Stock!

Newsflash: All Nando's Peri-Peri products are back in stock at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, after some brief supply issues. That's the good news. The even better news is that we don't anticipate any more supply problems, as Nando's USA now has a new east coast distributor who promises to keep us well-stocked in a timely manner. We are presently filling the customer back-orders that had accumulated, and we have plenty of each of the Nando's peri-peri products for you, too. This includes the spicy Nando's Peri Peri Hot Sauces in original Hot, milder Medium, zesty Garlic, and fiery Extra Hot; the convenient Nando's Peri Peri Grinders in mild Lemon & Herb, Medium, and Hot; the versatile and delicious Nando's Peri Peri Marinades & Grilling Sauces in Lemon & Cilantro, Portuguese BBQ, and Sundried Tomato & Basil; and the mouthwatering and food-friendly Nando's Peri Peri Cooking & Grilling Sauces in Lemon, Coconut Curry, Roasted Red Pepper, and Sweet Apricot.

Although the Peri Peri pepper (also spelled Piri Piri, and also called the Birds-eye Pepper) is known as the hottest African pepper, the beauty of the Nando's products is that they provide just the right amount of peppery firepower blended with other exotic and flavorful ingredients. These sauces and grinders from South Africa are perfect for the person who loves to eat good-tasting, wholesome home-made meals but doesn't always have the time to make everything from scratch. Use them indoors in your kitchen, or outside on your grill - Nando's peri-peri products are a must-have for eaters with good taste!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Don't forget that the Nando's peri-peri grinders were discontinued by Nando's, so eventually we will run out of them. Get'em while you can!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wood for your Smoker

Using real wood chips or chunks in a smoker adds mouthwatering layers of real smoky flavor that simply aren't obtainable from shortcuts like adding liquid smoke to cooked meats. Here's a primer on some of the different woods that work for smoking meats and poultry:

*Hickory: Probably the most popular wood for smoking, hickory adds intensely smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness. Hickory's flavor complements most any kind of poultry or meat, and is particularly good with chicken and ribs, which probably explains why hickory is the most common smoky flavor added to barbecue sauces.

*Mesquite: With its straightforward intense smokiness, mesquite adds bold, dark smokiness that works well with brisket and burgers. Mesquite is often used in southwestern and Texas style barbeque.

*Oak: This one is our favorite for making NC pulled pork BBQ and other smoked pork butt recipes. Oak is more subtle than hickory or mesquite, blending nicely with the flavors in dry rubs and adding a clean smoky flavor that won't overpower.

*Cherry, apple, pear and osage orange wood: Fruit woods are lighter and sweeter than nut woods, adding delicate smoke with fruit notes that are particularly nice with pork and poultry. I've never seen pear wood commercially available - we were lucky to have a friend chop down a pear tree and give us the wood, which we aged and then enjoyed in our smoker.

*Soft woods: As a general rule, stick with hardwoods like nut woods (pecan, oak, hickory, etc.) or fruit woods for smoking. NEVER use soft woods like pine in your smoker. Soft woods will add all sorts of unpleasant flavors (think creosote) and sooty discoloration. Not good!

*Aging the wood: Commercially available wood chips and chunks sold for smoking should already be aged and ready to use. If you chop or collect your own wood for smoking, make sure you let it dry and age for at least 6 months. Don't use green wood in your smoker! We usually age our wood for about a year before using it in our smoker.

*Soaking the wood: At least 1 hour before smoking, soak the wood chips or chunks in water. This will allow them to smolder rather than flare up when you add them to the hot coals in your smoker.

Don't forget to select a dry rub to season your meat or poultry before smoking. Once you've smoked your meat or poultry, serve with a tasty Barbecue Sauce and enjoy your feast!

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Postal Service Shipping Rates

As you probably know, the price of stamps went up by a penny today. But it's not just mailing letters (does anyone write letters anymore??) or checks to pay bills (does anyone do that anymore, too??) that's gotten more expensive. The Postal Service also raised the price of shipping packages, including its Flat Rate Priority Mail package rates. Here at Carolina Sauce Company, we ship most of our orders via UPS because they're significantly cheaper for heavy (more than 7 or 8 lbs) packages, which is the bulk of what we ship. But for customers who want their orders shipped to a P.O. Box, or those with APO or FPO addresses, we have to rely on the US Postal Service for shipping. As explained on our website, we always manually double-check the actual shipping charges because the online shipping calculator sometimes gets "flaky" with very light orders (e.g., just 1 or 2 dry rubs, or a few bags of pork rinds). In fact, the online calculator is often flat-out wrong with USPS shipping costs. So in order to save you money, we always make sure you're only being charged the actual shipping cost and our standard $1.75 handling charge per order, as explained on our website. And if it turns out to be cheaper to ship a USPS order using a Priority Mail Flat-Rate box, that's what we'll do, and you'll save money. Speaking of saving money, the new US Postal Service priority mail rates include a discount if we purchase our postage through their online system, which is what we do anyway, and we'll pass along that discount to you when we calculate the actual shipping costs.

Without further ado, and for your convenience, here are the new USPS Priority Mail Flat-Rate charges for shipping within the US. I've listed the regular (pay at the Post Office) rate, followed by the discounted rate for buying postage online.

"Regular" Priority Flat-Rate Box: $9.80, $9.30
Large Flat-Rate Box: $12.95, $12.50
Special APO/FPO Flat-Rate Box: $10.95, $10.50

Almost all of our Operation Sauce Drop gift boxes are shipped to our troops in a "Regular" Priority Flat-Rate Box, which used to cost $8.95 plus $1.65 insurance, for a total shipping cost of $10.60 per gift box. With the new rates, however, the cost to ship 1 free gift box to a serviceperson stationed abroad has increased to $9.30 plus $1.65 insurance for a total of $10.95 per gift box (and that increases to $10.50 plus $1.65, or $12.15, for gift boxes requiring the larger APO/FPO Flat-Rate Box). This means we now need to raise a little more money to cover the shipping cost of each free gift box of sauce being sent to our troops. There are currently over 90 deployed servicemen and women who are waiting to receive a free gift box of sauce through Operation Sauce Drop. A donation of $5 or more during the month of May will not only get more gift boxes shipped to the waiting troops, but will also get YOU a free gift of your own:

*Donate $5 or more, and receive a discount coupon for 10% off your next order at the Carolina Sauce Company online store

*Better yet, Donate $5 or more AND purchase something - anything - from the Carolina Sauce Company, and we'll send you the discount coupon AND a free full-size bottle of Greg's Happy Sauce, with recipes.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce on Sale!

Yes folks, you read that correctly: The ever-popular, top 10 all-time best-selling hot sauce, Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce from Jamaica, is on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company! Peppery-hot and based on a traditional colonial recipe, Busha Browne's Pukka Hot Pepper Sauce is an all-purpose table sauce that enhances just about any savory dish without changing its essential flavors. Pukka Sauce is also a tasty -- and spicy -- addition to stews, soups, casseroles and other recipes. In fact, its versatility is one of the reasons why Pukka Sauce is a favorite here at Carolina Sauce and among our customers. Get it on sale now, as we've been warned that our cost is going up in the near future. Don't worry, we'll still keep your price as low as we can afford to, without breaking the bank (which would be really bad, because then you wouldn't be able to get any more Pukka Sauce or other great products from us!)

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sweet & Spicy Nuts

I bet you won't be able to eat just one handful of this mouthwatering, Indian-inspired snack! If you're looking for a unique little edible gift to make for that special Mom on Mother's Day (assuming she enjoys some spiciness), here's the recipe you need to try. And don't worry, it's not fiery hot -- unless that's how you choose to make it!

1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups whole unsalted raw cashews
[Note: you can substitute shelled raw pecans and/or walnuts for the almonds and/or cashews]
1 1/2 cups powdered or superfine sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs of curry powder: mild, medium or hot, depending on your preference
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
Pinch of ground red pepper or cayenne
Oil for deep-frying (peanut oil is best, or use vegetable oil)

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, curry powder, turmeric, coriander and red pepper. Set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then add the nuts and blanch for 1 minute. Drain thoroughly in a strainer and shake off as much excess water as possible, then immediately toss the nuts into the bowl with the sugar and spices. Toss well to coat the nuts with the mixture. In a deep-fat fryer or wok, heat enough oil for deep-frying, to 350 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, remove the nuts from the spice mixture (but save the mixture in the bowl - you'll need it later), then drop the nuts in the hot oil. Deep-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally and watching carefully to avoid burning the nuts. Use the slotted spoon to remove the nuts from the oil, then toss the fried nuts with remaining sugar-spice mixture in the bowl. Tip the nuts into a dry strainer to shake off the excess spice mixture, then place the nuts on a paper-towel-covered baking sheet or other flat surface to allow the nuts to cool and the sugar-spice coating to crispen. Serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you like sweet & spicy snacks, you'll love Hot Honeys: Honey-Roasted Chipotle Peanuts, and Maxwell's Extraordinary Jalapeno Peanuts. If you prefer simply hot & spicy nuts without the sugar, then Chipotle Seasoned Peanuts are for you.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce: Gone for Good

Newsflash: If you were waiting to get yourself one of the last few bottles of Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce from the Carolina Sauce Company, I'm sorry to report that you waited too long. The last bottle was ordered today and will be shipped out to a lucky customer on Monday. Sadly, we will no longer be manufacturing this multi-award-winning, versatile and scrumptious all-purpose marinade & cooking sauce, because production costs have simply gotten too high. But don't despair: we still have plenty of Greg's Happy Sauce, which is the same recipe minus the hot peppers (and also has won a multitude of awards). So if you need to get Hot 'n Bothered, all you need to do is add some minced hot chile peppers of your choice to regular Happy Sauce. We recommend that you use the same 3 varieties of chile pepper that were in the Hot 'n Bothered Sauce (habaneros, serranos and jalapenos), but it's totally up to you as to how much and which peppers to add. And as always, we'll send you free recipes and grilling tips when you order a bottle of Greg's Happy Sauce. Best of all, it's currently on sale.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Carolina Sauce Newsletter: May BBQ Sauce Sale & Other Specials!

May is National Barbeque Month, and the Carolina Sauce Company is celebrating by saving YOU money on finger-lickin' good BBQ sauces, dry rubs, marinades and more! Simply order any of the following products now through May 31st and enter the coupon code "News508" to get 10% off the product price - no minimum purchase required!

BBQ and Grilling Sauces
*All three flavors of Bear-Man Barbecue & Dipping Sauces, thick, rich gourmet BBQ Sauces that pack a full, multilayered flavor -- in bold Black Bear Boogie, hearty Growlin' Grizzly, and sweet/spicy Sap Happy Golden Bear Maple Sauce
*Bone Suckin' Sauce Hot and Bone Suckin' Sauce Hot Thicker: tangy western NC style BBQ Sauces with a hot & spicy KICK - and they come with free recipes!
*Bog Bottom BBQ Sauce, a sweet, tangy, slightly spicy/smoky BBQ Sauce from the makers of Carolina Swamp Sauce
*Carolina Treet Original Cooking Barbeque Sauce, a versatile BBQ Sauce you can use out on your grill or in the kitchen on the stove
*Cool Hawg Grilling Sauces in Original and Hot & Spicy, unique NC BBQ sauces made with a thick mustard-tomato base, with a bit of tang, smoke & spice
*Both flavors of Dinosaur BBQ Sauce from Syracuse, NY: the fiery Habanero Wango Tango and the sweet & zesty Roasted Garlic Honey BBQ Sauce
*Duplin's Finest BBQ Sauce, a genuine eastern NC vinegar-based BBQ Sauce that's not too spicy but has plenty of vinegar tang
*Durham Bulls Triple Play BBQ Sauce, a vinegar & tomato Piedmont NC style BBQ Sauce from the famous Durham Bulls minor league baseball team featured in the movie "Bull Durham"
*George's Special BBQ Sauce, a vinegar-tomato based NC sauce with a jalapeno kick - comes with recipes!
*Greg's Happy Sauce, an award-winning grilling sauce, marinade and cooking sauce that comes with lots of recipes!
*Greg's Hot 'n Bothered Sauce, the hot and spicy version of Happy Sauce and a Scovie Award winner - limited quantities available!
*Kepley's Downhome BBQ Sauce, a sweet & tangy vinegar & tomato NC barbeque sauce
*Ole Time Barbecue Sauce, a tangy & savory NC vinegar-tomato BBQ sauce that's great on pork, beef & chicken
*Ole Time Hot Sauce, a traditional eastern NC vinegar & hot pepper BBQ sauce that's perfect on pulled pork, collards and more
*Scott's Back-Yard Pit BBQ Sauce, a spicy, tomato-rich NC BBQ Sauce that's great on ribs and chicken
*Both flavors of Smithfield's Chicken & Bar-B-Q Sauce from the famous Smithfields BBQ chain: the original vinegar-based "House Hot" Bar-B-Q Sauce and the sweeter & thicker Grilling & Dipping Sauce
*Thomas Sauce, a Piedmont NC sauce made from an old family recipe
*Wells All Purpose Rib & Chicken Sauce, a sweet & tangy, slightly spicy tomato-vinegar sauce with a touch of mustard and smoke

*Sunfire Original Marinade & Sauce, a zippy red vinegar marinade that adds gourmet flavor to meats, chicken seafood & veggies, and comes with a recipe brochure!
*Sunfire Garlic Marinade & Sauce, with the same gourmet red vinegar recipe as the original, plus a healthy helping of garlic to add zesty flavor to anything!

Dry Rubs & Seasonings
*Both flavors of Adams Rib Rubb, sweet & spicy full-flavored tenderizing rubs made in NC, in Original and Ultimate (spicier)
*Bad Byron's Butt Rub, an authentic Texas barbecue rub
*Bear-Man Tummy Rub, a sweet & savory gourmet seasoning from upstate New York
*Pepper Dog Dry Rub, a smoky southwestern-style all-natural rub from NC
*Pig Pen's Original Seasoning, a savory-spicy NC rub for ribs, chicken and more
*All 4 flavors of Pluto's Caribbean Bliss Spice Blends, in Mild, Original Hot, Fiery Hottest, and Salt-Free
*Southern Twang Dry Rub, an award-winning sweet & savory rub with a touch of citrus

*Pit Road Apron, a racing-themed sturdy grilling apron from the makers of Pit Road BBQ Sauce, with 2 roomy pockets - Free Shipping!

Remember to use coupon code "News508" to get 10% off when ordering any of the above products. Don't delay - the savings end on May 31st, or when supplies run out, whichever occurs first!

Support the Troops and Get Free Sauce!

Operation Sauce Drop is our non-profit project to send FREE gift boxes of sauce to US military personnel stationed abroad. The troops really appreciate the gift boxes, as you can see from our feedback page. At the time of this writing, we've sent gift boxes to more than 150 servicemen and women, thanks to the generosity of our donors. The problem is, we currently have a waiting list of 98 servicemen and women waiting for a gift box (some waiting since December), but we are all out of money! Here's how you can you help, and receive a FREE GIFT for yourself: Simply make a donation of $5 or more through May 31st, and include the term "NewsOSD508" in the COMMENT section of your order form (or in an email to us if you donate separately). We'll email you a Carolina Sauce Company Discount Coupon for 10% off your next product order, good through Dec. 31, 2008, to thank you for your donation. But wait, there's more: If you make a donation of $5 or more and also order at least 1 product from our online store, we'll send you the Discount Coupon AND a FREE, full-size bottle of Greg's Happy Sauce (with recipes!), our nationally acclaimed all-purpose marinade, grilling & cooking sauce. But remember to include the comment "NewsOSD508" with your order and donation -- it's the only way we'll know to send you your free gift!

Latest New Products AND More Savings

Bear-Man Tummy Rub is a sweet and spicy gourmet dry rub and seasoning that's mouthwatering on ribs, meat, poultry and more. Unlike other rubs, it's not overly salty, which also makes it a great recipe addition. AND it's all-natural! Like Tummy Rub, Sap-Happy Golden Bear Maple Sauce also comes to us from upstate New York. This amazingly delicious award-winning sauce is made with REAL maple syrup and other premium ingredients, and achieves the perfect balance of sweet, savory and peppery flavors that will enhance everything from meat and poultry to fish and seafood. Nando's Medium Peri-Peri Grind from South Africa is a spicy, savory and slightly garlicky/citrusy blend of whole spices and sea salt, with a convenient grinder built in so that you can custom-grind as needed, or unscrew the top and use the whole spices. If you like your BBQ sauces thick, on the sweet side and with natural smoky flavor, you have to try Uncle Pete's BBQ Sauces from South Carolina. These multiple-award-winning rib sauces come in Original, Spicy and Hickory, and we'll send you a recipe brochure when you order a bottle. And if you're up for something a bit less sweet but with a unique robust flavor, then try Craig's Jones'en Espresso BBQ Sauce, a thick, bold sauce made with a splash of real coffee that adds rich, dark flavor to this addictively good barbecue sauce. And finally, for hot sauce fans we've brought back Samson's Sauce, a tangy, medium-hot all-purpose hot sauce from North Carolina with a very funny label but a seriously delicious flavor. I can't eat eggs or omelets anymore without my Samson's Sauce!

If you still need a reason to try one or more of these new products, here's this: Order any of the above listed new products, include the comment "Newsletter" in the COMMENT section of the online order form (or metion this newsletter when ordering by phone), and we'll send you the latest "Dish This" catalog of NC producs AND a Discount Coupon for select products in the catalog!

Kosher Products

Keeping Kosher doesn't mean you have to sacrifice great taste or fiery spiciness. If you're looking for full-flavored BBQ & cooking sauces, spicy hot sauces, zesty condiments or robust seasonings that are Kosher certified, then check out our selection of Kosher Products!

Breaking News, Recipes, Etc.

Don't forget to read this blog regularly to learn about new products as soon as they arrive, as well as special sales and discounts, recipes and cooking tips, and the latest zesty news - or better yet, subscribe to our free RSS feed and don't miss a single thing!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bone Suckin' Fabulous Ribs in the Oven

This recipe comes to us courtesy of the makers of Bone Suckin' Sauce, perhaps the most famous barbecue sauce to come out of North Carolina. This western NC style BBQ sauce comes in 4 varieties (Original, Hot, Thicker, and Thicker-Hot), and is a tangy tomato based sauce that works wonders with ribs, chicken and anything you grill. But you don't need a grill to make this simple and tasty recipe!

1 jar (16 oz) of your favorite variety of Bone Suckin' Sauce
12 oz Orange juice
5 lbs Baby back pork ribs

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix Bone Suckin' Sauce and orange juice in a bowl. Place ribs in a shallow baking pan and baste with the sauce-juice mixture. Cover with foil and bake 3 hours at 300 degrees. Uncover and baste with more of the sauce mixture. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking uncovered, for 30 minutes until done, basting again after the first 15 minutes. Serves 4.

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Nando's Peri Peri Grinders: Time is Running Out

Newsflash: It is my sad duty to report the upcoming demise of Nando's Peri-Peri Grinders, which are being discontinued by Nando's. I was quite disappointed to hear that the corporation had already made the decision to cease production of these convenient and tasty whole spice blends with their handy grinder twist-top, since all 3 flavors have a prominent spot on my kitchen counter and I use them regularly when cooking and eating. The good news, albeit temporary, is that we currently have two of the 3 flavors in stock (the Medium Peri Peri Grind and the mild Lemon-Herb Grind) and hope to receive some of the last available Hot Peri Peri Grinders in the near future from Nando's. We'll also continue to re-stock these seasonings for as long as Nando's has product available to send us. However, once Nando's (and we) run out, the Grinders will be gone for good - which is a shame, and hard for me to understand. I love the convenience of being able to use either the whole spices by unscrewing the top, or custom-grinding the spices as needed. The flavors and heat levels for each variety are also superb: I use the Hot grinder over pasta, pizza and meat dishes; the Medium over poultry and "richer-flavored" fish like tuna and salmon; and the Lemon-Herb on salads, steamed vegetables and milder seafood. And because the Grinders are whole-spice blends, their shelf life is years longer than for powdered rubs or ground seasonings. It's hard to believe Nando's is discontinuing them. I'll miss the Peri-Peri Grinds when they're gone....

So if you're like me and you're a fan of Nando's Peri-Peri Grinders, or if you haven't tried them and want to check them out before they're gone, make sure to get your order in ASAP so that you don't miss out.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, May 5, 2008

Avocado Soup

Here's an easy recipe that makes a great starter for a Mexican meal to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. You can make it earlier in the day and store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve. You can serve this soup hot or cold.

1 14 1/2 oz can chicken broth (I use low sodium, fat free chicken broth, or homemade chicken broth)
1 cup light cream, or evaporated skim milk (to reduce fat and calories)
1 large avocado
1 small onion, or half of a sweet onion
1 Tbs dry sherry (for a spicier soup, you can use Pepper Sherry)
Your favorite green Mexican Hot Sauce (I use El Yucateco Jalapeno Hot Sauce or El Yucateco Salsa Picante Habanero Green Hot Sauce)
Sour Cream to garnish
Snipped Cilantro, to garnish

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, rotating the knife around the pit. Remove the pit and scoop out the avocado flesh in chunks into a blender. Chop the onion and add to the blender. Pour the chicken broth in the blender, and add the cream, sherry, and a few dashes (to taste) of hot sauce. Cover and blend until smooth.
For hot soup: Pour the avocado mixture into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through (about 10 minutes). Be careful not to let the soup boil. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of snipped cilantro.
For cold soup: Pour the soup into an airtight container, cover, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve cold with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of snipped cilantro.
Serves 6 as a side dish.

Zestfully yours,

PS: Looking for authentic Mexican hot sauces for your Cinco de Mayo party? You can't go wrong with any of the 6 flavors of El Yucateco Hot Sauce!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Updated Lists of Best-Selling Hot Sauces, BBQ Sauce, etc.

We've finished updating our lists of best selling hot sauces, best selling BBQ sauces, and other product categories to reflect what Carolina Sauce Company customers have been buying this year so far. If you are looking for a crowd-pleasing barbeque sauce to slather or splash, a mouthwatering marinade, tongue-tingling hot sauce, full-flavored rub to season with, a tasty new snack, or other zesty treat, then you can't go wrong with any of the popular products on the following lists:

*Best-Selling Hot Sauces, with A Taste of Thai Garlic Pepper Sauce appearing for the first time, at #8;

*Best Selling Barbecue Sauces, with Rumboggies Sweet Hickory BBQ Sauce making its debut at #6;

*Best Selling Chicken Wing Sauces, with the unique Wahoo Willie's Jamaican Wing Sauce leading the pack;

*Best Selling Mustards, with my personal favorite, Scorned Woman Mustard, coming in first;

*Best-Selling Dry Rubs & Seasonings, with Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Seasoning & Dry Rub premiering in first place;

*Best-Selling Marinades & Dressings, with South Africa's Nando's Lime & Cilantro Peri-Peri Marinade currently at the top of the list;

*Best-Selling North Carolina Products, with the ever-popular Capsicana Zing leading the way;

*Best-Selling Jerks & Curry, with Pluto's Organic Hot Jerk Sauce moving up several places to #2 on the list;

*Best-Selling Snacks, with Buderim Ginger Bears from Australia as the most popular snack;

*Best-Selling Gift Sets, with the NC Gourmet Deluxe Gift Set in first place;

*Best Selling Salsas & Relish, with North Carolina's very own Pepper Dog Salsa (Medium) at the top of the list.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Chile Soap Ristras On Sale!

Our chile soap ristras are made by hand in New Mexico from all-natural ingredients like vegetable glycerin and coconut oil, and scented with spicy cinnamon (the red soaps) and citrusy lime (the green soaps). No, chile peppers are not among the ingredients -- rather, these beautiful soaps are shaped like chile peppers, and the details are realistically rendered. Each ristra has 5 hand-strung chile soaps, and can be hung as a kitchen or bathroom decoration (which will also freshen the air with their heady fragrance), kept in a clothing drawer or linen closet as a sachet, or put to good use as a hand, face and body soap. Their rich lather will leave your skin smooth and silky as well as perfumed with their refreshing scent. Normally priced at $18 for a 5-soap ristra, you can now purchase our chile soap ristras for only $15! Can't decide between the green chiles (lime) or the red chiles (cinnamon)? At this reduced price you can go ahead and treat yourself to both!

Zestfully yours,

PS: You can also purchase single chile pepper soaps, for only $4.99 each.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Top 10 Best Selling Sauces & Products for April 2008

Lots of folks decided to stock up on hot sauces and zesty snacks last month, as you can see from our list of the top ten best-selling sauces and products for April 2008 at the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. Buderim Ginger Bears, a zingy Australian candy made with real ginger

2. Capsicana Zing Sauce, a spicy-sweet all-purpose table sauce made in North Carolina (it comes with free recipes!)

3. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce, a perennial top ten best-selling hot sauce made in Jamaica from a colonial recipe

4. Matouk's Calypso Hot Sauce, capturing the flavor and fire of West Indies peppers and spices in a rich, thick hot sauce

5. Scorned Woman Hot Sauce, a peppery-vinegary HOT sauce that packs tangy firepower

6. Hot Honeys Honey-Roasted Chipotle Peanuts, spicy, smoky, sweet, and addictively good!

7. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce, made in Trinidad & Tobago using aged scotch bonnet peppers, fresh papaya and other tropical ingredients

8. Carolina Swamp Sauce, a unique North Carolina gourmet grilling sauce and marinade that's a tasty alternative to vinegar or tomato BBQ sauce

9. Nando's Extra Hot Peri-Peri Sauce, made in South Africa using the fiery-hot Peri Peri (birdseye) pepper

10. Jim's Own Hot BBQ Sauce, a spicy-hot award-winning Piedmont NC style BBQ Sauce made with vinegar and tomatoes -- and habaneros! Free recipes provided!

We'll be updating the best-seller lists in specific product categories next, so stay tuned for info...

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce is Back in Stock!

Newsflash: After a brief absence from our virtual shelves (and our physical warehouse), and just in time for the start of National BBQ Month, I'm pleased to report that the ever-popular Wells Hog Heaven Barbeque Sauce (with the black label in the photo) is finally back in stock again! A perennial presence on our Top Ten Best-Selling Barbecue Sauces list, as well as a regular on our Best-Selling North Carolina Products list and our overall Top Ten Best Selling Sauces & Products list, Wells Hog Heaven was sorely missed while out of stock at the manufacturer level (which is why it took us this long to be able to get more - they had to make more, first!) Wells Hog Heaven is a classic eastern NC barbecue sauce made with the traditional vinegar base (no tomatoes!), a healthy dose of pepper and spices for added zip, and a touch of sugar and smoke to temper the tartness of the vinegar while enhancing the tangy flavor of this tasty sauce. Ideal for NC pulled pork BBQ, you can also use Wells on any meats and poultry you grill or smoke. You can also splash it on collards or turnip greens, fries, hushpuppies, and more.

For folks who like a milder, tomato-rich BBQ Sauce that has a bit of vinegar tang, there's Wells All-Purpose Rib & Chicken Sauce (in the yellow label in the photo). As the name implies, this barbecue sauce is particularly good when slathered on slow-cooking ribs and for grilling chicken. But you can also use it on pork and other meats, as well as for dipping french fries or onion rings or even fried okra.

Both flavors of Wells Barbecue Sauce are available now from the Carolina Sauce Company.

Zestfully yours,