Sunday, February 28, 2010

3 Tips for Saving on Shipping from the Carolina Sauce Co.

If you want to save money on shipping when you order hot sauce, barbecue sauce and other zesty products from the Carolina Sauce Company, here are three quick tips:

1. Choose UPS Ground as your shipping method. Because our products are heavy and fragile, they require plenty of cushioning so that they won't break in transit. In our 7 years in business, we've found that the cheapest and most reliable way to ship glass bottles is using UPS Ground. All UPS prices include insurance, and if you ever receive a damaged package, simply contact us and we will send you a replacement right away at no cost to you, AND we handle the insurance claim with UPS. To find out how long a UPS Ground package will take to arrive at your address, simply use this handy UPS Map and enter our zip code (27701) for the "shipped from" zip code.

2. Ship to a commercial or business address. UPS shipping rates to commercial addresses are cheaper than shipping to residential addresses. If you are able to accept packages at work and it's a business address (not a residence), you'll pay less for shipping.

3. Order several items at a time. Because of UPS and USPS minimum shipping rates, the cost to ship 3 or 4 (or more) items is usually only a few cents more than the cost to ship only 1 or 2 bottles. The more you order at one time, the less per item you'll pay in shipping. So you save money when you order several items at once, instead of just 1 or 2 bottles.

If you have any questions about shipping, please feel free to email or call us, or contact me (SaucyGlo) on Twitter.

Zestfully yours,

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Best-Selling Curry & Jamaican Jerk Products

If you're searching for the best Jamaican jerk seasonings and exotic curry sauces, look no further than our list of the Top Ten Best Selling Jerk and Curry products for 2009 at the Carolina Sauce Company online store:

1. As usual, our best-selling Jamaican jerk is the popular Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, an intensely aromatic and peppery-hot jerk paste or "wet rub" from Jamaica that's essential for making authentic jerked chicken, pork, fish, goat and other Jamaican dishes.

2. Repeating in second place is another favorite from Jamaica, Walkerswood Spicy Jamaican Jerk Marinade, which is ideal for marinating and cooking poultry, meat or seafood.

3. Moving up 2 spots from its 2008 finish is Busha Browne's Authentic Jerk Seasoning, also from Jamaica. This intensely flavorful jerk paste is highly concentrated, and a little goes a long way to add rich flavor to meats, poultry and seafood.

4. Holding on to fourth place for the second consecutive year is Nando's Curry Coconut Cooking & Grilling Sauce from South Africa, a rich and creamy tropical curry sauce that's spiced with the South African bird's eye (peri-peri) pepper.

5. Finishing a very impressive 5th for 2009 is a new product at the Carolina Sauce Company, the exotically delicious Walkerswood Jerk BBQ Sauce, made with bananas and other tropical ingredients

6. Another new product, Tortuga Jamaican Jerk Sauce from Jamaica, debuted in 6th place last year and features savory, sweet and spicy-hot flavors in a pourable sauce for marinating and table use -- and it's currently on sale!

7. Another tasty Jamaican table sauce, Busha Browne's Spicy Jerk Sauce, was 7th on our best-seller list for 2009

8. After a brief absence while the recipe was reformulated and improved, Pickapeppa Jamaican Jerk Seasoning made an impressive return by repeating in 8th place for the second year in a row

9. Another popular product that was missing from the marketplace for some time made quite a splash when it returned to end the year in 9th place on our best-seller list: Walkerswood One-Stop Savory Sauce, an all-purpose savory-spicy table sauce with a hint of sweetness that complements all sorts of savory dishes, including cheese and eggs.

10. Completing our list of 2009's top ten best-selling jerk & curry sauces is the Mild version of Pluto's Certified Organic Jamaican Jerk Sauce, created by a Jamaican ex-pat now living in North Carolina. This fragrant and flavorful jerk sauce comes with a free recipe brochure, and it's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

Zestfully yours,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spicy Mediterranean Marinade for Fish & Seafood

This full-flavored spicy marinade was originally created for use with beef by Sonya of Just My Taste Jalapeno Dip & Sauce, but I think it's fabulous with fish, shrimp and other seafood. You can store unused marinade in the refrigerator for up to a week (always discard used marinade). When marinating fish or seafood, 30 minutes to an hour in the refrigerator is sufficient. For poultry, beef and other meat, I recommend at least 2 hours to overnight in the refrigerator.

2 cups Just My Taste Jalapeno Dip & Sauce (adjust to your taste)
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 to 1 1/2 Tbs dried oregano)
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon or lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together; makes 2 1/4 cups.

Zestfully yours,

PS: This is just one of many FREE recipes you'll get when you purchase Just My Taste Jalapeno Sauce & Dip from the Carolina Sauce Company, where it's currently on sale!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Best-Selling Salsa & Relish for 2009

In honor of National Chili Day, I thought today would be a good day to post the Carolina Sauce Company's list of 2009's Top Ten Best Selling Salsas and Relishes (after all, I've been known to enjoy a good salsa with my chili from time to time). So without further ado, here's the list:

1. For the second consecutive year, the best-selling salsa is the original Peppers Blue Crab Salsa, a medium-spicy tomato and pepper salsa made with real Maryland crabmeat. This salsa is for more than chips: Pour it over spaghetti for a fresh alternative to marinara or pasta sauce!

2. Last year we introduced our very own Hot Chow Chow Relish, and it quickly became a best-seller, finishing in second place for the year - and we donate $1 from the sale of each jar to Operation Sauce Drop for the troops!

3. Our third place finisher for 2009 was the same as from 2008, and comes straight from Chicago: Capone Family Secret Hot Giardiniera, a spicy-hot traditional Italian condiment for sandwiches and subs, antipasto trays, appetizers and more -- and it comes with a free recipe for Giardiniera pizza!

4. Another unusual and delicious crab salsa, Peppers Zesty Blue Crab Salsa, was the 4th best selling salsa last year. This version adds a hefty dose of horseradish and hot peppers to kick up the spice in the original blue crab salsa recipe.

5. Our Mild Chow Chow Relish, also introduced last year, finished in 5th place for the year - and we donate $1 from the sale of each jar to Operation Sauce Drop for the troops!

6. Pepper Dog Salsa - Medium is an all-natural, smoky Southwestern style smooth (not chunky) tomato salsa with jalapenos, and it came in 6th place on our best-selling salsa list. This salsa is ideal for cooking (Tex-Mex, chili, Mexican), as well as for enjoying with chips.

7. Repeating its 2008 finish, Scorned Woman Salsa came in 7th last year. This smooth tomato-rich medium-hot salsa is terrific with chips, on enchiladas and burritos, in tacos, with scrambled eggs, and as a spicy alternative to plain ketchup.

8. The Mild version of Capone Family Secret Giardiniera finished 8th last year (as it did in 2008), and is perfect for folks who enjoy authentic Italian flavor but prefer to avoid hot peppers. It comes with a free recipe for Giardiniera pizza!

9. In ninth place is Thomas Fish Camp Cocktail Sauce, an old-fashioned zesty cocktail sauce from North Carolina with a zippy horseradish kick.

10. Completing our list of the top ten best-selling salsas and relishes for 2009 is another North Carolina product, Thomas Fish Camp Tartar Sauce. Featuring authentic old-fashioned homemade flavor, this tartar sauce is far tastier than any grocery store brands and will complement all your seafood fare including fried shrimp, fish, deviled crabs, crabcakes, etc. Kids love it on fish sticks and even chicken nuggets!

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Best-Selling Mustards & Ketchups for 2009

Last year we added zesty ketchups to our condiment offerings at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, and several finished on our list of the Top Ten Best-Selling Mustards and Ketchups for 2009. Here is the complete list:

1. The number one best-selling mustard or ketchup last year was the spicy and sweet Bone Suckin' Mustard, made in North Carolina by the same folks who make the world-famous Bone Suckin' Sauce -- and it comes with free recipes!

2. In second place was one of my personal favorites, Scorned Woman Mustard, a thick, hot & spicy savory mustard with great texture and gourmet flavor

3. Texas Pete Honey Mustard Sauce, which is made in NC despite the name, once again finished 3rd (same as in 2008), and has a pourable consistency so you can use it as a not-too-sweet and pleasantly piquant salad dressing or as a dip for pretzels, cheese cubes, chicken nuggets and veggies

4. The award-winning Dave's Hurtin' Habanero & Honey Mustard repeated its 4th place finish from 2008. This mouthwatering mustard features fiery-hot habanero heat that's tempered by sweet honey.

5. Continuing the repeat finishes, the incendiary Dave's Insanity Mustard, whose name says it all, was the fifth best-selling mustard last year (as it was in 2008), and yes, it is insanely hot!

6. In sixth place on our best-selling condiments list was our overall best-selling ketchup, the smoky-hot, all-natural Melinda's Chipotle Ketchup, packed with amazingly tasty and complex flavors, and NO high-fructose corn syrup!

7. Durn Good Hot & Spicy Mustard, a traditional yellow mustard that's revved up with just the right amount of peppery heat, came in 7th last year -- and it comes in two convenient sizes

8. The Carolina Sauce Company's Mustard Lover's Gift Set, featuring 5 of our most popular mustards at a discounted price, ended up in 8th place for 2009, just as it did the previous year

9. Another new ketchup, the fiery-hot Melinda's Habanero Ketchup, debuted strongly and finished 9th on our list of 2009's best-selling mustards and ketchups. It tastes great, is all-natural, has no HFCS, and it's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

10. Completing our list of 2009's best-selling ketchup & mustards was Melinda's Jalapeno Ketchup, a feisty, flavorful and all-natural ketchup made with no HFCS

Zestfully yours,

Monday, February 22, 2010

5 Oils Every Pantry Should Have

Whether you consider yourself a gourmet chef or simply enjoy cooking good food, using the right oil for your dish is crucial. If you make your own salad dressings, you'll want a flavorful oil -- but for frying and sauteing, you'll need an oil with a high smoke point to avoid unpleasant burnt flavors. Here are five basic oils every well-stocked pantry should have:

1. Peanut Oil: This is an excellent choice for stir-frying, deep-fat frying and other high-heat applications, because of its very high smoke point. If you want to fry a turkey, you'll want to use peanut oil. It's subtly nutty flavor is terrific with poultry, french fries and stir-fry dishes. Of course, if peanut allergies are a problem at home, then you'll want to avoid peanut oil and instead use a different high-smoke-point oil such as corn or soybean.

2. Corn Oil: Another oil with a high smoke point, corn oil is virtually tasteless and odorless, making it ideal for frying and searing when you want the unchanged flavors of the food to come through. It's great for deep frying and also sauteing, as well as baking.

3. Canola Oil: This all-purpose, mildly flavored oil is naturally low in saturated fat and rich in heart-friendly Omega-3 fatty acids. You can use it in salad dressings, especially ones where you want the flavor of other ingredients to come through, and also in all sorts of cooking and baking.

4. Pure Olive Oil: Sometimes simply labeled "olive oil" (as opposed to virgin or extra virgin), this is the mildest and also most economical of olive oils and can be used in sauteing and pan-frying. Because its smoke point is lower than that of corn, soybean or peanut oil, it's not recommended for deep frying or other high-temperature applications. I don't use it in baking sweets because it does have a distinct flavor, but I like it in savory baking recipes such as breads and savory muffins. You can also use pure olive oil in salad dressings, although the more expensive and fruitier extra-virgin olive oil is a tastier choice for simple vinaigrettes where the flavor of the oil will play a more important role.

5. Extra Pure Olive Oil: This is the highest grade of olive oil, made from the first pressing, and is aromatic, fruity and deeper in color, making it ideal for drizzling on salads and veggies or using in salad dressings and other applications where you want its rich flavor to shine. Because of its low smoke point, it's not recommended for frying or sauteing. And it's also more perishable, so I prefer to buy a smaller bottle of a higher quality rather than running the risk that a larger bottle will go rancid before I use it all.

Of course, there are many other oils out there, from the ubiquitous "vegetable oil" (which is soybean oil), to fancy and flavorful (and highly perishable) nut oils like walnut, to flavored or infused oils with chili peppers or herbs. If you love to cook and to try new recipes, you'll want to have some of those, too. But at a minimum, you can't go wrong with the basic five oils above.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Best-Selling Wing Sauces for 2009

The following is our list of the top ten best-selling wing sauces for 2009 at the Carolina Sauce Company online store:

1. As in the past, our best-selling wing sauce is THE sauce that gave birth to Buffalo style hot wings: Anchor Bar Original Buffalo Wing Sauce, from the world-famous Anchor Bar in Buffalo NY

2. In second place last year was the spicier version of the original Anchor Bar wing sauce, appropriately named Anchor Bar Hotter Buffalo Wing Sauce

3. Not a wing sauce but rather the classic accompaniment for Buffalo wings, Anchor Bar Bleu Cheese Sauce took 3rd place last year, and is currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company

4. Continuing the Anchor Bar's dominance of best-selling wing sauces, their sweet & tangy Anchor Bar Honey BBQ Buffalo Wing Sauce finished in 4th place

5. Completing the Anchor Bar's sweep of the top 5 spots on our best-seller list is the fiery hot Anchor Bar Suicidal Buffalo Wing Sauce, a favorite of folks who enjoy "suicide wings"

6. One of our newest wing sauces, The Distillery Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce from Rochester NY, came in a very impressive 6th on our list of best-selling wing sauces.

7. On the milder side is the buttery-rich, herb-seasoned Scorned Woman Wicked Wing Sauce finishing in 7th place, and proving that there are plenty of people who appreciate a milder but flavorful wing sauce

8. The multiple award-winning DEFCON 2 Medium Heat Wing Sauce, featuring fresh and aged cayenne peppers plus a touch of cream for extra richness, came in 8th last year.

9. Another award-winning DEFCON sauce, the insanely hot DEFCON 1 Extreme Heat Wing Sauce that's spiked with capsaicin extract for an unforgiving, long-lasting burn, was the 9th best-seller

10. The super-thick & rich, medium-hot Distillery Original Buffalo Wing Sauce from Rochester NY completes our list of 2009's best-selling wing sauces.

Zestfully yours,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mussels in Zesty Tomato-Garlic Sauce

This Mediterranean-inspired recipe is quick and easy, and full of rich flavor. Serve with a loaf of rustic bread to sop up the sauce, and a tossed salad on the side completes the meal. This recipe makes 4 servings.

3 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small sweet peppers, chopped (red, yellow or orange sweet peppers, or use peperoncino if available)
2 Tbs capers (if using salt-packed capers, rinse them first)
1/4 cup pitted Greek olives (good-quality black or dark olives)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbs Italian herb seasoning, or Big Daddy's Superb Herb Seasoning
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Dried red pepper flakes (optional), to taste
1 lb fresh mussels, cleaned (discard any open ones)
2 Tbs finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan (use one with a lid) over medium heat for about a minute, then add the garlic, sweet peppers, capers and olives. Saute for a few minutes until the garlic and peppers have softened. Add the tomato sauce, herb seasoning, black and red pepper to taste, and stir to combine. Add the mussels, stir and cover tightly with lid. Cook until the mussels open, about 2 minutes. Discard any that didn't open during cooking. Spoon the mussels, with the sauce, into 4 bowls, then sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese.

Zestfully yours,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Easy Tips for Perfect Fish

If you are observing Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season, there's a good chance you're having fish for dinner tonight and for the next 7 Fridays. Here are some quick tips for flawless fish fillets or fish steaks cooked on your stove - whether you're using fresh or frozen/thawed fish, you'll have perfectly tender, moist and golden fish that's sear-steamed in just a few minutes!

*Dry the fish thoroughly: Use paper towels to completely pat dry the fish. This is especially important with thawed fillets, which have lots of extra moisture from being frozen.

*Use canola or peanut oil: You'll want an oil with a very high smoke point so that it can take the heat. Corn oil is also a good choice. On the other hand, butter or olive oil are not good because of their low smoke point. One scant tablespoon of oil is plenty for 4 fillets or steaks.

*Use a very hot well-seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick pan: While cast iron is ideal, a good nonstick pan will work - just make sure to add the oil BEFORE you heat the pan, and heat for about 3 minutes on medium-high heat.

*Don't disturb the fish! Season the dry fish steaks or fillets as desired (salt, pepper, herbs), carefully place in the heated pan, and then don't touch them for two (2) minutes. Resist the urge to poke or move the fish during this time. Letting it cook undisturbed will sear the fish and produce that beautiful golden color.

*Flip, cover & remove from heat: After searing undisturbed for 2 minutes, carefully flip each piece of fish, add any fresh herbs if desired (a couple of sprigs is plenty), cover the pan and remove from heat. If you don't have a tight-fitting lid for your pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let the fish steam in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness (5 minutes for 1/2 inch thick fillets, 10 minutes for 1 inch thick fish). During this time, the fish will gently cook without drying out. While the underside won't be as browned as the seared side, the fish will finish cooking in its steam and with the residual heat of the pan. Resist the urge to look under the lid while the fish while it is steaming, as doing so will cause the steam to escape and the fish to be underdone.

That's it!

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you're looking for tasty new seasonings and sauces especially for fish and seafood, check out this Seafood Lover's Gift Set!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Best-Selling Rubs & Seasonings for 2009

Here's our list of last year's top ten best-selling rubs and seasonings at the Carolina Sauce Company online store:

1. Holding on to the #1 spot in 2009 is 2008's top seller, Calhoun's Charcoal Seasoning from Tennessee. Made with real charcoal, this is *the* dry rub you need if you want to give that charcoal-grilled flavor to steaks, burgers and other food when cooking indoors or using a gas grill.

2. Also repeating in the same spot it had in 2008, the ever-popular Bad Byron's Butt Rub was our second best selling rub for 2009. This Texas-style BBQ rub is packed with mouthwatering savory flavor and a touch of peppery heat. Bad Byron's is superb on pork butt, of course, as well as on ribs (pork or beef), chicken, and anything else you smoke or grill.

3. Southern Twang Dry Rub from North Carolina moved up to third place on our annual list of best selling rubs. This award-winning rub features tomato with a touch of pepper and orange zest for a delightfully savory-sweet-spicy flavor that's fabulous on chicken, pork, and even seafood. Sadly, Southern Twang Dry Rub has sold out and is no longer being made.

4. Another North Carolina favorite, the original Adams Rib Rubb, took fourth place for the second year in a row. Not only is this mouthwatering rub delicious, but it helps tenderize tough cuts of meat, too -- and it's amazing on salmon!

5. Corky's Memphis BBQ Dry Rub finished 5th in 2009 (and also in 2008). From the famous Corky's BBQ joint in Tennessee, this is THE seasoning you need to make authentic Memphis dry ribs (no sauce) at home. And if you like sauce with your Memphis ribs, you need to get some Corky's BBQ Sauce, the perfect complement to their dry rub.

6. Char Crust Roasted Garlic Peppercorn is a gourmet seasoning from Al Farber's Steakhouse in Chicago, and brings genuine steakhouse flavor to your kitchen and table. Enjoy it on all sorts of meats, poultry, and even seafood and veggies.

7. From North Carolina comes the original Bone Suckin' Rib Rub, a local favorite with a growing following around the country. Made by the same folks who make the famous Bone Suckin' Sauce, this all-natural BBQ rub now has a brand new hot & spicy sibling (Bone Suckin' Hot Seasoning & Rub), in case you love the original but long for more fiery heat!

8. Nando's Lemon & Herb Peri-Peri Grind from South Africa is virtually impossible to find in the US, but we still have it in stock. Made with whole spices and dried herbs, this versatile and mildly spicy seasoning comes with a handy twist-top grinder so that you can add freshly-ground flavor to any dish (or screw off the lid and use the whole spices straight from the bottle).

9. One of my favorite dry rubs finished in 9th place last year, Pig Pen's Original Seasoning. Rub this spicy blend on all your meats and poultry before grilling, broiling or roasting. It makes the juiciest steaks, and also doubles as a savory seasoning for popcorn, french fries and vegetables.

10. Completing our list of 2009's best-selling rubs & seasonings is the Original Char Crust Seasoning from Chicago. Now you can add delicious hickory smoked flavors to steaks, meats and poultry even when cooking indoors.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Best Selling Marinades & Dressings for 2009

Below is our list of the top ten best-selling marinades and dressings for 2009 at the Carolina Sauce Company:

1. After a long absence from the market due to manufacturing problems, Walkerswood Spicy Jamaican Jerk Marinade made a triumphant return last year to become our best-selling marinade for 2009.

2. Big Daddy's Marinade, a North Carolina favorite with plenty of vinegar tang and savory spice, was our second best selling marinade last year, and it comes with a free card full of recipe ideas.

3. Also from North Carolina, Thomas Marinade finished in third place last year and is an all-natural, old-fashioned "soak" that will tenderize even the toughest cuts of meat.

4. Nando's Lime & Cilantro Marinade held on to the 4th place slot on our list of best-selling marinades (same as 2008). Made in South Africa and featuring citrusy lime with pungent cilantro and a dash of fiery peri-peri peppers, this mildly spicy, pleasantly tangy and velvety-smooth marinade is delicious with chicken and seafood -- and it's Kosher, too!

5. Another South African favorite, Nando's Peri-Peri BBQ Marinade, came in 5th last year. Inspired by colonial Portuguese cooking and flavored with authentic South African seasonings, this spicy marinade is fabulous on chicken, pork and beef (and it's Kosher).

6. Moving up to sixth place on our list of best-selling dressings and marinades is the Asian-inspired Dave's Gourmet Soyabi Sauce. As the name suggests, Soyabi blends savory soy sauce with piquant wasabi, making it an ideal dipping sauce for sushi, spring rolls, tempura and more. You can also marinate tuna steaks, salmon and other seafood in Dave's Soyabi.

7. Also moving up in the annual standings is one of my favorite dressings, Mama T's Olive Oil Vinagrette from the North Carolina Outer Banks. This classic herb-infused vinaigrette is perfect for all your favorite green salads and steamed vegetables, and also doubles as a simple yet flavorful marinade for fish, seafood and chicken.

8. Nando's Sundried Tomato & Basil Marinade also moved up a slot from 2008 to 2009. This Mediterranean-inspired marinade from the world-famous Nando's Chickenland restaurants is thick and rich, and pleasantly heated by South African peri-peri peppers. And like all Nando's products, it's also Kosher.

9. Tortuga Mango & Ginger Stir-Fry Sauce is an exotic tropical treat from the Caribbean that's mouthwatering with seafood and chicken as well as in rice and veggie dishes. And it's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

10. Completing our list of the top ten best-selling marinades for 2009 is Bone Suckin' Yaki from the makers of Bone Suckin' Sauce. Don't be fooled by the name: The teriyaki-inspired Yaki is YUMMY with steak and other cuts of meat, and also adds rich flavor to casseroles, stews, seafood, stir-fry dishes and ground beef.

Zestfully yours,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Last Chance to Save on Zesty Sauces and Seasonings!

Today is the last day to save big on everything at the Carolina Sauce Company online store using our current Newsletter coupon. Lots of delicious sauces, condiments, seasonings and snacks are already marked down and on sale, AND by using the special coupon code you can save an additional 10% off the product total for orders of $40 or more, even on already discounted sale items!

Want to find the special coupon code? It's easy: Read the latest Carolina Sauce Newsletter here on this blog to find the special 10% off coupon and information on our newest products -- but don't delay, because the coupon expires TODAY at midnight!

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you already used this Newsletter & Blog on an earlier order and want to use it again, I have good news: You can! Simply place another order for at least $40 in products before midnight today (Valentine's Day) at the Carolina Sauce Company online store, and enter the same special coupon code when you check out.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Best-Selling North Carolina Products for 2009

Here is our list of the top ten best-selling NC products for all of 2009 at the Carolina Sauce Company online store:

1. For two consecutive years now, our best-selling North Carolina product is Castle Sauce, a tomato-mustard condiment and classic steak sauce based on the original favorite from the old Boar & Castle Restaurant of Greensboro NC. Castle Sauce is good on everything from steak to burgers to fries to sandwiches and lots more, and the whole family will love it.

2. Wells Hog Heaven Barbecue Sauce, an authentic eastern NC vinegar-based BBQ sauce from Burgaw (near Wilmington), came in second on our best-seller list of NC products for 2009, and is ideal for pulled pork barbeque and also as a marinade for chicken & meat.

3. Just as in 2008, Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce took 3rd place honors among NC products for 2009. Zing Sauce is sweet & spicy (not hot), comes in 2 convenient sizes, and it comes with free recipes, too!

4. Our very own Carolina Sauce Co. Eastern NC BBQ Sauce (mild) debuted last year AND finished 4th on our list of best-selling NC products. Made with a touch of apples and tomatoes to mellow out the traditional vinegar base, this mouthwatering BBQ sauce is the real deal and comes with a free flyer showing you how to make authentic NC pulled pork BBQ. Plus, we donate $1 to Operation Sauce Drop for every bottle sold!

5. Another newcomer, Outta the Park BBQ Sauce, came in 5th last year. This crowd-pleaser is a thick, tomato-based barbecue sauce with a pleasant tang and a zippy jalapeno kick that's not too hot for kids and complements everything from grilled chicken to ribs to burgers and more -- and it's on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

6. The savory and peppery-hot Scotts BBQ Sauce from Goldsboro, a classic vinegar-based barbecue sauce that's ideal for pulled pork, finished 6th last year, and was recently featured in a healthy-lifestyle cookbook because it has no added sugar and has no carbs.

7. We introduced our Carolina Sauce Co. Hot Eastern NC BBQ Sauce last year and were pleased to see it in 7th place on our list of best-selling NC products. Made with the same mellow vinegar base as the mild but spiced up with plenty of red pepper, this spicy BBQ sauce is the real deal and comes with a free flyer showing you how to make authentic NC pulled pork BBQ. Plus, we donate $1 to Operation Sauce Drop for every bottle sold!

8. Carolina Cupboard Eastern NC BBQ Sauce, another tangy and savory vinegar barbecue sauce, once again made the top 10 list, this time ending up as the 8th best-selling NC products

9. Southern Twang Dry Rub, a feisty tomato-citrus barbecue dry rub and seasoning, took 9th place honors for 2009. Sadly, this award-winning rub has since sold out and is no longer available as the manufacturer discontinued it.

10. Completing our list of 2009's best-selling North Carolina products was Carolina Treet Original Cooking BBQ Sauce, a unique barbeque sauce that's used on the stove top or in the oven, rather than for grilling or for prepared food (in other words, you need to cook with it, not splash it on pulled pork!)

Zestfully yours,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spicy Southern Twang Country Style Ribs with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This super-easy and super-tasty recipe comes from the creators of Southern Twang Hot Grilling Sauce. You can order it from the Carolina Sauce Company, and the entire product price is donated to Operation Sauce Drop, a nonprofit program that sends free sauce to deployed troops.

1 pkg Country Style ribs (10 pieces)
1 jar Southern Twang Sauce
2 lbs red potatoes
3/4 milk, heated
3 Tbs butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs butter
Salt & pepper to taste

Trim the fat from the ribs, and place ribs on a broiler pan. Broil on high for 8 to 10 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove ribs from broiler and turn oven to 325F degrees (you may need to let it cool down to that temperature after broiling). Transfer ribs into a large oven-safe casserole dish and pour the entire jar of Southern Twang Sauce over the ribs. Cover the casserole dish and cook ribs for about 3 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.

While the ribs are baking, peel and slice potatoes into 2-inch pieces. Add potatoes to a large pot filled with water. Place the pot on the large burner on your stove, bring water to boil, and cook for 30 minutes. Drain water and transfer potatoes to a medium bowl. Add hot milk, butter, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt & pepper (to taste). Mash the potatoes until smooth and everything is combined. Make sure to keep the potatoes warm if they're ready before the ribs are done.

Once the ribs are done, serve with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. Corn makes a nice additional side dish, and a tossed green salad will complete the meal.

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Best-Selling BBQ Sauces for 2009

Here is the list of the Top Ten best-selling barbecue sauces for 2009 at the Carolina Sauce Company online store:

1. The runner-up from 2 years ago is 2009's best-selling BBQ sauce, Wells Hog Heaven Barbecue Sauce. Made in the tiny eastern NC town of Burgaw (about 30 minutes from Wilmington), Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce is an authentic eastern NC vinegar-based barbecue sauce without tomatoes and with a pleasant peppery kick.

2. Our very own Carolina Sauce Company Eastern NC Barbecue Sauce, which we introduced last year, made an impressive debut by finishing as the second-best selling barbeque sauce for the entire year. This genuine eastern NC sauce is made with the traditional vinegar base, but the addition of apples and just a touch of tomato helps to round out the sharp edges of the vinegar, for a mellow and tangy BBQ sauce that the whole family will enjoy -- and it comes with a free recipe flier for making real NC style pulled pork BBQ!

3. Another new product, Outta the Park BBQ Sauce, also made a strong debut last year in third place overall. This award-winning, all-natural tomato-based barbecue sauce is delicious on pretty much everything, and has just the right touch of jalapeno zip to add zing without a burn. And it's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company!

4. For the second year in a row, Scott's Barbecue Sauce from Goldsboro NC came in as our 4th best-selling BBQ sauce. This traditional eastern NC vinegar barbecue sauce can be traced back to 1917, and it's made with a hefty dose of red pepper and no sugar, making it ideal for folks who like their pulled pork BBQ savory and spicy, with no carbs!

5. Continuing the theme of impressive debuts, our own Carolina Sauce Company Eastern NC Hot BBQ Sauce finished the year in fifth place. As the name states, this is the hot & spicy version of our traditional eastern NC vinegar-based BBQ sauce -- and like the Mild version, it comes with a free recipe for making genuine North Carolina pulled pork barbecue!

6. Another eastern style vinegar based BBQ sauce, Carolina Cupboard Eastern NC Bar-B-Que Sauce, took sixth place honors for 2009.

7. Carolina Treet is unique among NC barbecue sauces in that you use it for cooking, rather than adding it to prepared food like pulled pork. Carolina Treet is especially good with chicken, and because you use it on the stovetop or in the oven you don't need to wait for nice grilling weather to enjoy it!

8. The mild Homestyle version of Jim's Own Bar-B-Que Sauce from Durham NC finished eighth for 2009. Jim's Own BBQ Sauce is a tangy-sweet Piedmont style BBQ sauce (vinegar, tomatoes, sugar & a touch of pepper) that comes in three convenient sizes (pints, quarts and adorable mini-jars that make great party favors). Not just for pulled pork BBQ, Jim's Own is also great as a marinade for chicken and ribs -- plus you get free recipes when you buy it from the Carolina Sauce Company!

9. J.T. Pappy's Flamin' Gator Sauce is a tangy mustard-tomato barbecue sauce with spicy medium heat, and was the 9th best-selling BBQ sauce last year. All-natural and great with all sorts of meat and chicken, rumor has it that it's also tasty on alligator (but I confess I haven't tried that yet).

10. Rounding out our list of 2009's top ten best-selling BBQ sauces is the original Bone Suckin' Sauce, a western NC style barbecue sauce featuring plenty of tomatoes along with tangy vinegar and a touch of spice. It comes with free recipes, too!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Marie Sharp's No Wimps Allowed Hot Sauce

When a hot sauce calls itself "No Wimps Allowed", it had better live up to its name or serious fiery foods fanatics will not be amused. Well folks, this incendiary creation from Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces most certainly lives up to its cautionary name. Hailing from Belize and made in the traditional Caribbean hot sauce style (hot peppers in a vinegar-carrot base), Marie Sharp's No Wimps Allowed Hot Sauce lists capsicum oil (pepper extract) as its second ingredient -- as if using habanero pepper mash as the main ingredient wasn't fiery enough! This ultra-hot sauce is serious and unforgiving in its heat level, with a burn that keeps on burning (and burning, and burning), so be sure to use only a drop at a time and have plenty of milk or water on hand if you need to soothe your tongue. Don't rely on carbonated beverages (i.e., soda or beer) as they will actually intensify the heat because of how the carbonation (and alcohol, in the case of beer) interacts with the capsicum oil.

For the sake of your tongue, it's best to use No Wimps Allowed as an ingredient to spice up chili, stews, Caribbean and creole dishes, stir-fry recipes, ground beef, and savory sauces, rather than straight on food. OK, you've now been warned. If you are nevertheless brave (or foolhardy) enough to use this hot sauce directly on served food, you will be pleasantly surprised with its appealing flavor and texture. Unlike other extract-spiked hot sauces, Marie Sharp's No Wimps Allowed has a natural habanero flavor blended with tasty creole spices plus savory onion and garlic. And because Marie Sharps uses pepper mash, fresh carrots, and a bit of tomato, the texture is richer and more substantial than that of regular vinegar-based hot sauces. So if you are an experienced and Teflon-tongued chilehead (in other words, not a wimp), you will enjoy having Marie Sharp's No Wimps Allowed Hot Sauce in your stable of dangerously hot hot sauces.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, February 8, 2010

5 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Still looking for a unique and thoughtful way to say "I love you" to your special someone? How about a romantic and deliciously tasty sampling of sauces and snacks? If flowers are what she wants, we have gorgeous florist-arranged bouquets and grower-fresh flowers, too! Here are five wonderful last-minute gift ideas that will show how much you care:

1. For the person who loves spicy foods, we have the Hot & Saucy Romance Gift Set featuring 3 romantically-named sauces (including "Jump Up & Kiss Me") plus a can of Hot Honeys gourmet chipotle & honey roasted peanuts, just $24.99!

2. Need a tasty gift for a picky eater and not sure what to send? How about an electronic Gift Certificate from the Carolina Sauce Company! That way the recipient can choose exactly what he or she wants, from over 300 delicious sauces, seasonings, condiments and snacks from all over the world. Best of all, these gift certificates never expire!

3. Take her breath away with beautiful florist-arranged flowers delivered to her home or office

4. Send a bountiful Gift Basket full of gourmet goodies for eating or luxurious spa products for relaxing and pampering

5. Instead of going out to an overpriced restaurant, how about cooking a fabulous romantic meal at home featuring mouthwatering grass-fed gourmet beef from Montana, or fresh lobster from Lobster Gram, America's #1 Lobster Delivery Company since 1987, with over 1,000,000+ DELIVERED! Order this week and receive your steaks and seafood in time for your Valentine's Day dinner, without the hassles of driving to a specialty shop or grocery store.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you or someone you know is NOT celebrating Valentine's Day, we still have the perfect gift: Our Love Stinks Gift Set, with four appropriately-named hot sauces including Mean Devil Woman and Scorned Woman, to name just two!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Final Week for Super Coupon Sale!

Want to save money on delicious sauces and seasonings? Then take advantage of our Super Coupon discount! This is the final week for great bargains on good tasting food, using the current Carolina Sauce Company Newsletter coupon. Lots of delicious sauces, condiments, seasonings and snacks are already on sale, AND by using the special coupon code you can save an additional 10% off the product total for orders of $40 or more. And yes, you can get 10% off already discounted sale items!

Want to find the Super Coupon code? It's easy: Read the latest Carolina Sauce Newsletter here on this blog to find the special 10% off coupon and information on our newest products -- but don't delay, because the coupon is good only through this week and expires on Valentine's Day, February 14th!

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you already used the Newsletter coupon last week and want to use it again, I have good news: You can! Simply order at least $40 in products this week at the Carolina Sauce Company online store and enter the same Super Coupon code when you check out.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Top 10 Best-Selling Hot Sauces for 2009

Here is the list of the top ten best-selling hot sauces at the Carolina Sauce Company for all of 2009:

1. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce: This is our best-selling hot sauce of all time, so it came as no surprise that Pukka Sauce was #1 last year. This versatile, fiery and flavorful savory hot sauce is made in Jamaica and inspired by old colonial recipes

2. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce: This mouthwatering hot sauce from Trinidad & Tobago features fiery scotch bonnet peppers mellowed with sweet tropical papaya, and is fabulous on chicken and seafood as well as meats and veggies

3. Matouk's Calypso Sauce is more savory and hotter than Matouk's West Indian sauce, with a spicy mustard and scotch bonnet pepper base and just a touch of sugar. Matouk's Calypso is thick and rich, and brings authentic island flavor to all your favorite foods

4. Georgia Peach and Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce is a "gently spicy" hot sauce that's great for folks who normally don't care for spicy foods, and the summery flavor is so tasty that chileheads also love it. Sweet and juicy ripe peaches and mellow Vidalia onions are expertly blended with just the right touch of hot peppers to yield a mildy hot and seductively delicious hot sauce.

5. If you prefer a good fiery burn, Scorned Woman Hot Sauce is for you. Coming in 5th last year on our list of best-selling hot sauces, this classic vinegar-based hot sauce features black pepper plus several different types of chile peppers for plenty of peppery heat. Aptly named after the saying that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

6. If you prefer spicy flavor instead of fire, there's Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce, a spicy-sweet, mildly hot favorite from North Carolina. Zing Sauce is delicious as a table sauce and also as a cooking ingredient. You can get it in 5 oz and 10 oz bottles, and it comes with a free recipe sheet!

7. Matouk's Flambeau Sauce: About as hot as you can get without adding pepper extract or capsaicin oil, Matouk's Flambeau delivers serious incendiary heat in a traditional Caribbean mustard & scotch bonnet base. Ideal for hearty fare, it's also tasty on scrambled eggs if you have a Teflon tongue!

8. Dave's Ultimate Insanity Sauce: Dave is not kidding when he cautions you to be very careful with this sauce. Ultimate Insanity Sauce is an ultra-hot food additive that is best used in micro-droplets (off a toothpick) and added to recipes, NOT used directly on food. Yes, it is that painfully hot, and unforgiving in its lingering burn. You've been warned..... but apparently that hasn't stopped hordes of chileheads from buying tons of this hot sauce!

9. Matouk's Hot Pepper Sauce is a classic Caribbean hot sauce made with aged, pickled scotch bonnet peppers in a spicy, savory mustard base. Fabulous on grilled foods including meats, poultry, burgers, sausages, and your favorite sandwiches

10. Walkerswood Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce: Another Caribbean jewel, Jonkanoo Sauce is named after a Jamaican street festival that's colorful and lively, just like this feisty hot sauce. Use it on all sorts of savory foods for fiery tropical flavor

Zestfully yours,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Carolina Sauce Co. Closed on Friday, Feb 5

The Carolina Sauce Company is closed on Friday, February 5th while we attend a seminar (which we hope won't get snowed out!) You can still shop online while we are closed, and orders received on Friday will start shipping out on Monday February 8th when we re-open for business. Although no one will be available to answer the phone or reply to email while we are closed, please feel free to leave us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can when we re-open.

Thanks for your understanding and patience, and be careful out there if you're in the path of the wintry weather!

Zestfully yours,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Iguana Red Cayenne Pepper Sauce

Who said all good cayenne pepper sauces must come from Louisiana? Iguana Red Cayenne Pepper Sauce is a feisty and flavorful cayenne hot sauce from Costa Rica that's sure to please fans of Louisiana hot sauces as well as Caribbean hot sauces. The reason this moderately hot pepper sauce is so tasty is because its vinegar base is enhanced with tomatoes, carrots, a touch of molasses and a dash of onion and garlic. In other words, it's not a thin, watery vinegar hot sauce with a single note of peppery heat. Instead, all the ingredients come together in a harmonious blend of flavor and fire that makes Iguana Red hot sauce a delicious way to spice up pretty much any dish. And if you enjoy a hot sauce with a more substantial mouthfeel, the rich texture of Iguana Red Cayenne Pepper Sauce is sure to satisfy your palate. It's terrific on meats, poultry, seafood, egg dishes (I love Iguana Red as a breakfast or brunch hot sauce), red and black bean dishes, and even on pizza and sandwiches. Iguana Red is also great in soup, chili, homemade marinades, and splashed on mac and cheese (I kid you not). And if you're watching your diet, you'll be thrilled to learn that this flavor-packed hot sauce is very low in sodium (20mg per teaspoon) and has only 1g of carbs per teaspoon. At only $4.25 a bottle from the Carolina Sauce Company online store, it's practically a steal!

Zestfully yours,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spicy Peri Peri Nuts

Here's a quick & easy recipe for seasoned mixed nuts, from the makers of Nando's Peri Peri Sauces. You can multiply the recipe if you want to make a larger quantity.

8 oz plain (unseasoned) mixed nuts (e.g., pecans, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts)
4 Tbs Nando's Hot Peri Peri Sauce*
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in your oven at 400F degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer nuts into a bowl. Add an additional tablespoon of Peri Peri Sauce to the nuts and toss to coat well. Serve warm or cold. You can also store in an airtight container for up to a week (let the nuts cool completely first).

*For variety, I sometimes use a different flavor of Nando's Peri Peri Sauce, such as the Garlic Peri Peri Sauce.

Zestfully yours,

Monday, February 1, 2010

Top 10 Best-Selling Sauces & Products for 2009

The numbers are in, and here is the list of the top ten best-selling sauces and seasonings at the Carolina Sauce Company for 2009:

1. Castle Sauce: No surprise here, as this classic steak sauce and condiment from Greensboro NC is also our all-time best selling product

2. Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning: This authentic Jamaican jerk paste or wet rub was our second best selling product last year. With an intensely aromatic and spicy flavor, a little goes a long way in seasoning meats, poultry and seafood

3. Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce is also from Jamaica, but it's not a jerk sauce. Based on a traditional colonial recipe, Pukka Sauce is a spicy-hot and versatile table sauce for adding fiery heat to any savory dish.

4. Matouk's West Indian Hot Sauce from Trinidad and Tobago finished in 4th place, and is a thick, rich scotch bonnet pepper sauce that's tempered with a touch of naturally sweet tropical fruit

5. Wells Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce is an authentic vinegar-based eastern NC barbecue sauce that's ideal for pulled pork BBQ and also works as a marinade for chicken and meat

6. Buderim Ginger Bears are a grown-up gummy candy from Australia that's made with real ginger, and is addictively zippy and tasty

7. Matouk's Calypso Sauce is an authentic West Indian hot sauce made with aged scotch bonnet peppers in a traditional mustard base with just a hint of sweetness

8. Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce: Gently spicy and packed with luscious ripe peaches and mellow Vidalia onions, this mouthwatering hot sauce was our 8th most popular product in 2009 and it pairs beautifully with everything from grilled meats to roast chicken to broiled seafood and even veggie dishes

9. Scorned Woman Hot Sauce is a classic vinegar based hot pepper sauce made with a variety of chili peppers as well as black pepper, for a fiery-hot burn that's perfect for adding heat without altering the flavor of food

10. Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce completes our list of the top ten best-selling products for 2009. This North Carolina favorite is spicy without being hot, and its sweet-tangy flavor makes it great as a table sauce as well as a cooking ingredient -- and it comes with free recipes!

Zestfully yours,

PS: Stay tuned to this blog as I'll soon be posting the category-specific lists of best-selling products (e.g., hot sauce, BBQ sauce, mustards, etc.) for 2009, as well as updating those lists on the Carolina Sauce website