Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, November 13, 2009
BBQ Sauce of the Month Club
Trigger’s BBQ Sauce
Manufacturer Trigger Beeler
Quality *** (3 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5) This is a measure of thickness, not quality
Aroma *** (3 out of 5)
Appearance ** (2.5 out of 5)
Packaging ** (2 out of 5)
Trigger’s BBQ sauce is a product of Texas, an area reputed to have a love/hate relationship with BBQ sauce. According to their website, the sauce is the end result of years of research and testing, conducted in a small diner founded and run by Trigger himself. Trigger was a diabetic and his influence led to a sauce that is (as claimed on their site) low in sugar and salt.
In spite of the claims to be sugar conscious, sugar is the second ingredient in the sauce and part of the fourth. That isn’t always the best barometer to judge the total content, as the ingredient listing will give you the order of ingredients from most to least, but it doesn’t give you a ratio. Trigger’s is definitely not as sweet as the majority of the KC style sauces out there.
The sauce comes in a standard glass bottle. It’s serviceable, sturdy and has a lip that is wide enough to allow for easy pouring. Unfortunately, it has a dark and muddled label wrapped around it. In an effort to capture the feel of an old time ‘wanted’ poster, they darkened the already muted tan label. In this area they included a black and white picture of (I believe) Trigger that is further muddled.
If they expect their product to ‘pop’ when on the shelf, they have made some serious marketing errors. Thankfully, I care about the contents of the bottle much more than the labels.
The sauce has a strong and pleasing aroma that avoids the overly sweet notes that most store bought sauces offer. Hints of spice emanate from a deep tomato base.
The sauce pours easily, but avoids pooling. Neither a thick sauce like the worst of the KC styles, nor a thin sauce such as the Carolina specimens, Trigger’s walks a middle road and doesn’t suffer for it. The sauce is a bit darker than normal, but not much. There is no visual contrast whatsoever. There are no visible spices of small chunks of onion.
The sauce has a surprising amount of heat that hits after the other traits have dissipated. In spite of this, there is little vibrancy to the sauce. No individual flavors stand out and, like the labeling, the sauce is just a bit muddled. I appreciated the level of ‘sweet’ found in the sauce and I also like that the sauce won’t detract from or overwhelm the meat.
I enjoyed the sauce and would not be disappointed to have it used on my ‘Q, but lacks anything that makes it truly distinctive. This is a good sauce that is struggling to make it to excellent.
Repeated from the first BBQ Sauce of the Month review:
The BBQ Sauce of the Month Club sends its constituents 2 sauces every month. The cost for a one year membership comes out to roughly $9.00 a bottle and that includes shipping. For quality sauces that are difficult to find elsewhere, it seems like a bargain. In early July I will have had enough of a sample to comment knowledgeably on their shipping.
Along with the sauce there is a brief newsletter that talks about the current months selections. The sauces arrive well packed in a cardboard box. Their site (see above for link) claims that they test dozens of sauces a month (at a minimum). This volume would seem to allow them room for selectivity.
Aside from delivery to your door and the screening by their tasters, you also have the benefit of receiving a discount on purchases of sauces that you particularly like and would enjoy more of. It seems that the discount varies, but the courteous salesperson I spoke with when enquiring said that they would be happy to let a member know what the discount would be if they gave them a call (see above for phone number).
Looking for a great place on Long Island to purchase meat? Check out dixhillsmeat.com.
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Monday, August 10, 2009
Frank's Red Hot Chile 'n Lime Steak Strips
Manufacturer: Thanasi Foods LLC
Flavor: Chile 'n Lime
Weight: 3.15 oz.
Flavor: ***** 5
Aroma: *** 3.5
Texture: **** 4.0
Packaging: **** 4.0
Ratings range from 1 to 5
Let me tell you a brief story. I had spent the weekend at some friends house. I arrived a day early for a party and helped prepare the food and left a day after the party. As these things go, we prepared way too much food. A bacchanalian feast was had by all and upon our satiation we lay about, limbs akimbo. The next day we indulged upon leftovers. Way too many leftovers. I returned home with a friend and en route to his home I offered him a piece of these Chile 'n Lime Steak Strips. Although we were already suffering the soporific effects of having all of our blood pooled to the stomach to digest much BBQ, we couldn't stop eating this jerky (or 'steak strips'). This stuff is so good it should come with a warning label.
Thanasi is the same company that makes the Bigs sunflower seeds we recently reviewed. It's nice to see that they are maintaining the level of quality across product lines.
The 'steak strips' are moist and chewy while still being malleable enough to eat without difficulty. They come in a sizeable, very attractive bag that is printed in full four color. The bag is resealable, but that is hardly needed. If you are eating these with anyone else they will be gone soon after the bag is opened.
The size of the strips vary in width, length and depth. They have a very rich, red coloring that is common in jerky. The aroma is fairly mild, with hints of the lime, but not much of the chile.
The first thing that you notice when you take a bite is the lime. It is a strong presence that pops immediately. As someone that enjoys heat in my food, I was initially disappointed, wondering where the chile was. And then it hit. Long after the other flavors dissipate, the heat and flavor of the chile dance along the taste buds. On a scale of one to ten for heat, I would give it a three, but what a three it is. Durable with excellent flavor, the steak strips have a separation of flavors that offers both variation and surprise.
I very rarely award a five for flavor, but this was well deserved.