Saturday, September 27, 2008

Review: Ribber City N. Carolina Sauce

Ribber City North Carolina Style

Manufacturer The Phoenix Food Group

Quality **** (4 out of 5)
Viscosity n/a
Aroma **** (4 out of 5)

Appearance *** (3.5 out of 5)

Packaging *** (3 out of 5)

The majority of the sauces reviewed on the Home of BBQ website are tasted alone and on pulled pork or brisket. On occasion the sauce will be tried with ribs or chicken. If a sauce is labeled as multipurpose it will often be tried with a burger or fries. We always attempt to match the sauce with what it is recommended for on the label. Sadly, I will never try a sauce on steak. It wouldn’t be fair to me or the steak. It would be a degradation to us both.

This is one of the oddest sauces that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. That’s neither positive nor negative, just an interesting note. I almost have to restrain myself from being overly influenced by the novelty and offer commentary strictly on the quality. At least 90% of the sauces that I get to review are some variation of a standard KC style. Viva la difference!

The sauce comes in a 16oz. glass bottle. It pours VERY easily (use caution). The label is a bit rustic and I believe that is by design. They overall design (bottle and packaging) isn’t very dynamic, but I’m not sure if that is what you are going for with a BBQ sauce. It offers a ‘homey’, comfortable vibe that I think works well for the product.

The aroma is relatively strong and offers piquant hints of wine, as opposed to the standard tart aroma that usually accompanies Carolina sauces. The aroma parallels the taste as well as any sauce that I have had the pleasure of tasting.

Being a Carolina sauce, there is no viscosity to speak of. A typical eastern Carolina sauce can just as easily be used as a marinade or mop as a sauce. Often called a dippin’ sauce in the area, the use of a Carolina sauce is significantly different than that of a KC style sauce.

The sauce is a translucent, light brown with specks of ingredients that float in the liquid.

The sauce has little of the tartness found in many vinegar sauces, although cider vinegar is the primary ingredient. The reasons for this include wine as a strong second ingredient, molasses and ketchup that ameliorate the harshness and Dr. Pepper (yes, you read that right) to add a unique and distinctive kick.

This was the first sauce that I have tried by Ribber City but it won’t be my last.