Friday, January 2, 2009

Review: Smoky Pecan Peppercorn

Smoky Pecan Peppercorn

Manufacturer Southern Delight

Quality **** (4 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5) This is a measure of thickness, not quality

Aroma *** (2.5 out of 5)

Appearance *** (4 out of 5)

Packaging ** (2.5 out of 5)

Southern Delight promotes their products as ‘no salt added’. I’m usually a bit wary of products that promote what they are not as opposed to what they are. Low sodium products are needed for a specific niche in the culinary world, but does their emphasis on being salt conscious detract from the overall quality of the sauce? Read on!

The sauce comes in a sturdy, 14 oz. glass bottle. The packaging is a bit mundane. A tad too busy, a tad too generic; there is nothing that really grabs the eye. The only image on the label is that of pecans that unobtrusively underscore the text. The bottle is clear, providing a brown background (due to the color of the sauce). The labeling is yellow, black, red and white.

The rich, earthy, brown sauce pours easily from the bottle. The sauce is a bit looser than a traditional KC style, but is much thicker than the vinegar based sauces. I would estimate that it is on par for viscosity with most Memphis style sauces.

The aroma is mild but pleasant. The tomato, vinegar and molasses are all there, but I’m happy to say that the overarching sweetness of sauces made with ketchup is missing. The separate ingredients make their own statement in the aroma without being overpowered.

The intensity of the flavor mirrors that of the aroma. This is definitely a sauce that is not intended to replace or mask the flavor of the meat, but to add a subtle new layer and to gently enhance what it is put on. A low end sweetness hits you at first and is quickly followed by an earthiness from the pecans. There is a bit of heat that follows and lingers without pulling attention from the rest of the flavors.

Although you have to look for it, there are separate ingredients that are visible in the sauce. If you look past the dark coloring of the sauce, you can make out pepper flakes and other specs. These variations in the coloring parallel a variation in the texture. There is a nice crunch and mouth-feel that you get with Southern Delights sauce.

Southern Delights Smoky Pecan Peppercorn has a unique flavor profile and that in and of itself is welcome. To answer the question from the first paragraph, the care taken to ensure that the sauce is low in sodium does not in any way detract from the quality. This sauce is excellent and I will be enjoying it again soon.

General Notes:

I do the majority of the sauce analysis on this site. I have often been assisted by Will Breakstone of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ (pitmaster, competitor and caterer). The foods used with the sauces are usually brisket, pulled pork and chicken. On occasion, other foods will be used if recommended by the manufacturer (ex. burgers, fries, meatloaf, etc.).

Most of the food used for the reviews is cooked on a Weber Smoky Mountain or a Lang 84. The basic BBQ accoutrements (such as tool sets, chimney starters, etc.) are by Weber. Knives are by Mercer Cutlery. Fuel is either a cherry/oak mix or whatever charcoal I’m in the mood for.


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