I don't normally write about food. That's not to say I don't enjoy the art- in fact in my third book: Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails and in my second book, Whiskey Cocktails, I devoted plenty of space to recipes including food.
It's wintertime and my palate gets deadened by the cold. Flavors don't seem to pop as they do when vegetables are seasonal and grown locally. I'm forced to seek inspiration by eating for warmth, rather than eating for refreshment.
During the winter months I find myself seeking inspiration in spicier fare. Not only does spicy food create internal heat, but it also perks up my palate with FLAVOR!
Imagine my pleasure to find that in my own state of New Jersey, many entrepreneurs have discovered flavor driven food products.
One of the finest hot sauces that I've ever enjoyed hails from our state. It's named Jersey Barnfire. I know, before you get your underwear in a bunch, yes- we are called the Garden State and I'm sure you're saying how could hot sauce come from New Jersey?
Well now, there is a serious culinary revival going on here in the hinterlands of NJ. Chefs aren't migrating to NYC with the long, expensive commutes and the cost of living in the big city. They are finding affluence and food savvy out here on the perimeter.
With this affluence comes quality ingredients, carefully made- with love. And as I alluded to above- one of the finest table sauces I've ever tasted comes from none other than New Jersey.
Jersey Barnfire is made by the Executive Pastry Chef at the Maritime Parc Hotel in Jersey City, NJ. His name is John Sauchelli. John makes what I consider to be one of the very best- which means FLAVOR-DRIVEN hot sauces that has ever graced my lips.
There are two varieties, the Black Garlic, redolent with the sweet deepness of this pungent variety of garlic, it also includes jalapeno and habanero peppers in a vinegar base. This is seriously good stuff and it deserves your attention. The base is tomato on both versions and I think that they are both VERY good, if not the very best I've ever had.
Original... There's a slow/sweet burn that envelops your mouth but doesn't overpower your palate. The original makes your food just taste better!
The balance of sweet to spicy is bright and refreshing, not sullen nor leaden across your tongue. You'll love this hot sauce on scrambled eggs, ham steak, in rum drinks and for soups...
Black Garlic: Ah, Black Garlic... This is memorable stuff, sweet, hot, spicy and mouth coating- the Black Garlic is elegance in every drop. I'm hoping to drizzle some on a sliced steak salad with the steak element from Sammy's Ye Old Cider Mill in Mendham, NJ. Deeply aromatic and potently smoky with a sweet yet hot finish, the Black Garlic is gorgeous hot sauce. More than worthy of your dinner, lunch or even breakfast.
If I was having a Superbowl Party, I'd say that the Black Garlic would be masterful on chicken wings, burgers, ribs or even as a dipping sauce alongside your chips and guacamole!
Brilliant stuff! And it's made with all natural ingredients that are locally grown whenever possible!