When this sauce arrived, I knew something different was happening here. I needed to get cooking with it to uncover the story and find the answers, but I had a lot of questions looking at the bottle.
- Does this sauce really deliver a perfect bite?
- What is Sassy Sweet?
- What is Old South?
- Will it taste good?!
Let’s dig in further and find out.
Everything on the outside of this bottle stimulates a certain region of my brain – I believe it’s called the hyposaucimus – that say’s I need to open it up and get tasting it. It’s got a nice, simple story, a clean label, and a picture of a bull roasting a pig. The logo looks very distinctive as if done by Patrick Carlson from BBQLogos.com (maker of 100′s of BBQ-type logos including Slap Yo Mama) – but I’m not 100% sure. The full name is Perfect Bite BBQ Sassy Sweet Old South BBQ Sauce, which gives me an indication of what it tastes like – but nothing mentioned to give me an indication of the flavor profile. I don’t know what it tastes like, but I’m interested because it looks like a clean, professionally labeled bottle.
Inside the bottle is where things start to get even more interesting. The initial sniff of the opened bottle gives off what smells like cajun seasoning. The powdered form of cajun seasoning is something I love to put on poultry (for example leftover Turkey Day sandwiches), so I thought a little about that flavor profile. The aroma reminds me of a sauce I had back in 2009 (Willingham’s Cajun) and while that sauce was good, but the heat was fairly strong for something you didn’t really expect and a bit of a specialty sauce.
The uncooked flavor of Perfect Bite is fairly strong and that cajun aroma I talked about gets even stronger when it hits the taste buds but take a slight turn towards a different taste than pure cajun seasoning. So I glance at the ingredients label and bygones! It’s creole seasoning. That’s a first for me – seeing a sauce with creole seasoning! Not bad but a little strong and perhaps too unique to really target the standard American tastebuds as a straight up dipping sauce.
However, when I put it on cooked chicken, it transformed into something different. I really enjoyed the flavor. The creole spice settled in a bit and the way this sauce caramelized on the meat while being grilled was just right. It stuck to boneless chicken like glue on wood. Like peanut butter on white bread. And the flavor had enough complexity with the salty Worcestershire, sweet brown sugar, molasses and chile powder flavors to make me want to devour the product before even having a chance to write up some notes on it. But I tried my best to hold back like a trained professional should, and took copious voice-notes.
This is a solid sauce – with a great cajun/creole flavor. On the label it could do a slightly better job describing what it is going to taste like – because it’s different and a little bit surprising! Once I know there is this whole New Orleans / Cajun / Creole thing going on, it almost makes me think the label and the copy on the front could be adjusted to tell people more about that. The logo is fun and interesting and doesn’t really need to be so descriptive, but it does seem fairly easy to insert a New Orleans style backdrop right in back of them – perhaps a steamboat, bourbon street sign, some mardi gras beads on the cow). And if you were starting from scratch or really interested in a label makeover, I would also use these ideas in the name somewhere – something like Perfect Bite New Orleans Style BBQ Sauce or something with the word Cajun or Creole in it. How about Holy Creole? Or Ragin Cajun (although that is overused already). Just some ideas, there is something really good here, just needs the label to tell people about it so when it sits on a lonely shelf without any people nearby, it does the talking for itself.