Thursday, February 03, 2011
Jay Calvert sent me samples of his collection of barbecue sauces and all purpose rubs from Canada. His products are under the Jake Albert's brand line, since people often hear his name and think that he is Jake Albert rather than Jay Calvert. That could, for sure, be confusing to the ears.
My rubs are under the "in development" stage, so folks will see a different label on there but the same collection of rubs. The barbecue sauces would be easy to spot with the dark bottle and signature label.
There are four rubs in the Jake Albert's collection, and I went with the Prima tonight. It is a salt free rub, and I know that many people are looking to cut back on salt. I'm a pepper freak myself, so I've never had a heavy hand with the salt. So, I still look for products that are low or no salt and still taste great. I'll check back in on the rubs later.
There are two sauces in the Jake Albert's collection. Both are real honey sauces with habanero peppers so have a combination flavor of sweet and heat.
The Fuego Rojo has pomegranate while the Fuego Azul has wild blueberry. The sauce I'm using tonight is the Fuego Azul with the blueberry kick. Wish my college son was home. He loves blueberries, but I have some left and will hook him up when he comes in.
I really love the country ribs at the IGA grocery store here in town, so I went with those for the grill out tonight. Country ribs are not ribs like racked ribs. They grill up more like pork chops.
First I rubbed the ribs with Jake Albert's Prima rub and then let them grill until done. Then, I lathered on some Fuego Azul barbecue sauce (more of a glaze actually). The reason I cooked the country ribs through first is because a honey based sauce is not a mop sauce to put on grilled foods early. It is a rich sauce with natural honey sugar which will burn if heated too much. Honey based sauces really just needs heating which takes only a couple of minutes.
I found the Jake Albert's ribs to be absolutely delicous. I wasn't so sure to start with. The sauce smells . . . different. I had a quick taste from the bottle and found it pretty hot like that (which is fine as I do love spicy). But, heated on the meat, the sauce rocked. It had that perfect balance of heat from the peppers and then the sweet back note. Really nice.
My teen son who loves honey was not a fan. I should mention that he is also not into heat. He would consider even a Kraft hot barbecue sauce to be hot. I had hoped the honey would offset that, but the peppers got him. He did not get my genes on heat.
I would say that the Jake Albert's barbecue honey sauces are gourmet or foodie products. People who appreciate different notes in the food would find the sauces interesting to delightful. I was frankly blown away. Warmed and on the meat, this sauce was fabulous. I look forward to trying the Fuego Azul again and think maybe chicken next time. Jay also told that it's great on ice cream, so I need to give that a try too.
I would not pick Jake Albert's sauces for a general family gathering where I have Kraft BBQ sauce fans who just want a basic tomato flavor with very faint heat or seasonings. What can you say? Some guests are not going to go for layered notes or much heat. Pass the ketchup. Different strokes. This would a line for those who like more complex flavors and more kick. With honey, blueberry, and peppers, Jake Albert's is a complicated combination that comes together very nicely. If you want to treat your buddies who like interesting layers to a sauce or glaze, then this is one that will impress and have folks talking.