19 March 2008

BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: Melinda's Coffee BBQ Sauce

One more post about Memphis and then I promise I'm done talking about it. For now.

Another really fun place to go in Memphis is the A. Schwab General Store on Beale Street. It's a gigantic three story collection of some of the oddest, most random things you can imagine. They sell everything from overalls to old movies to incense to kitchenware. Even if you don't want to buy anything, you can spend an hour or more just browsing through all of the odds and ends for sale.

Another thing that Schwab has quite a large selection of is hot sauces. And while I don't have the heat tolerance to be a legitimate connoisseur of hot sauces, I did come across a rather unusual barbecue sauce. It's from the Melinda's line of products, which mostly consists of a variety of hot sauces, and is produced by Figurosa Brothers, Inc of Dallas. What we have here is a "Coffee BBQ Sauce." I paid $9.00 for a 14 ounce bottle, which is completely outrageous even by Beale Street standards. You can do slightly better ordering it from the Figurosa website at $6.25 per bottle, but even that is well above the industry average. "Is it worth it?" you ask. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Containing both Melinda's Chipotle Sauce and Melinda's XXX Hot Sauce as ingredients, the sauce does pack quite a peppery punch. But beyond the heat, all of the flavors are disappointingly bland. The tomato paste base is enhanced by an onion-heavy mirepoix - a combination that could be the foundation of something really good. But unfortunately, subsequent ingredients fall flat in their attempt to complement, and the result is a bland, vaguely fruity finish. Oddly, one thing that I cannot taste in this sauce is coffee. A slight coffee aroma is definitely present in the smell of the sauce, but not in the taste.

Grade: C

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