A few weeks ago, we learned that you can't necessarily judge a barbecue sauce by its zip code. That theory will again be put to the test today as we examine a Kansas City style sauce produced by a company in...New Jersey. Ribber City Sauce Company has a line of rubs and barbecue sauces as long as the New Jersey Turnpike. They've got just about all of the major barbecue regions covered - in addition to the Kansas City style sauce, they offer a Memphis style sauce, a Carolina style sauce, a Kentucky style sauce, as well as boutique offerings like a blueberry chipotle barbecue sauce. Each of their products is adorned with a photo of "Old Man Ribber", who I have a feeling is about as real as Aunt Jemima and the Cream of Wheat chef.
The sauce itself does have a lot of the characteristics of a traditional Kansas City style sauce - dark in color and thick in consistency. When uncapped, the sauce effuses an exotic, complex aroma that promises exciting flavors. The taste that follows, however, fails to deliver that excitement. There are traces of the rich and smokey, molasses-sweet flavor that they were surely shooting for, but in the end, that's all there are - traces. The resulting taste is bland, and almost watered-down tasting. Very disappointing.