26 May 2010
BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: Cunningham's
When I saw this sauce on the shelf of my local Publix, the name seemed familiar to me. "Cunningham's"..."Memphis"...as it turns out, what I was thinking of was Willingham's. John Willingham is a Memphis in May legend - a two time grand champion (not to mention an American Royal grand champion). He does make a line of barbecue sauces, and hopefully I will get around to reviewing them. But today's sauce is Cunningham's. Though "Memphis" is on the label, Cunningham's is manufactured in North Florida.
The sauce is dark in color and thick in consistency like a Kansas City style sauce. The texture is completely smooth and almost slick. The texture and extra thick consistency result in an almost gelatinous mouthfeel. The vinegary aroma is arresting, softened slightly by the dark essence of molasses.
The label describes the sauce as "semi-sweet," and that is accurate. The sharp tanginess of vinegar is the first flavor, followed by a strangely artificial tasting sweetness and the savory taste of Worcestershire. There is a slight tingle of heat as the others flavors subside.
Overall, this sauce falls short in both taste and texture.