09 August 2010

BBQ Sauce: Sweet Baby Ray's Original

Sweet Baby Ray's (or "SBR" to enthusiasts) is one of the most ubiquitous store brands of BBQ sauce.  For the next 6 Mondays, The Condiment Bible will feature each available flavor, finishing up with the SECRET FLAVOR that few condiment lovers know about.  This week's focus is on the Original.

FLAVOR - Very sweet and sticky, with a peppery vinegar middle and a mild smoky finish
CONSISTENCY - Very thick and gooey, coats food well
APPEARANCE - Typical BBQ sauce brown, with visible black pepper flecks when spread thin 

SMELL - Sweet smoke with a mild vinegar bite
AVAILABILITY - Readily available

INGREDIENTS - HFCS, distilled vinegar, tomato paste, modified food starch, salt, pineapple juice concentrate, natural smoke flavor, spices, caramel color, sodium benzoate, molasses, corn syrup, garlic, sugar, tamarind, natural flavor

A friend of TCB was recently eating some less-than-acceptable BBQ sauce and remarked, "So this is what BBQ sauce tasted like before Sweet Baby Ray's."  I couldn't put it better myself.  When SBR went mainstream in the early 2000's, it pushed the envelope for store-bought BBQ sauce, and has since established an almost cult-like following among sauce fiends.

I have put SBR Original on everything.  Spaghetti with tomato sauce?  Check.  Ice cream?  Check.  Mixed into soup?  Check.  It also makes a great base for homemade BBQ sauces, as well as slightly crazier concoctions (SBR mixed with ranch is a personal favorite).

If you haven't tried this sauce, please do so immediately.  It may not be the absolute greatest BBQ sauce in the world, but I posit it is the best all-around sauce that is available in virtually every grocery store.

Like the Sweet Baby Ray's slogan asserts: "The Sauce is the Boss."

Note:  Pictured above in all its behemoth greatness is the mega 40oz. bottle.  That's right...2.5lbs. of squeezable goodness!

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