by Steven Doyle
Tasting salsas and sauces is more of an art than a hobby for some. These same folks go as far as to collect jars that can amass into the thousands. Perhaps a bit competitive and you will meet some of these enthusiasts later this month at the annual ZestFest at the Irving Convention Center. The local version we are most geared up about these days is not a salsa but rather a sauce.
You know the type, sometimes vinegary that splashes a bit of flavor to your favorite recipes and for that matter, directly onto dishes to spice things up a bit. Hillary Clinton, in order to make us think she is one of us, claims to carry a jar of sauce in her purse for just such occasions. Let’s think what might arise that you would need your own special brand concealed on your person at all times: breakfast of any sort (oh, eggs please be spiced up), enchiladas (you failed me TexMexeria), burgers, chili, Lithuanian food, oh you get the idea. A small jar can be a valuable commodity in a tasteless situation.
Online the world is your oyster (oh, sauces are good on those, too) and locally there are many shops that carry a brave supply of your favorites. Both Central Market and Whole Foods are the devil’s work when it comes to sauces, and we are the benefactors.
One particular local brand is making headlines and headway through the competition, Frankie V’s Kitchen with their incredible supply and variety of sauces to wake you from any dull workday, sad brunch or dinner. Wake up mild mannered meatloaf! At attention cafeteria soups and salads! Take notes you sad, sad queso that mom never quite learned to master, Frankie V is here to rescue.
Frankie, who is in actuality Frankie Valdez, a local Renaissance man and creator of such bottles of fire as Orange Label Habanero (a great party sauce that is hot enough to make you notice, but not one of the mega-peppers that will break you into tears), Spookie White (tons of flavor and lots of heat and made from a combination of white and orange habaneros, mustard, ginger, garlic, onions and infused habanero vinegar) or the unusual Texas Bayou which is formulated for those with Cajun tendencies.
In the sauce line up Frankie has three categories, Traditional, Creamy and Organic. He also has a line of salsas, dressings, soups and spreads. All available online and at major markets.
Frankie also provides an economical co-packing service for those wanting to enter into the market of sauces. For a nominal fee Frankie’s people will walk you through the world you are craving to enter from research and development of your own brand, to placement into the marketplace.
Sauce up, DFW! Visit Frankie V’s here.