Local News

Saucy Stuff Stars at Farmer's Market

Posted March 2, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Saturday's springlike temperatures were balmy, but at the State Farmer's Market it was hot, hot, hot. Maybe even hotter.

The 6th annual Battle of the Sauces was under way, with thousands of devoted Tar Heels showing up to enjoy their favorite bottled barbecue sauces and sample new blends.

For some aficionados, this is Southern gourmet at its best. The bright red sauces -- compounded of tomatoes, vinegar, spices, and special blending and simmering -- beckon most emphatically to lovers of North Carolina barbecue. To many, these fiery sauces top off the chopped pork barbecue juuuussst right.

Barbecue sauce, however, is not limited in its range -- it is also used as a dip for meatballs, slathered over hot dogs and set alongside ribs, chicken, beef kabobs and even ostrich.

There are all levels of hot, catering to what the diner's tastebuds can tolerate.

Names of the sauces are imaginative, too. There's Tongue Tinglin' Sauce, Grandma Lou Ella's Sauce, Bone Suckin' Sauce -- and one resplendent with race driver Richard Petty's image and his car number, 43.

A contest was held for best-in-taste. For each vote, people had to buy one or more jars of their favorite.

This year's winner was Willie Reese's Big K's Barbecue Sauce -- which Reese promoted as "So good, it will make your tongue slap your brains out."

So there.