Carolina Cologne is an Eastern North Carolina barbeque sauce from Jerry Roberts, who grew up in Nags Head, N.C. and now resides in Florida. This peppery, red colored, vinegar based sauce is a step above the usual thin vinegar and crushed red pepper table sauces that are prevalent in the Eastern region of North Carolina.
This sauce adds some body and flavor to what is traditionally a thin sauce. In a nutshell, it’s pretty damn good, and a big improvement over a traditional sauce.
We made some pulled pork sliders, made with our own smoked pork butt (simply seasoned). Served with cole slaw and baked beans, it’s a great outdoor picnic or early evening Summer meal.
We also got to play with their “prototype” mustard-based sauce, not yet available. So you will see that sauce in our pics as well, but the details and availability of that sauce are still to be announced.
Texture & Appearance: – Medium thin, great color.
Taste Straight Up: – Sweet, tangy, spicy, heat… in that order. I could add vodka and make a Bloody Mary with this stuff! I think I will. Our highest rating for flavor. Remarkable.
Heat Level: – Just the right amount of heat. It doesn’t pretend to be any more or any less.
Label/Graphics/Packaging: – A really simple label, nice color in the font, with a pig in a “beach chair”. The sun shines behind him, and he’s in a “tux”. Yup, their slogan is “Dress up your pig with…”. Works for me.
BONUS POINTS HERE… and this is important! The flip-top cap has a beautiful, slotted pour spout. The. Best. Cap. Ever. Hot sauce makers, take note of this design, and encourage your co-packers to offer it as an option. It rocks so much, we will be keeping it to fit onto other bottles in the future.
Overall Rating (Taste on Food, Final Thoughts): – The streak continues. This sauce is amazing on pulled pork. As a Maryland guy, I do like my red sauce, my sweet BBQ sauces, but love the vinegars and spices and peppers too. Carolina Cologne brings all that to the table, in a great package (12 ounces) at a great price… and there’s the flip-top. Winner, winner, piggie dinner!
Jerry has a few recipe suggestions for Carolina Cologne that just sound delicious.
- Use as a marinade – place chicken breasts or thighs, or even a rib-eye steak in a zip-lock bag, and pour some Carolina Cologne in. Marinate 2 hours or overnight. Grill as usual. Personally, I’ve always felt using a craft bottled sauce like this as a marinade is a waste of a good sauce, but that rib-eye marinade sounds enticing. And at their low prices for a bottle or even a case, well… that point is moot!
- When grilling pork chops, brush on some at the end for a nice glaze.
- Use as a kicked up salad dressing. Now that is a fine idea!
- Add to your usual Crabcake recipe for a different twist. Now THIS has my attention. (We WILL be trying this and reporting back).
Ingredients: Wait! I’m posting the ingredients last, but don’t let this extensive ingredient list scare you away. It’s basically vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, steak sauce and some spices. We have to print all the ingredients… it’s some kind of law or something. Here they are:
distilled vinegar, ketchup (tomato concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, natural flavors), light brown sugar, BBQ sauce (high fructose corn syrup, vinegar, tomato paste, water, apple cider vinegar, molasses, salt, modified corn starch, contains less than 2% natural hickory smoke flavor, mustard flour, dried garlic, spice, dried onions, paprika, caramel color), steak sauce (tomato paste, high fructose corn syrup, malt vinegar, white vinegar, salt, raisin concentrate, mustard flour, soybean oil, turmeric, spices, apple concentrate, guar gum, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate as preservative), caramel coloring, garlic powder, onion powder, natural flavors, black pepper, crushed red pepper.
Hopefully, this post inspires you to cook with and use some Eastern North Carolina sauce this weekend. Or at the very least, order some Carolina Cologne sauce for your next weekend cookout. You will not be sorry. I guarantee it!
Get two bottles, at least. It’s delicious and goes fast with a crowd! And Carolina Cologne has a great deal on a case at only $3 per bottle. Sweet!
Visit CarolinaCologne.com and tell them HotSauceDaily sent you.