Food & Drink

Taste test: Mack Daddy’s Hawg Sauces

▪ THE PRODUCT: Mack Daddy’s Hawg Sauces: Original, Hot, Just for Kids, Tangy Carolina and Sweet & Sassy.

▪ THE STORY: Melbourne resident Thomas Gates two years ago went pro with the barbecue sauces he’d been perfecting for years on his kitchen stove. His line of award-winning Mack Daddy’s Hawg Sauces is now bottled and sold nationwide, including a recent deal that placed the 16-ounce bottles at all Bass Pro Shops throughout the state.

Of the five flavors, I got the most mileage out of the Tangy Carolina, a mustard-based sauce sweetened with honey and pineapple juice and given a bite from apple cider vinegar, with just enough chili powder, paprika and cayenne to keep things kicking. I found myself dipping everything from grilled bread to rotisserie chicken right into the Tangy Carolina.

Gates says he’s most proud of his Original recipe, with its kitchen-sink ingredient list that includes Worcestershire, hot sauce, red wine and orange zest. It all comes together on the palate, straight from the bottle, but its umami-packed flavors withstand long cooking times — perfect for basting over a long-braised brisket or smoked pork ribs.

▪ THE PRICE: Individual bottles retail for about $6-$8 in stores and also are available for shipment online for slightly more.

▪ WHERE: mackdaddyshawgsauce.com, Bass Pro Shops.

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald food editor: @EvanBenn

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