Food without sauce is like life without music…bland, boring and uneventful. But when used properly, the right sauces bring out the best flavors of the food. In Florida, our multicultural heritage gives us access to some of the best sauces in the country. Heck, the world.
So what sauces should you be aware of in the great Sunshine State?
Stone crab mustard sauce
You truly haven’t lived until you’ve had stone crabs at the iconic Joe’s Stone Crabs in Miami. Stone crabs give Florida total bragging rights. And Joe’s does them so well, serving them chilled with that cravable mustard sauce that has set the bar very high for other restaurants that serve the delicacy of stone crabs when they’re in season.
Men P’aw Gourmet hot sauces
The beautiful country of Haiti has left a permanent and delicious mark in the Floridian foodie world. It brings a hot smoky habanero flavor to your dishes from your chicken dinner to your breakfast omelet.
The company Florida Keys Hot Sauce makes more than just incredible hot sauce. They make some of the best steak sauces around. You haven’t truly grilled out until you’ve had a barbecue Floridian style. Glades Gator Steak Sauce, Key Lime Margarita Grilling Sauce and Pirate’s Potion Steak Sauce are all great ways to make your meat really sizzle. Another great one to try is Mile Marker 0, named for the end of US-1 in Key West. It’s great for everything from grilling to stir-fry!
When Florida meets the Caribbean, you get Floribbean, which lies somewhere in the middle. Try Goombay Mango BBQ sauce by Floribbean Flo’s, a sweet and tangy way to make your next barbecue rock. Or try their Key Lime Mustard, which is mustard with a delightful key lime flavor. Use it on sandwiches, as a dip, as a marinade, or however you wish to celebrate the lack of a real winter. The northerners can have that snow. We’ll take our grill and flip-flips, thankyouverymuch.
Datil pepper sauce
St. Augustine is one of the most historic places in all of America, giving Florida even more to brag about. And we can keep on bragging because in this city where Ponce De Leon’s fountain of youth is located, we’ve got the most datil peppers anywhere around. And from that, a ton of datil pepper sauces were born. It’s an orange-yellow pepper that’s similar to a habanero except that it’s sweeter and fruitier. Try it on basically anything though it is pure heaven with seafood. Yum!
Okay, so this one is technically not a sauce, but it is EVERYTHING you need to be totally Floridian. Or to bring the perfect taste of Florida back to wherever you happen to be visiting from. Everglades All Purpose Seasoning is a spice mix that goes great on anything and everything. Popcorn, steaks…even your own arm. It is pure heaven on any meat and serves to tenderize it too. You’ve got to try it to believe it. They even say so in their slogan: Tasting is believing. Florida wins again. Believe it.
In short, never overlook the importance of sauce. It is, after all, one of the biggest players in maximizing flavor in your food.