Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
With grilling season in full swing, the arrival of two samples of grilling/barbecue sauce sent courtesy of Florida-based Red Fishberger on the very day I returned to the Flavorful World test kitchen with several pounds of assorted meat and seafood was serendipitous. Made by putting Florida’s famous citrus fruits to good use along with various chili peppers, these sauces, Fiery Mango and Smokin’ Orange respectively, deliver on the promises carried in their names. They do this with the clean, natural taste that using fresh ingredients brings to the table, and flavors that linger in a way that pleases.
The Fiery Mango sauce imparts a degree of spice heat that introduces itself with a shout before quieting down to a prolonged smoldering. Using it as a marinade for everything from poultry to fish to red meat all bound for the grill, I found that while its heat remained a vocal constant from dish to dish, the degree to which the mango element spoke up for itself varied depending on what it was applied to. The fruity edge sang loudest when applied to shrimp, fatty fish like Atlantic salmon, and white fish such as haddock or tilapia, but less so when marinating skinless breasts of chicken. Having said that, brushing a bit of this sauce onto food either just before or just after it comes off the grill allowed both the fruity sweetness and habanero heat to have their appreciable moments. The sugar massages the peppery element a bit and keeps it from overtaking the palate, while the chilis add finesse and guard against the sweetness coming off as syrupy, as can sometimes happen with fruit-based sauces. Given its heat level, though, consider yourself warned: this sauce would likely prove too much for the kiddies. This is a sauce for the grown folks in the room.
The Smokin’ Orange BBQ Sauce hews more traditional in terms of what one thinks of on hearing the phrase “barbecue sauce.” It’s your familiar, sweet, smoky sauce, but enlivened by a touch of Florida orange and spice. Here, the inherent smokiness of chipotle peppers—always a perfect pairing with the taste of oranges—brings the flavor combination alive, conjuring mental portraits of the peppers drying over crackling fires while fresh oranges are sliced nearby. This sauce brought forth the best in beef short ribs, chicken portions, and grilled shrimp. It also makes a perfect complement to pork ribs and burgers of lamb, turkey, or chicken, whether brushed on, poured on, or used to dip foods likely to benefit from a kiss of smoke and citrus.
Red Fishberger sauces blend together flavors that pair well, while utilizing fresh natural ingredients to get there. Each has its strengths with regard to how and on what foods you use it, and discovering those strengths through delicious experimentation was one of the more enjoyable aspects of reviewing this product. These sauces are welcome on our grill anytime, and as more people come to taste them, I am convinced that this welcome state will only expand to grills everywhere.
Learn more about these versatile gourmet sauces at http://redfishberger.com/.
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.