You could buy your usual grocery store jarred sauces, but we found three local and regional sauces we think you should try.
Cognac Sauce from Frik & Frak
We love it when a jarred sauce is just as good as (if not better) than our own homemade. We tried the Cognac flavor from the line of artisanal sauces from Plantation, Florida and Marietta-based Frik and Frak Foods. It’s rich and thick and, like a classic vodka sauce, contains heavy cream which cuts down on the acidity and makes it more luscious. We sampled it the Brookhaven Farmers Market last summer and soon found it at the Woodstock, Marietta, Alpharetta and Decatur markets. Right now, most of those markets are closed, but you can still find Frik and Frak at the Saturday morning Marietta Square Farmers Market. There are four other flavors: “The Sauce,” “Handsome Devil,” “Holla Vodka!” and “K.I.S.S.” (Keep It Simple San Marzano).
$10-11 per 24-ounce jar. Available at The Front Porch in Vinings, Scottsdale Farms Garden Center, Marietta Square Market and Garnish & Gather or online at frikandfrakfoods.com/.
“We Island” Gumbo
Rowland Washington, the “gumbo” guy, of St. Helena Island, South Carolina, knows a thing or two about gumbo and Low Country cooking. After all, he’s lived on a sea island all his life. Just reading about life on his island makes you homesick and hungry. Now Washington has created a gumbo recipe that turns diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, okra, onion, peppers. garlic and a raft of seasonings into a jarred sauce that you could just warm up and serve over rice. But why not gild the lily with sausage, shrimp, crab or chicken? We liked ours with shrimp harvested right off the South Carolina coast. We don’t know how he does it but every single vegetable in the mix tastes fresh from the garden. It’s as good as any gumbo we’ve ever made at home.
$40 for three 32-ounce bottles. Available at weislandgumbo.com/.
Carrettera Sauce from FraLi Gourmet
Franco and Lisa Marra of Savannah-based FraLi Gourmet Foods prepare handmade pastas, jars of gourmet vegetables packed in olive oil perfect for antipasti or salads and several sauces including Carrettera. That’s the one we sampled, a mix of tomato and pesto that’s different from any sauce we’ve tried. It’s light, but flavorful and would be great on pasta, or to top a pizza or as a sauce for sauteed chicken or even sausages and onions. The next time we’re in Savannah, we’re anxious to try their fresh and dried pasta or enjoy a meal at the restaurant, but for now, we’ll enjoy this jar of sauce and pretend there’s an Italian grandmother in our kitchen cooking up big vats just for us.
$7.99 per 24-ounce jar. Available online at fraligourmet.com/.
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