Appetizers

Tangy San Francisco-style BBQ sauce crosses over to Sacramento

SFQ barbecue sauce opens with tastes of tang and heat, followed by molasses-fueled sweet.
SFQ barbecue sauce opens with tastes of tang and heat, followed by molasses-fueled sweet. apierleoni@sacbee.com

We made a interesting discovery hopscotching around the Bay Area recently.

In Sausalito, we happened upon Divers Market and its small-batch SFQ barbecue sauce, new to us and sold at some Sacramento-area stores, including Taylor’s, Nugget and Whole Foods markets, and at the Davis Food Co-op ($8 for 9 ounces).

SFQ bills itself as “the original San Francisco-style barbecue sauce,” a conceit explained at the website: “(Our sauce) includes three of San Francisco’s favorite things – local chocolate and coffee, as well as oak-aged red wine vinegar, straight from Wine Country. Using those ingredients as our inspiration, we took our favorite Kansas City-style sauce recipe and added spices and flavorings from Southeast Asia, China, India, Latin America and the Mediterranean, and created a sauce as culturally diverse as the city it represents.”

A tall order for a little jar, which we opened for a taste test (the medium-spicy edition). We found a flavor profile unlike any we experienced in our BBQ sauce throwdown last summer. The ingredients include tomato, molasses, white and red wine vinegars, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, cocoa powder, coffee, spices and sea salt, with no high-fructose corn syrup. The flavor began with big tang followed by smoldering heat, and then segued to silky sweetness and finished with tasty complexity. Sort of like wine, only not.

Because Sacramentans barbecue 365, it’s always the right time to give this winner a whirl.

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe

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