365 Whole Foods Organic BBQ Sauce Review

365 Organic Barbeque Sauces

I love it when my love for food and geography can come together. Whenever I see those posts online about each state’s regional food, I enjoy clicking through them (while being annoyed I have to click an arrow and wait to see the next one). I want to spend more time researching regional foods. One thing I have selected to learn more about his barbecue sauce. In different parts of the country, different types of sauces are present. As part of this research project, I wanted to take a look at how sauces from different regions are re-created to sell at the grocery store. I decided to pick up 3 organic 365 brand sauces from Whole Foods Market. Each sauce is based on a different region – Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas. While not expecting these to be as good a a homemade sauce, I wanted to see what the perspective on the difference in each type of sauce.

Let’s start by looking at the ingredient list of each sauce. I put in italics some ingredients I want to highlight.

365 Organic Barbeque Sauces

Kansas City Love – Thick and Sweet
Tomato Paste
Water
Apple Cider Vinegar
Brown Sugar
White Vinegar
Cane Sugar
Jalapeno Puree
Paprika
Salt
Garlic Puree
Cayenne Pepper
White Pepper
Onion Powder
Spice Blend

The first ingredient on this list is tomato paste. When people think of barbecue sauces, the Kansas City style is what most people think of – heavy on the tomato. Tomato is definitely the thing that dominates the flavor. It is a thick sauces that sits atop of the meat. There is some heat to it, but gentle heat.

365 Organic Barbeque Sauces

Memphis Madness – Tangy, Sweet, and Spicy
Apple Cider Vinegar
Water
Brown Sugar
Tomato Paste
Paprika
Salt
Mustard Powder
Soy Sauce
Onion Powder
Xanthan Gum
Jalapeno Puree
Molasses
Spice Blend
Cane Sugar
Lemon Juice
Tamarind
Cayenne Pepper
Allspice
Cloves
Caramel color
Garlic powder
Natural anchovy flavor
Lemon extract
Ginger oil
Orange extract
Capsicum extract
Natural onion flavor

The first ingredient on this list is apple cider vinegar. Memphis sauces tend to be similar to the Kansas City style but with more vinegar, which is definitely the case here. The Memphis sauce had molasses where the Kansas City does not. You could taste the spices more in this sauce than the other two.

365 Organic Barbeque Sauces

Texas True – Savory and Tangy
Water
Tomato Paste
Apple Cider Vinegar
Cane Sugar
Molasses
White Vinegar
Tamarind
Soy Sauce
Salt
Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Cumin
Allspice
Cloves
Chili Powder
Onion
Lemon juice
Caramel color
Garlic powder
Natural anchovy flavor
Lemon extract
Ginger oil
Xantham Gum
Orange Extract
Capsicum extract
natural onion flavor

The first ingredient on this list is water. Out of the three sauces this one was easily the thinnest. Good for when you want it to soak into the meat. The Texas sauce is influenced by it’s proximity to Mexico which is why you find tamarind and cumin in it. It has a good amount of heat to it – more so than the KC sauce. I would have liked to have the cumin flavor make a bigger impact. It is less sweet than the KC sauce.

From this experiment it is easy to see the basic in the different styles of sauces – thickness, tomato ratio, vinegar ratio. It’s a good start for me on my journey to understand regional sauces. These bottled sauces don’t necessarily capture on the nuances of each style, which is what I hope to do when I try to make my very own versions.

My favorite was probably the Memphis Madness. It has the most balanced flavor profile. You could taste the spices better, I think that the KC, which is so strong on the tomato. The Texas True was my least favorite. My personal preference is towards a thicker sauce but also the flavor was more watery down in general.

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