Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review: Trader Joe's Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

By Dru Chai

Trader Joe's has always been one of my favorite stores to grab snacks, drinks, and some frozen stuff. If you're not familiar with the Trader Joe's markets, or if you don't have one where you live, it's a popular specialty retail grocery store with a cult following. To me, it's not really a one-stop grocery shop, but it's a great place to grab a few goodies. But certain popular items will fly off the shelves and even experience a national shortage.

Case in point -- the Speculoos Cookie Butter, one of Trader Joe's top selling items. It's basically like peanut butter, only ten times better, unhealthier, and laced with crack. Okay, no crack -- but you get the idea. It's made of ground-up cookies and oil, with the flavor of graham crackers and gingerbread cookies. I recently bought a jar for the first time and I found myself licking cookie butter off my finger. Not a pretty sight.

Anyway, enough with the cookie butter. I wanted to share my thoughts on the Trader Joe's Carolina Gold BBQ sauce. A relatively new addition to the family of Trader Joe's BBQ sauces -- the "All Natural" and the "Bold and Smoky" Kansas City style. I gave my thoughts on them a couple of years ago, and they served its purpose as a compliment when grilling and smoking meats.

While those BBQ sauces were just okay, the new kid in town is a hit. At $2.69 a bottle, the Carolina Gold is bit higher than the $1.99 for the other sauces. But it's worth it. I bought a bottle home and have been hooked ever since. Even the slogan is catchy and subliminally pays you a compliment -- "For BBQ that's as good as gold." Why, yes... I do think my BBQ is as good as gold. I'm buying it!

All kidding aside, what sets this BBQ sauce apart from the others is that it's a mustard-based sauce. It's a little tangy, smoky, with just a hint of sweetness. I think it's a perfect combination of flavors -- a nice compliment for pulled pork or grilled chicken. I even use it as a dipping sauce for veggies (believe it or not!). If you're a fan of mustard, I think it's a worthy addition to your pantry.

Dirty Smoke rating (out of 5 stars)
Trader Joe's Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce - 4.5 stars