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The BEST Ginger Soy Stir Fry Sauce for ANY Stir Fry Recipe!

The Best Ginger Soy Stir Fry Sauce for ANY Stir Fry Recipe

After years of making this sauce, it being hands down one of our best sellers and it winning the NYC Fancy Food Show Sofi GOLD Award, we can almost guarantee that our Ginger Soy Infusion Sauce will be the BEST stir fry sauce you have ever bought.  Now maybe you can make something that you think is better at home, but we put a lot of craft and care into making this sauce.  It starts with an authentic kombu dashi seaweed stock, made by yours truly and infused with fresh chopped garlic, fresh ginger, toasted sesame, a little saki and sweetened organic tamari (yes this is gluten free as well).  It's not only a traditional style ginger soy stir fry sauce but it's a perfect balance of sweet and savory and it's not too heavy.  It's still light and full of intense Japanese flavor. 

You can use our Ginger Soy Sauce in a variety of stir fry's from Chinese chicken stir fry to shrimp lo mein.  It's perfect for tofu and veggie stir fry, general tso's chicken and delicious with simple fried rice.  Here are our top stir fry favorite recipes and Asian inspired dishes using our Ginger Soy Infusion Sauce.  Try it, you won't be disappointed.  

                                    Ginger Soy Sauce | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

Our Favorite Stir Fry Recipes Using our Best Selling Ginger Soy Sauce

Chinese Chicken Chop Suey Stir Fry with Wozz! Ginger Soy Sauce

Soft melt in your mouth velvety chicken stir fried with shiitake mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, carrots and cashews and tossed in our sweet and savory Ginger Soy Stir Fry Sauce.  This is just like Chinese Chop Suey take-out with half the calories, salt and oil. 

RECIPE: Chinese Chicken Chop Suey Stir Fry

Chinese Chop Suey Stir Fry with Ginger Soy Sauce | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

The Best Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry with Wozz! Ginger Soy Sauce

This beef and broccoli stir fry is hands down my favorite stir fry recipe.  Flank steak is thinly sliced and sauteed with crisp broccoli in our Ginger Soy Infusion sauce and thickened with a little cornstarch for rich saucy deliciousness.  It's the perfect weeknight dinner for quick and easy comfort food.

RECIPE:  Best Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry 

Best Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger Soy Sauce

Ginger Soy Chicken Teriyaki with Rice

Our Ginger Soy Infusion is used as both a marinade and a sweet finishing sauce for this chicken teriyaki recipe.  What's great about our Ginger Soy Sauce is we use no preservatives, artificial ingredients or colors and it's msg free, so you can enjoy delicious Asian teriyaki without all the added rubbish that's in a lot of store bought sauces.

RECIPE: Ginger Soy Chicken Teriyaki with Rice Recipe

Ginger Soy Chicken Teriyaki | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

Shrimp Lo Mein Stir Fry with Wozz! Ginger Soy Sauce

Sauteed shrimp stir fried with red bell pepper, fresh basil, green onions, tossed in our Ginger Soy Sauce and finished with crushed peanuts.  

RECIPE: Shrimp Lo Mein  Stir Fry with Wozz! Ginger Soy 

Shrimp Lo Mein with Ginger Soy Sauce | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 Asian Chicken Wings with Wozz! Ginger Soy Sauce

Along with that stir fry for dinner, why not start with an appetizer of Asian chicken wings tossed in our Ginger Soy Sauce?  YASS!

RECIPE:  Best Asian Chicken Wings with Ginger Soy Sauce

Best Asian Chicken Wings with Ginger Soy Sauce

Love you some stir fry and want to mix it up with a variety of sauces?

Check out our latest collection of Best Selling Stir Fry Sauces - a set of 4 handcrafted small batch Asian inspired stir fry sauces. Rich aromatic and well balanced, each of these sauces can also be used to marinate, dress or dip.  Our Best Stir Fry Sauces Set includes Ginger Soy Infusion Sauce, Sweet Chili Orange Sesame Sauce, Vietnamese Green Tea Mint Nuoc Cham Sauce and our award winning Cambodian Coconut Peanut Sauce

Wozz! Best Stir Fry Sauces Set 

Best Selling Stir Fry Sauces | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

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Spiced Beet Vinegar is a 2018 GOOD FOOD AWARDS WINNER!

We are thrilled to announce that our Spiced Beet Vinegar is a 2018 Good Food Awards Winner!  We are very very proud of this award as the Good Food Awards Foundation celebrates craft food made from makers that are the real deal that support local agriculture and their communities.  To give you a little bit more information on the Good Food Awards, I have taken this excerpt from their website: 

The Good Food Foundation celebrates exceptional food and drink crafters who are pushing the envelope in both craftsmanship and sustainability. For a long time, certifications for responsible food production and awards for superior taste have remained distinct—one honors social and environmental and social responsibility, while the other celebrates flavor. The Good Food Awards recognize that truly good food—the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities—contains all of these ingredients. The Good Food Awards honor the people who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.

In collaboration with Meadowstone Farm, a local vegetable farm and goat dairy located just 3 miles from our home, we source all of our beets.  Picked so fresh, the resulting color of our spiced beet vinegar is a vibrant purple and packed with healthy nutrients.  Added to our beet vinegar is USA sourced organic apple cider vinegar and a medley of aromatic spices including bay leaf and fresh orange peel.  Slowly infused for up to 12 weeks, we let all these amazing flavors infuse and then we bottle!

Our Spiced Beet Vinegar is delicious drizzled over a variety of salads from hearty winter salads with roasted root vegetables and crumbled feta to summer favorites such as mozzarella, tomato and basil caprese.  Try over this summer panzanella salad for a delicious lunch or make a quick pan sauce by reducing our spiced beet vinegar on the stove top and drizzling over a steak filet.

Spiced Beet Vinegar | Good Food Awards | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

 

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Best and Easiest Ways to Use Hot Pepper Jelly

How To Use Hot Pepper Jelly

Hot Pepper Jelly has to be one of the most versatile condiments of them all.  Whether you need a quick glaze for some pork chops or a simple yet delicious appetizer or accompaniment to cheese, hot pepper jelly always seems to pull you through.  Our Thai Hot Pepper Jelly is a traditional hot pepper jelly with a bit more oomph...layered with roasted red pepper, fresh garlic, ginger and fresh chopped fresno chili, it's a sweet chili jam bursting with flavor.  The heat level is about a 5/10 so it's perfect for all your entertaining and cooking needs.  Just the right amount of spicy bite for everyone to enjoy!  Our favorite ways to use our Thai Hot Pepper Jelly includes:

1.  Hot Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese Appetizer

The ultimate no fuss - just pull it out of the cupboard in a jiffy - way to entertain!  A block of cream cheese with hot pepper jelly poured over top and served with crackers.  It's a classic appetizer and always a hit.  Looking to step up your game with a bit more flair?  Serve it alongside a triple cream brie or camembert or mix into a hot goats cheese dip.   

Hot Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese Appetizer Recipe

Hot Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

2.  Hot Pepper Jelly Sandwich Spread

Add a slather of hot pepper jelly to your next grilled cheese or panini.  Delicious spooned over a turkey and cheddar melt or use in your next BLT.  Mix into mayo for a sweet and spicy aioli or spread over your bacon and egg breakfast sandwich.  Also delicious spread over hot biscuits.

3. Hot Pepper Jelly Glazed Chicken Wings

Oh me oh my...just toss chicken wings with some hot pepper jelly and bake...when finished toss with a bit more sauce and voila! 

Hot Pepper Jelly Wings Recipe 

Hot Pepper Jelly Wings | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

4.  Hot Pepper Jelly Stir Fry Sauce

Mix a few tablespoons of hot pepper jelly with soy sauce and a bit of chicken stock and add to your stir fry's for a sweet and spicy Asian sauce.

5.  Hot Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese Toasted Bagel

Slather a toasted sesame bagel with cream cheese and hot pepper jelly.

6. Use Hot Pepper Jelly as a Dipping Sauce

Use our Thai Hot Pepper Jelly as a delicious dipping sauce for shrimp, potstickers, dumplings, egg rolls, crab rangoons, wontons and more!   

Shrimp and Hot Pepper Jelly Dipping Sauce | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

7.  Jazz up Your Turkey Burgers with Hot Pepper Jelly

A way to liven up those dry boring turkey burgers!

8.  Hot Pepper Jelly Party Meatballs

Add hot pepper jelly to a crockpot of party meatballs.  Yummo.

9. Use Hot Pepper Jelly as a Glaze 

Hot Pepper Jelly makes an excellent glaze for pork tenderloin, grilled pork chops and ham. Glaze pork chops while grilling, baste a ham with hot pepper jelly while cooking or serve warm as a sauce on the side. 

10.  Hot Pepper Jelly Salmon 

Salmon will never be the same.  Spoon hot pepper jelly over a salmon filet during the last few minutes of cooking under the broiler and serve with Asian rice. 

Hot Pepper Jelly Salmon Recipe

Hot Pepper Jelly Salmon | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

11.  Hot Pepper Jelly Baked Potato Topping

Mix hot pepper jelly with sour cream and serve over a baked potato or as a dipping sauce to french fries or crispy oven fried potatoes. 

12. Hot Pepper Jelly for Quesadillas

Spread Hot Pepper Jelly on flour tortillas and top with shredded chicken and cheese. 

I think I could go on and on...but I will stop now!  I think you all now know how to use hot pepper jelly and like I said, it's a perfect kitchen cupboard staple.  

Pictured Below:  Wozz! Thai Hot Pepper Jelly

 You May Also Like:  Wozz! Hot Pepper Jelly Duo

Check out the whole Wozz! line - winners of over 10 NYC Fancy Food Show Sofi™ Awards and Featured on The Today Show!

 

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Our Favorite 5 Simple and Delicious Party Dips

Sometimes the best part of a family gathering or holiday party is the appetizers, especially the dips...that along with the cocktails of course!  In fact many people now forgo the traditional sit down dinner and are happy to host a party with a nice beautiful spread of simple finger foods and serve beer, wine and a few specialty cocktails.  This makes it less stressful for the host of course but also sets the tone for a very social and relaxed party.  A simple cheese plate and a selection of dips with crackers and crudite are usually a big hit and the dip recipes we have for you are practically effortless.  Our chutneys and spreads are not only fantastic accompaniments to any cheese plate but can be used in a variety of dips to serve with crackers, chips and vegetables.  

Here is a list of our favorite 5 party dip recipes that are no fuss, easy and absolutely delicious!

1. French Onion Dip with Bacon

This french onion dip is a classic.  Served simply old school style with kettle potato chips, it's as big of a hit now as it was when you were 12.  Made with our Triple Ale Onion Spread with cream cheese, sour cream and bacon.  

Recipe:  Wozz French Onion Jam Dip 

French Onion Jam Dip | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

2. Easiest Salsa Verde Guacamole Dip 

A guacamole recipe that is just too easy!  A customer of ours shared this recipe with us and said Wozz Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde was her go-to everytime she made guacomole.  Simply mash avocado with diced tomato, add our Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde, a squeeze of lime and salt and pepper.  

Recipe:  Wozz Salsa Verde Guacamole

Salsa Verde Guacamole | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

3. White Chocolate Banana Cheesecake Dip 

This White Chocolate Banana Cheesecake Dip is the ultimate dessert style dip to serve with fruit, pretzels and cookies.  It's a crowd pleaser for both adults and kids!

Recipe:  Wozz White Chocolate Banana Cheesecake Dip

White Chocolate Cheesecake Dip | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

4. Warm Cheese and Moroccan Tomato Dip

Served with toasted crostini, this cheese and tomato dip is made with melted mozzarella, smoked cheddar and our Moroccan Tomato Onion Relish.  

Recipe:  Wozz Cheese and Moroccan Tomato Dip

Cheese and Tomato Dip | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

5. Simple Thai Hot Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

This recipe is a classic!  Simply pour Wozz Thai Hot Pepper Savory Spread over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.  It's sweet, spicy and a holiday favorite!  

Recipe:  Wozz Cream Cheese and Hot Pepper Jellly

Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

There you have it!  Our 5 favorite party dips using a selection of Wozz condiments sauces and spreads.  Happy Entertaining! :)

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Best Jams and Savory Spreads For Cheese Pairings

Why our Jams and Savory Spreads make the Best Cheese Pairings

We've tried and tested dozens of savory jam recipes to come up with the best jams, savory spreads and chutneys to pair with a variety of cheese plates.  After years in the making, we've developed a line of cheese pairing jams and award winning spreads that we can absolutely guarantee will take your cheese plate to the next level.  

From a sharp aged cheddar to a rich and creamy stilton, each of our jams and spreads are designed to not only pair with a variety of cheese but to brilliantly compliment the cheese by adding a complex sweet and savory addition.  Our spreads and jams are made with a combination of fresh fruits and aromatic spices, slowly simmered and handcrafted entirely by us with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. 

Wozz! Savory Spreads and Jams For Cheese Pairings


Savory Spreads and Jams For Cheese ~ Wozz! Perfect Pairings

1. Triple Ale Onion Savory Jam Spread - a slow cooked caramelized onion jam made with fresh roasted garlic, brown sugar and a combination of 3 artisan ales.  Winner of the NYC Fancy Food Show for best condiment in it's class, this savory onion spread pairs fantastic with:

blue cheese - this sweet sticky onion jam with it's hoppy kick is right at home paired with a blue cheese.  Try on a crostini with fresh rosemary or as a pizza base with gorgonzola, walnuts and thyme. Favorite pairings for your next cheese plate include Jasper Cellars Bayley Hazen Blue and Point Reyes Bay Blue.

aged cheddar - who doesn't like a full flavored delicious aged cheddar with an onion spread made with craft beer?  This is a phenomenal pairing and great for both a laid back style cheese plate and a sophisticated one as well.  Pair with charcuterie for an appetizer that is just plain awesome.  Our favorite pairings include: Cabot clothbound cheddar, Grafton Village reserve cheddar and Harmans cheddar. 

washed rind - the savory flavors of this onion jam complement the pungent punchy flavors of a traditional washed rind cheese and of course, the addition of ale is a complimentary pairing.  Favorite pairing: Jasper Cellars Willoughby.

goats cheese - balances the zesty flavor of goats cheese with a savory caramelized onion bite.  Delicious on crostini, flat bread or paired together in mini tart shells and topped with fresh herbs. 

charcuterie - perfect for a cheese and charcuterie board! Pair with cured meats including sausage and salami and with terrine or pate.

Wozz! Triple Ale Onion Jam Spread Paired with Cheddar and Salami

Onion Jam For Cheese Pairings | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

Wozz! Triple Ale Onion Jam Spread with Crumbled Bacon and Paired with Brie

Onion Jam and Brie Cheese | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

Wozz! Triple Ale Onion Jam Paired with Goats Cheese in Mini Tarts

Onion Jam and Goats Cheese Tarts | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

 

2. Balsamic Fig Mostarda For Cheese Pairings - sweet figs and fresh hand cut pears simmered in a balsamic reduction with the traditional finish of pure mustard oil for spice.  Winner of the NYC Fancy Food Show Sofi Silver award for outstanding condiment, this balsamic fig mostarda is our signature cheese pairing accompaniment.  Rich with layered flavors, this savory fig jam pairs with almost any cheese including:

goats cheese - pair this rich and savory fig jam with either fresh goats cheese on crostini for a crowd pleasing appetizer or serve alongside an aged goats cheese such as Coupole from Vermont Creamery on a cheese plate.

blue cheese - by slowly simmering figs and fresh pears in a balsamic reduction sauce, our Balsamic Fig Mostarda is a classic accompaniment to blue cheese, perfectly on par with the cheese's bold flavors.

soft bloomy rind cheese including brie and camembert - baked brie with fig jam, another classic no fail holiday favorite.  Try pairing our Balsamic Fig Mostarda with Jasper Cellars Harbison - a soft bloomy rind cheese similar to brie with grassy mustard notes.  It's the perfect cheese pairing alongside a loaf of crusty bread.  Also fantastic served with Vermont Creamery's Cremont.

Summer Cheese Plate with Wozz! Balsamic Fig Mostarda, Fresh Fruit, Croissants, Ham and Soft Bloomy Rind Cheese

Fig Jam and Cheese | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

Brie and Fig Jam Mini Tarts | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

3. Sour Cherry Spiced Wine Spread For Cheese Pairings - A sour cherry compote spread made with whole sour cherries slowly simmered in a red wine reduction sauce with aromatic winter mulling spices and cracked black pepper.  Our Sour Cherry Spread with Spiced Wine is an amazing cheese pairing spread, especially during the fall and winter months and holiday season.  Our favorite cheese and cherry jam pairings include:

Stilton - this intense rich and full of fruit cherry spread enhanced with warm aromatic spices and bold red wine is a perfect match for a medium to strong blue including stilton and roquefort.  A personal favorite pairing is with Vermont's Blue Ledge Farm Middlebury Blue.

Triple Creme Brie -  our sour cherry spread is decadent and gorgeous on top of a baked triple creme brie cheese.  Full of juicy whole sour cherries, this makes a holiday statement that compliments the woody earthiness of brie.  

Goats Cheese - rich cherries and warm spices lends itself to a beautiful pairing with tangy creamy zesty goats cheese.  Favorite pairings include fresh unripened goats cheese spread onto crostini with our sour cherry jam and Vermont Creamery's Coupole and Bonne Bouche.

Mascarpone - A brilliant match for dessert, try a dessert style cheese pairings with mascarpone, sour cherry spread and cocoa cakes or grahams.  

Wozz! Sour Cherry Jam Spread Paired with Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche Aged Goats Cheese

Cherry and Cheese Pairing | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

4. Sticky Date Candied Orange Chutney For Cheese Pairings - dates are a classic traditional cheese pairing accompaniment.  Travel the world and you'll find most cheese pairings and wine tastings will come with dried dates to compliment the flavor. We have taken this classic traditional cheese pairing to the next level by slow cooking dates with the addition of pears, hand candied oranges, cider vinegar and a medley of spices.  This chutney leaves a mild tingling to the palate on it's finish, just to give the mouth a nice well rounded warm finish.  It's a brilliant cheese pairing chutney complimenting almost all the cheese varieties that we pair with it.  

Aged Gouda - who doesn't love the nutty caramel deliciousness of an aged gouda?  It's just perfection in my eyes and our sticky date candied orange chutney is a delicious match.  The orange marmalade accent in this chutney is a great enhancement for the cheese.

Cheddar - this savory date chutney is bursting with character and just delicious with an aged cheddar or smoked cheddar, our favorite pick is harmans cheese smoked cheddar.  Don't forget to add charcuterie to your cheese pairing on this one. 

Alpine Style Cheese - our sticky date and orange chutney pairs well with this nutty buttery style cheese.  Our favorite cheese pairings include Cabot Alpine Cheddar and Jasper Cellars Alpha Tolman.

Hard Cheese - Our sticky date candied orange chutney is a delightful treat when paired with a sharp nutty aged manchego or parmesan.

Wozz! Sticky Date Candied Orange Chutney with Alpine Style Cheese Pairing:

Date Chutney and Cheese Pairing | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

5. Cranberry Orange Cognac Chutney For Cheese Pairings - New England cranberries infused with fresh orange, cinnamon, clove, cognac orange liquor, apples and raisins for a rich fruit forward chutney.  Well suited for a variety of cheese, our favorite cheese and cranberry chutney pairings include:

Soft Bloomy Rind Cheese - Top a wheel of baked brie or camembert with cranberry chutney and walnuts for a beautiful and delicious Thanksgiving appetizer.  Don't forget to add our Cranberry Orange Chutney to your leftover turkey and brie sandwich!

Cheddar - Simple and delicious, you can pair our cranberry orange chutney simply alongside cheddar on a cheese plate or use with melted cheddar in puff pastry for a deliciously gooey warm appetizer.  

6. Thai Hot Pepper Jelly For Cheese Pairings - Our Thai Hot Pepper Jelly is a combination of roasted red peppers, sweet chili heat, fresh ginger, fresh garlic and it's full of flavor!  This hot pepper jelly is not too spicy (about a 5/10 on the heat scale) so you can pair this with cheese without overpowering it.  Traditionally hot pepper jelly is served with cream cheese and crackers for a no fail, simple, delicious and easy appetizer but you can also serve it with a simple sharp cheddar or goats cheese. 

If you are looking for simple entertaining ideas, remember that all of our savory cheese pairing jams and spreads can be folded through cream cheese or a creamy goats cheese and served with crackers. 

Entertaining Made Easy! Thai Hot Pepper Jelly with Cream Cheese Appetizer:

Hot Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

7.  Wild Blueberry Maple Walnut Compote is made with Wild Maine Blueberries steeped in Balsamic with Fresh Rosemary, Toasted Walnuts and 100% Pure Maple Syrup.  Pairs well with an aged goats cheese and creamy baked brie. 

Recipe: Baked Brie with Wild Blueberry Maple Walnut Compote

Cheese and Jam Pairing Sets

We have two gift sets designed for perfect cheese pairings, our classic cheese pairing gift set and our gourmet spreads for cheese set.  You can also choose your own assortment of our sweet and savory cheese pairing condiments.

Classic Cheese Pairings Gift Set - 4 of our favorite and most versatile savory spreads and jams for cheese ~ $49.00

Send one of our thoughtfully crafted cheese pairing gift sets to your cheese obsessed friend or send one to yourself and share the joy of cheese and jam pairings with your family, co-workers and loved ones.  Perfect for the holidays, birthdays and Mother's Day.  

Quick Cheese Overview:

Blue Cheese - This class of cheese has had the mold Penicillin added to them, leading to their blue veined appearance.  Usually creamy and crumbly, blue cheeses tend to be pungent, salty and sharp.  Their are a number of varieties, some milder than others, including Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Stilton and Roquefort.  Danish blue cheese and Italian Gorgonzola tend to be milder in flavor whereas a Roquefort tends to be spicy and pungent.

Cheddar - Originated in the town of Somerset, Egland, cheddar, is a relatively firm cheese that can taste mellow in flavor or slightly strong and earthy depending on the variety.  A vintage cheddar which tends to be rich and earthy is aged greater than 15 months.  Cheddar is one of the most popular styles of cheese here in the US, coming in second after Mozzarella.  Varieties include: Sharp, Extra Sharp, Farmhouse, Irish, Aged Cheddar, Smoked Cheddar

Soft Bloomy Rind Cheese - or ripened soft cheese (which also includes goats cheese as mentioned above) and also includes some of our favorite cheese plate offerings:  Brie and Camembert.  Both of these have the bloomy rind which is a rind that is soft, velvety and fluffy in texture and yes, edible and a soft creamy buttery interior that oozes at the peak of ripeness.

  • Brie is a soft cows milk cheese that originated in Brie France, it's flavor profile varies but can be described as earthy, mushroomy, grassy and nutty.  Cream is added to Brie and types can include "double-creme" brie and "triple-creme" brie which is directly related to the amount of butter fat in the cheese (60-75% for a double creme and greater than 75% for a triple creme).  

  • Camembert is also a soft ripened bloomy rind cheese made from cows milk and originated in Camembert, Normandy France. It is very similar to brie but tends to have a bit of a more intense earthy flavor.  It's ripened usually in smaller wheels and does tend to become creamier than brie when warmed.  

Goats Cheese - or what most call "chevre" which is French for goat is typically a soft cheese, tart and earthy in flavor.  Varieties can be unripened or ripened and range in texture from moist and soft to semi firm and hard.  Unripened goats cheese (fresh goats cheese) is typically what we pick up in the grocery store, it's creamy and tangy.  Ripened goats cheese or aged goats cheese, typically have a soft velvety outer white mold casing and a creamy interior with a bit more complexity from the aging process.  

Washed Rind Cheese - Commonly referred to as "stinky cheese". Washed rind cheeses are plump and moist with pungent aromas and intense flavors.  These more savory punchy cheese varieties get their name and strong aroma from having their rinds washed with different types of alcohol from cider to beer to brandy. The flavors of washed rind cheese can't be judged by their initial distinctive aroma, they actually taste different and milder than the smell of the rind.

Semi Hard or Hard Cheese - Hard cheeses have a lower moisture content than your soft cheeses and are typically packed in molds under greater pressure and aged for longer periods of time. Flavors are usually sharper, sometimes salty, sweet nuttty and rich. Varieties include cheddar (as mentioned above), aged gouda, parmesan, pecorino, manchego and alpine style cheese.

 

The Do's and Don'ts of Cheese and Jam Pairings

1. For most cheese pairings, especially when you are serving a more sophisticated cheese, do not pour the jam over the cheese.  Serve it alongside the cheese on a cheese board and let your guests pair as they choose.  An exception to this is with cream cheese.  It's simple and casual and can be served mixed in, on the side or poured over top.  For most other cheese plates, serve as an accompaniment to let the cheese shine.

2. This is my opinion, but not every jam should be served with cheese.  Jams and spreads made with dried fruit such as fig or date or with fruits such as pear, cherries, apple and quince are traditional and classic pairings. Their are just some jams that don't pair particularly well with cheese. Grapefruit marmalade and strawberry kiwi jam are better options for toast. 

3. Serve your cheese at room temperature.  Take it out of the fridge an hour before serving.

4.  Use a separate knife for each cheese so the stronger more pungent cheeses don't taint the others.

5. Serve accompaniments that enhance the cheese plate but don't over do it.  Simple is best and make sure you choose accompaniments that compliment each other.  Accompaniments include a variety of crackers and breads, charcuterie such as salami or pate, pickles, nuts, honeycomb, fresh fruit such as grapes and sliced pear and of course 1 or 2 savory jams and spreads that compliment a variety of cheese.

6.  If you have more than a couple guests, make sure you do a big enough spread.  You don't want all your cheese and accompaniments on a small board with guests having to wait to get in on the action.

7. Choose a variety of cheese but not too many - a mix of 4 cheeses is a good amount. You can choose between varying textures and styles of cheese:  In example, a blue cheese, an aged cheddar, a washed rind and a soft bloomy rind cheese.  Another great recommendation is choosing cheese based on different milk sources - a mixture of sheep, cow's, goats milk cheeses.

8.  Serve complimentary wines and beer that also add to the cheese tasting experience.

Shop The Total Collection of Wozz! Cheese Pairing Spreads

 

 

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Not Your Ordinary Beet Spread | Our Signature Condiment and the Unsung Hero of Wozz! Kitchen Creations

Our signature baby and my all round favorite and unsung hero of the Wozz! family of creations. If you haven't heard, beetroot is big back home. You order a salad roll from you local cake shop. Boom Beets! Salad sandwich from the school canteen. Boom Beets! A classic Australian burger from anywhere in the country, you'll get fried egg, bacon and Boom!!! (you got it... pickled beets) I never met anyone who hated beets until I moved overseas. I didn't understand at first, but after sampling pickled beets of the world, it became quite obvious. Pickled beets anywhere else in the world can be hit and miss and kind of suck when they do miss.

The first assumption, of course, is that our wonderful spiced beet spread is nothing more than pickled beets with curry powder. That bright yellow stuff. Which couldn't be further from the truth. We do a personal blend of over thirty spices, slow cooked for a minimum of six hours in the tradition of any classic Indian curry. Fresh ground spices traditionally fried in ghee with the addition of finely chopped onion garlic and ginger. We choose spice flavors so to layer one on top of the next. With bottom heavier sweeter spices like clove and cumin building a foundation for the lighter brighter flavors of coriander seed, mango, black pepper and bay leaf until you find that balance and full mouth feel. Our personalized Wozz! Indian curry paste I would have to say is in the Korma realm in terms of flavor, but a little heavier overall. Although it's the first word on the label we still want the character of beets to be the front man and our blend of spices an accompaniment of backup singers only.

Most people will happily agree, a touch of clove, cinnamon or cumin all work well with the deep earthiness of beets, along with orange peel, black pepper and bay leaf. How about  all of these spices plus a few more.  Some people at first glance are not sure if this can work, but believe me it does. A rack of lamb served over a bed of mild beet yogurt curry is one of those dishes and dining experiences that has stuck with me since my chef apprenticeship and the inspiration behind the condiment in the first place.

Fast reverse to 2004, somewhere in the south of France aboard some luxury sailing something or another, I looked at channeling this "beet" love affair for the owners of that particular yacht. I had a simple beef Fillet Mignon dish, served with a creamy garlic potato puree and wilted spinach. I wanted a little something for color and sweetness. Being beets and beef a wonderful combo the conclusion was simple..... but I needed a twist. I was pulled back to that wonderful Indian beet curry with lamb and thought about how to bring part of that experience to this dish. Our Indian Spiced Beetroot "chutney" was born. That perfect balance of jammy sweet, acid with a background of toasted cumin and warm mild Indian spices.

This all happened on the second yacht of my career and evolved each time I made it as well as how I used it. I'd use a quenelle to accent a cheese plate. Rusticly spoon it through a salad with walnuts and crumbled feta. Mix it through a cream cheese or greek yogurt for a dip or Tatziki. It just became so darn versatile to use for both guests and crew alike. It was gourmet, unique and special enough for guests, but still nuts and bolts real food for feeding the crew.  It got to the point that a batch would be made before each charter, as it was a brilliant little condiment to have on hand if I needed to whip something up last minute.  It wasn't for another seven years and the final yacht of my career that the idea to do more with it came. That last yacht had the most diverse crew. Canadians, Irish, French, English all with very different backgrounds and different tastes, but all knew something when it tasted great. We were based in Italy and Croatia and everyone loved this beet thing that kept turning up for crew meal, until finally, one day it was said "you should jar and sell this stuff" it's that good. Voila six months later we turned it into a business.

 

 

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Sour Cherry and Spiced Wine Spread ~ A New but Classic Cheese Pairing Favorite

Sour Cherry Spiced Wine Spread - A Classic Cheese Pairing 

Our ideas for our new product releases always start way before they are released, we think about what flavors we would just love to add, what has inspired us, what flavors we may have had years prior and want to bring back to the table and we think about our customers...what are they asking for and what can we offer them that really rounds out our product line.   

This year we have released our newest cheese pairing spread ~ Sour Cherry Spiced Wine.  We pulled our inspiration for this one last winter mainly influenced by what are customers were leaning towards...they wanted cheese pairings for the holidays and we wanted to extend our offerings...and who doesn't love sour cherries?  I say cherries and cheese is like strawberries and cream...it's a throwback classic. It's made with local cherries from upstate New York and it's simmered out in a red wine reduction sauce with a medley of warm winter spices and finished with a touch of cracked black pepper (just enough to make your palate say aha!).   I love this new edition and it is truly a classic pairing for cheese. The cherries are nice and tart yet the reduction sauce pulls a bit of sweetness and spice into the mix.  We paired it with a bonne bouche and it was just perfection.  It works so well with this style of aged goats cheese and when you pair it with pate it is just...well...they are no words.  Try it.   

Our Sour Cherry Spiced Wine Spread is still new to the Wozz! family but so far she has not disappointed.  These cherry and creamy goats cheese crostini have been a knock your socks off appetizer and if you want to go sweet with our Spiced Wine Cherry Spread you can pair it with cocoa cakes or chocolate grahams and simply use cream cheese.  Eating this cherry cheese dirt cake was like reliving your 7 year old birthday party.  Spoon over cheesecake and swoon.

So this is a short but sweet blog post introducing our newest cheese pairing addition ~ Sour Cherry Spiced Wine Spread!  It's sweet tart and spiced and a shining star in the cheese department!

Cherry Spread and Goats Cheese Crostini |  Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 Wozz! Sour Cherry Spiced Wine Spread ~ $10

Sour Cherry Spread | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

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Cambodian Coconut Peanut Sauce Our Latest Release & Collaboration

Cambodian Coconut Peanut Sauce is our latest release and it is so going to blow your mind. We've collaborated on this one with Vermont Peanut Butter Company to source the best USA all natural peanut butter we could find and in addition to making the best peanut butter, they're operations are located just 20 minutes from our kitchen.  A double score when we source great ingredients from our local community.

The inspiration behind this sauce came last June while in New York at a street festival. We had the best Cambodian street food drizzled with peanut sauce and topped with fresh basil and lime wedges.  We immediately got thinking of how to incorporate something like this into our repertoire.  

We wanted to create a peanut sauce that had all the elements that you crave.  The sweet, the sour, the full bodied texture, the spice.  So we worked out a recipe to create this velvety smooth peanut sauce that incorporates a medley of southeast Asian spices including lemongrass, galangal, coriander, turmeric and chili and blended it with creamy coconut and of course fresh lime to give it that acid balance.  When you cook with a sauce or use a sauce as a dipping accent for rice paper rolls, shrimp, chicken satay or whatever, you want their to be an acid level that pulls your palate into that other direction. Without that balance, the taste is overwhelming or flat. So we really focused on the palate balance on this sauce and we think we nailed it.  It's just so satisfying. 

Cambodian Coconut Peanut Sauce | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

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Condiments For Chicken | Let's Dress Up Your Boring Chicken (in a healthy way)

You know I really don't like chicken breasts.  I think they are bland and boring and if I had a choice I would pick chicken thighs over breasts any day of the week.  But over the past year, Wozz and I have changed our eating and exercise habits and chicken breasts are now a staple in our diet.  Obviously (as you can see on this website) we love to cook, create and eat.  We love red wine, aged cheddar and chocolate bomb cake. We love juicy roasted lamb with roasted buttery potatoes and rich Indian curries with naan and beef stew with crusty bread...we love coconut shrimp and sticky chili wings all washed down with great craft beer. You get my point and I know you all love this kind of food too. But, feeling frumpy, out of shape and tired is the worst...so eating a bit cleaner, choosing leaner healthy protein packed foods like grilled chicken with fresh veggies is essential to feeling good.  It really is. It's actually life changing, not just physically but mentally...your mind clears, your energy lifts and you just feel better.  

Fortunately, Wozz and I own this condiment business and a plethora of our sauces and condiments are super healthy, low in sugar and fantastic on chicken.  I know this sounds like a shameless plug for our business (of course) but over the past year or so we've had a bunch of fitness bloggers and customers of ours, either write to us and tell us they have lost weight by eating our condiments or they instagram or facebook us about it. All their stories are the same in that they eat lean proteins (chicken, fish, tofu) and use just a little bit of our condiments to mix up the flavor profile.  One night it's Moroccan chicken with a side of couscous and veggies, the next night it's salsa verde chicken with a side of black beans. Wozz and I have taken our own customers advice, funny how that works...here we were for years giving all these fancy recipes out for our products and now we realize just grill up a piece of chicken, add a few tablespoons of Wozz! and plop it on a bed of greens and you are good to go.

If you are seriously into fitness or bodybuilding, you probably eat grilled chicken or fish on most days and after a while, it's pretty refreshing to liven things up with a bit of unique flavors. So with that, here are a few of my favorite healthy picks of what condiments and sauces to use on your next chicken dinner.  

 

Thai Orange & Ginger Relish 

A relish that is low in sugar, savory and full of bright citrus tang and spice.  It's made with fresh carrots, 100% orange juice, Thai spices, fresh cilantro and a bit of chili.  It's complex with great depth of flavor and designed for chicken, fish and seafood.  Mix into turkey burgers, spoon over a baked white fish or simply spread over chicken breasts - it can be used warm or cold. 

Picture below:  Thai Orange Ginger Chicken (I used chicken thighs in this recipe but you can substitute breasts and you can also use a white fish - you just may need to adjust cooking times).

Thai Orange Ginger Chicken Recipe | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

 

Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde 

This salsa verde is super fresh and fitness friendly.  There are only 80 calories in the entire jar - 7 calories and 1 gram of sugar per serving.  Guilt free and packed with healthy ingredients - fresh grilled tomatillos, fresh zingy kiwi, fresh cilantro, fresh jalapenos and 100% lime juice.  It's so good, it won outstanding salsa at the NYC fancy food show in 2015 and was featured on The Today Show.  Kathy Lee loved it.  Serious.  

If you love tangy spicy vibrant sauces then this is the perfect salsa verde to drizzle over chicken breasts and grilled fish.  Or try it over these fish tacos (you can also use chicken instead of fish if preferred).  

 

 

North African Chermoula Dressing & Marinade 

Lemony, bold and spiced.  This Moroccan style marinade is perfect for chicken!  It's also low in sugar and packed with healthy super food spices - cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, fenugreek.  It's got F-L-A-V-O-R.  If you love Indian style food and prefer more tang and savory than sweet, than this is your sauce. It's delicious with lentils, falafel, chickpeas and couscous.  Mix it with Greek yogurt and you got yourself a fantastic healthy dip for grilled chicken skewers.

Recipe:  Chermoula Marinated Chicken Thighs with Couscous, Lemon and Feta

Chermoula Marinated Chicken Thighs

 

Moroccan Tomato Onion Relish

This relish is currently my favorite go-to sauce for a lot of meals.  It's so full of flavor and it's pretty low in sugar - 3 g per 2 tablespoons which is actually less than ketchup (ketchup has 8g per 2 Tbs).  It's perfect for braising chicken in a pan with a little bit of chicken stock and serving over brown rice.  When you are in a hurry and have cold grilled chicken breasts in the fridge just spoon this over top with feta cheese crumbles and serve on a bed of arugula (see below).  Full of aromatic Moroccan spices including cumin, coriander and ras el hanout, it is a great alternative to tomato sauce.  I also use it on turkey meatloaf, veggie burgers, mini chicken pizzas and spoon it over cabbage rolls.  

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Breast with Moroccan Tomato Relish and Feta

Grilled Chicken with Moroccan Tomato Relish | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

 

Ginger Soy Infusion Dressing & Marinade

Also a NYC fancy food show sofi gold winner, this sauce is a favorite among our customers.  It's not as thick and heavy as a traditional teriyaki style marinade.  It's light and layered with flavor.  We actually don't use soy sauce, we use organic tamari so it is gluten free and the base of this sauce is a homemade dashi stock (which is made from sea vegetables and spring water so it's packed with nutrients). We infuse the sauce with fresh hand chopped garlic, ginger and it's finished with toasty unhulled sesame seeds.  

This is one of our sweeter sauces and marinades so if you are looking to keep the sugar really low, just use a tablespoon or two, that is really all you need.  Everything in moderation. This sauce is absolutely delicious and when you just can't stand chicken breasts anymore, just drizzle a bit of this on them.  Your love of chicken will be renewed. This sauce can also be used with chicken broccoli stir-fry's, on steak tips, salmon and drizzled over sauteed greens like bok choy, kale and chinese broccoli. 

Recipe:  Chinese Chicken and Vegetable Chop Suey Stir Fry

 

Super Hot Chili Sambal 

Made with fresh chopped Thai chilis, fresh ginger, garlic and lemon, this is a great hot sauce. It's similar to sriracha.  So if sriracha is your go-to chicken condiment, give this a try. You won't be disappointed.  It's about 7/10 on the heat scale and it's packed with flavor and fresh ingredients.  It's low in sugar - 2.5 g per tablespoon.  

 

 

Cambodian Coconut Peanut Sauce

All I have to say is grilled chicken satay.  Just dip it a little bit.  We make this sauce with all natural peanut butter, creamy coconut milk, fresh lime and Thai spices - it's nutty and creamy with a nice bit of lime zing and chili kick.  It's a bit higher in calories 60 Calories per serving (2 Tbs) but if you want your chicken to taste good, this is it and you don't need a lot of it. Winner of this years NYC fancy food show sofi™ gold for outstanding cooking sauce and outstanding new product.  

Recipe: Chicken Satay with Cambodian Coconut Peanut Sauce

Coconut Peanut Dipping Sauce | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

 

Balsamic Blueberry Maple Vinegar 

This vinegar is so versatile.  Use it as a salad dressing or as a marinade.  It works well with all your white meats, turkey, chicken, pork and duck. This is a customer favorite - who doesn't love a good balsamic with their chicken, veggies and salads?  

Recipe: Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Sauce | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

 

 

Jamaican Jerk Pineapple Chutney

If you love jerk spice and grilled chicken, than this is your kind of chutney.  We use fresh grilled pineapple, sweet and spicy aromatic jerk spice, chili pepper spice and fresh mint in this condiment and it is awesome spooned over grilled chicken skewers, grilled chicken breasts, blackened fish and shrimp.  You can also fold it through a chicken and brown rice stir fry.

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Finishing Vinegar

Do you like summer salads with grilled chicken, nuts and berries?  If so, then try this.  You don't need any oil. Just drizzle a bit of this over top. It tastes like grandma's strawberry pie in a bottle.  Ahhhyeessss please

Recipe: Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken and Pecans

Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken and Pecans

 

Lemon Green Tahini Dressing 

This dressing is so healthy and super clean.  We make this with 100% lemon juice, sesame tahini, fresh dill, fresh greens and olive oil.  It's zingy, lemony, creamy and herbaceous. We don't use canola oil in any of our products and we only use non gmo ingredients.  There is no sugar added to this.  ZERO!  Only a little bit of fat from the sesame tahini and olive oil but both are "good for you" fats. This dressing is the bomb diggity for a healthy drizzle over chicken.  I use it over chicken skewers, grilled chicken salads with roasted veggies, and I use it instead of mayo for chicken salad lettuce wraps. It's one of my favorites!

 

 

 

Okay, so those are my picks for the best healthy condiments and sauces to go with chicken.  Try em out and let me know what you think!  And don't forget to instagram tag us in your photos! @wozzkitchencreations  We love to see what our customers are eating, it give us ideas. We are all in this boring chicken conundrum together right?

 

All content copyright of Wozz! Kitchen Creations.  Copyright infringement is strictly prohibited.

 

 

 

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The Best of Gourmet Gift Baskets, Gift Crates and Gift Boxes Start With The Maker.

Gourmet Gift Baskets, gourmet gift boxes, gourmet crates, plates and platters. Where should you start your search when there are so many great ideas out there. It's easy, It's all about whats on the inside, avoide the generic stuff.  Don't be fooled by an online store that classes themselves as "gourmet" and overcharge you for the privilage just by using the word gourmet in their name. You'll need to wade through these in your search for gourmet authenticity, but it's easy. As both a chef and myself a producer, I'll point out what I think are "red flags" in the gourmet world. So I have some simple questions for you to ask yourself as you browse, tips of what to look out for, and gourmet gift tricks to avoid. At the same time I'll give a shameless plug as to why we here at Wozz! think we are one of the best gourmet gift choices out there. Crafting by hand, the real deal. No middle men, no fillers, and no BS.

5 Quick Research Hacks to Remember

* Are the gourmet gift items available from a supermarket.

* Are all gourmet items useful or just mini sample sizes only.

* Is the packaging Eco friendly.

* Are these artisan products or mass produced co-packed items.

* Do any items in the gift basket support local producers, communities and farms.

Things to avoid.

A Bucket of Beer and Basket of Biscuits
The ultimate gourmet gift trap. This one comes in all shapes and sizes and is the main barrage of gourmet nonsense you get hit with online. $100 for a mixed six pack, an ice bucket and a bag of peanuts titled "fathers day gifts" or "man boxes" or something equally dubious. Rest assured they'll have something for mum too, in the tune of a basket holding nothing more than a box of cake mix, some shortbread cookies and raspberry jam from goodness knows where. All finished with a bow and wrapped in plastic. Everything in these buckets and baskets you can pick up from your local supermarket and are about as gourmet as a box of fruit loops and a choosy mums choice of peanut butter.

Ugh!

That's not how we roll, everything in our collections is unique, made with ingredients locally sourced and not available in supermarkets! Our flavor combinations sound gourmet and special because they are.

 



The Big Gourmet Gift Basket of Minis
You've seen this, a basket that looks huge and full to the brim with big jars and boxes all sprawled out in the product photo. Unfortunately, when you send as a gift directly to the receiver you might never know the truth. All those big jars are actually 4oz or smaller and more comparable to the single serve butter and jam you'll find served for an in flight meal than anything gourmet. They look great in a photo with a big gift basket or box as a backdrop, but completely useless to use. How can something be gourmet if you can't actually put it to use?

Rookie error.

Don't worry all our jars are the real deal, 12oz and designed to be used. We always include recipe cards and pairings that create a meal and an experience beyond simply receiving a gift in the mail.



Gourmet Gift Packaging and nothing Gourmet inside.
To be honest some of the packaging ideas out there are quite brilliant and a whole lot of fun in their opening, for the guy in your life anyway. For instance, you can buy these cans in Australia and the label reads "Canned Koala" It seems a little ominous at first. You tilt the can this way and that and realise the only way inside is obviously a can opener. Off you go digging in the second draw and begin the unusual unwrapping. Once inside you pull a fluffy toy out of the can and the joke comes full circle. I enjoy watching someone struggle with ten minutes of packaging for a bag of peanuts and couple strips of jerky as much as anyone. But we are talking gourmet and jerky and peanuts, just like a Koala stuffed in a can, might be a fun gift; in the same breath it's isn't very gourmet.

Our presentation is simple, clean, eco friendly and with attention to detail. No plastic, bubble wrap of foam peanuts. Just corrugated cardboard and locally sourced renewable wood curls. Presented with recipe cards and a note saying who the gift is from, even if you forget to write a note. We've got your back. A gourmet gift means from the farm, to chef to you and that's what we do.

 



Who's a Maker & who's a faker
For anything truly authentic always start with a maker. To often we get caught starting our search with the middlemen websites, resellers, and hawkers. You find the best wine at the vineyard, the freshest bread from the bakery and the finest cuts from your butcher. Why would the best gourmet gift choices come from anyone other than a true producers themselves. Simply having a brand's name on a co-packed product doesn't count either, not if you are looking for the best or even just good. Co packers don't process fresh ingredients. They buy processed purees and concentrates in buckets and bags from other factories, calling them "ingredients" and mix them all together and bottle them. I don't care if those ingredients say organic or Non GMO, the end result is still a sub-par product that has nothing to to with quality or gourmet.

Not us. We still source and peel fresh ingredients, we use no frozen purees, concentrates, citric acid, additives or flavors. We do not use copackers to mass produce and pump out crap. The owners of the company (that means me and the wife) make everything. We pay a fair price to our farmers, create thoughtful products with you in mind using other local ingredients. Our award winning products are known for their quality and innovation. At Wozz! we want to see that everyone wins, and that includes you.


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Sambal, Sriracha, Hot Sauce, Chili Paste? What's the Difference and Why it Matters.

Chili Paste, Sambal, Sriracha, Hot Sauce!!! What's it all about, which should I choose? Are they really that different? The answer is well yes and no. Yes they are all based on hot chili peppers and in their own right are all hot, but if it is character of flavor that drives your hot sauce obsession than the differences are like chalk and cheese.

Hot Sauces of the World

Let's break down some differences of the worlds hot sauces. The first noticeable differences between hot sauce, sambal, pastes and sriracha are simply their countries of origin.
Pastes: most all countries having a hot paste to call their own.
Hot sauce: or "hot salsa" being of the Americas
Sambal: versions being from Indonesia, Malaysia or Sri Lanka.
Sriracha: though being Thai in origins, most are more familiar with the bastardized American version of this sauce. 

Countries of origin directly influence ingredients typically used in each and in turn flavor profiles differ as a result. Asia using common ingredients like tamarind, shrimp pastes and ginger where the Americas typically use vinegar and fruits. Fermentation goes a long way to bring an umami funk to all these ingredients.
Finally, the method of "how is it made" goes a long way in how the ingredients are represented, presented and respected. Some are chunky, some are fresh straight pastes and many resemble a more ketchup type consistency.

Let's start with Pastes:

Chili Pastes: Most all countries have a version of a hot condiment or paste which is essentially just that, the local chili peppers of the region are ground into a paste via a mortar and pestle. From here they might be seasoned with only salt, a sweetener or one or two other herbs and spices and perhaps thinned to a more dipping sauce consistency or rounded out with a Umami ingredient like dried shrimp or through fermentation. Pretty much everything falls under the umbrella of chili paste and for anywhere you can stab your finger at the map, you'll find a complimentary hot condiment for that region. I've listed some favorites and a few lesser known. Every household will have it's own variation and family recipes of these. Some are sweet, others meaty or bright and fresh in flavor.

My Favorites.

Nam Prik Pao: Thailand. I love this bad boy. Classically Thai in that clash of sweet, sour, savory, umami and spice. A very sweet jammy medium heat paste. Great for seafood, noodles and stir-fry. Made chunky, with scallions, garlic, palm sugar, dried shrimp, and fish sauce which helps rounds out the sweetness with a salty savoriness. Great fun; unmistakable flavor, I love it!!! Found in Asian supermarkets labeled chili paste in soy bean oil, but plenty of recipes online to build your own.

Harissa: Tunisia. Another "more than just chili" chili paste. Full of cumin, fennel seed, caraway, garlic, sometimes tomato or lemon juice, usually roasted red pepper. Great for meats, seafood, eggs, and tagine. Our Moroccan Tomato Onion Relish is all this but without the heat. Full of flavor, an Australian favorite.

S'rug: Yemenite. Similar to South America chimichurri, and North Africa's Chermoula, by that I mean its a herb packed, bright and fresh hot sauce. Different by the fact it lacks the acid of a vinegar or preserved lemon as in the other two, but all are full of cumin, garlic, coriander seed, chili and fresh coriander and brought together with olive oil. A bright fresh full flavored paste. Think hummus, falafel and lamb as pairings for this one.

Gochujang: Korea. is a savory, spicy, and pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. Traditionally, it has been naturally fermented for months even over years in large earthern pots outdoors. Once fermented, the gochujang resembles tomato paste in color and texture, and has a similar earthy sweetness punctuated by a bite of lingering heat from the red chiles. Gochujang is similar to sriracha in taste, but there are some key differences. Garlic is a major component in the making of sriracha, and you won’t find that same flavor in gochujang. What gochujang offers, though, is a big dose of umami that sriracha just doesn’t have. The fermentation of the glutamates in red chiles produces an almost meaty flavor in the background.

What about straight HOT Sauce

Hot Sauce: Americas. Although everything in this post is a hot sauce, when I hear "hot sauce" as the only name used, I think about it in the Caribbean, Louisiana sense of the word and by that I mean vinegar based.

Sometimes sugar is added along with fruit or vegetables and the variations on chili peppers used leads to a greater variance in heat or what is referred to as the Scoville scale. Some are thin, others resemble more a ketchup consistency like ancho chili paste. Earlier American versions of hot sauce often used a milder Tabasco or cayenne pepper where as Caribbean and South American versions used hot mustard and the very hot Scotch Bonnet or Habanero pepper and were often balanced by fruits or a little sugar.
 
Now I'm not here to listen to your hero's encounter of the hottest hot sauce you ever tried and how you had to sign a waiver before trying it and now your big man on campus... no. The common thread for me in all these hot sauces is that sour bite of cheap distilled vinegar hidden in there. With vinegar as the main preserving ingredient you basically have a product to be used to add heat for the sake of adding heat, it's rarely about the meal you are using it with or the peppers used, as much as it is just about how hot is the sauce that you are using. For me a traditional "vinegar-based" hot sauce (of which there are so many wonderful variations and flavors) are a great way to add heat to a finished meal. Although they can work in some dishes like wings or salsa; as a leading ingredient, they are notoriously difficult to cook with.

Take Americas earliest recognizable brand of hot sauce Tabasco. No matter what you do with it or where it's used, you can almost always taste that unmistakable vinegar flavor of Tabasco sauce. Don't get me wrong, that's all I want over my rich buttery scrambled eggs, but when it comes to cooking I'd rather use fresh chili or something else any day of the week. Most of these vinegar based hot sauces are at home in American and Tex-Mex styled cuisine. I think often due to the high sugar content in basting and barbecue style of cooking, the vinegar helps balance the sweetness in these sauces. For me, as a chef, when I attempt to use these vinegar based hot sauces on their own, that comes with it's problems.

Hot Salsa: Mexico. There is an exception though, well two actually. Mexico and New Mexico Hot Sauce or Hot Salsa. In both cases, vinegar is used sparingly or not at all. In Mexico's case the individual flavor takes precedence over it's heat, popular chili peppers include chipotles, jalapeño and Ancho along with Pasilla and Guajillo which make up the “holy trinity” widely used in mole sauces. Because many of Mexican traditional hot sauces or "hot salsa" are made from fresh ingredients and balanced and enhanced with the flavors of chili peppers, it makes them much easier to cook with. There is great respect to all the ingredients used and a freshness unsurpassed by a vinegar based hot sauce designed just for heat. New Mexio's two hot sauces often made more like a gravy and come in either red or green. The peppers are roasted skins removed and cooked with a roux made from lard and flour which thickens and brings the sauce together. Almost every traditional New Mexican dish will be served with one of these sauces.

How about Sriracha?

Sriracha: Thailand/USA The story begins in Thailand and it goes that a local woman named Thanom Chakkapak started making the popular sauce in the 1930's originally for her friends and family, but later released it commercially as Sriraja Panich. Traditionally, this Thai version of Sriracha hot sauce tends to be a bit tangier and runnier than what has become so popular in the states. The flavor enhancer consisting of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt gets its namesake from the coastal city of Si Racha on the east coast of Thailand where it is commonly used as a dipping sauce for seafood. Originally fresh ingredients were ground down with a mortar and pestle.

The American version of Sriracha for me is more like a ketchup both in consistency, culture, flavor and method of preparation. Just like ketchup in that it has been so far removed from it's humble beginnings, by that I mean it has been processed from within an inch of it's life drowned in vinegar, sugar and salt, boiled thickened and bottled....  just exchange tomato for peppers. This might explain why America found it so very easy to embrace.


Despite being authentically Thai, in origin it would have to be one of the least Thai flavor profiles I think I can imagine. We usually associate Thai food with light fresh ingredients, sweet, sour and salty notes and chili. For me American Sriracha or rooster sauce is none of those things. It uses dried garlic, is heavily processed and its flavor, though hot is very muddy. Despite it's flavor it is much easier to be used than your usual vinegar based hot sauces. Lets face it, it's in everything over here from lollypops to pop corn. Thick enough for dipping, and a little squirt will add a nice little bit of heat with out completely changing the over all dish. For me Sriracha is always a bottle sitting lonely over in the corner of a Chinese restaurant on some tired fold out side table with the spare bottles of soy sauce. It is not very popular in Australia, I've never bought a bottle either as a chef or consumer and probably never will.

 

So What is Sambal Then?

Sambal: Indonesia, Malaysia or Sri Lanka. Sambal comes in many slight variations and with each is a variation in name. Sambal in it's simplest translation means chopped or ground. This fresh ground chili condiment is usually chunkier and full of seeds and texture and often with the addition of a sour, sweet or umami ingredient like lime, palm sugar, fish sauce or shrimp paste or a little bit of all. Usually served fresh, but can be cooked. Sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, hot or mild. Sometimes with the addition of tomato, herbs, fruit or spices. Some variations like ambal durian or Sambal tempoyak are fermented and aged creating wonderful depth of flavor while others made fresh and clean are sharper. The constant varieties and simple fresh ingredients and obvious lack of vinegar make Sambal a perfect companion to actually cook with and an essential addition to your pantry or culinary repetitoire.
 
Let's break down some variations, but there are hundreds more to explore and create.
The most recognizable;

Sambal Oelek (elek) A sambal in it's purest form and essentially just chopped chili with some variations calling for lime and/or salt. (bright red, thin and a little sharp in flavor)

Sambal Goreng 
Literally means "fried sambal". It is a mix of crisp fried red shallots, red and green chili, shrimp paste and salt, briefly stir-fried in coconut oil. Crisp fried shallots and Umami of shrimp give this a nutty flavor, great for noodles .

Sambal uyah-lombok A kind of sambal which is only made from raw chilli and salt. Very simple and easy to made, and usually eaten with steamed rice and fried foods like fried chicken. Clean savory heat.

Sambal tauco A Sulawesi sambal, contains the Chinese tauco (an Indo Chinese sauce made from fermented yellow soybeans), lime juice, chili, brown sugar, and salt. Balance with an Umami richness.

Sambal rica rica A hot sambal from Manado region, it uses ginger, chili, lemon and spices. Suitable for barbecue meats. Higher fresh notes.

Sambal tumis Chili fried with belacan shrimp paste, onions, garlic, tamarind juice. Tumis means "stir fry". Often the cooking oil is re-mixed with the sambal. A balanced, well rounded flavor.

Sambal lado mudo Literally a word for "green sambal". It is also known as sambal hijau or sambal ijo, also "green sambal". Sambal lado mudo, a West Sumatran specialty, used green chili, with dried shrimp, red shallots, garlic, and spices. It is one of those taste sensations that’s hard to beat with a unique fresh flavor that compliments the richness of Sumatran food so extremely well. The sambal is stir fried. 

Sambal setan A very hot sambal with Madame Jeanette peppers.  The name literally means "devil's sauce". (red brownish, very sharp)

That's why we choose a Sambal as our go to hot ingredient in our collection of condiments. We wanted something to be cooked with, with a balance of flavor, a medium high heat that will blend in and add heat to any type of cuisine, even if it's not Asian. What we took was the best of everything above to bring about a balance of flavor with a long palate. 

Super Hot Chili Sambal | Chili Sambal | Wozz! Kitchen Creations



We use fresh Fresno peppers, onion in place of shallots, 100% lemon and lime juice. High notes of ginger and warmer notes from garlic. For Umami we use an anchovy fermented fish sauce and a little sugar to bring it all together. What we have is a fresh clean tasting sambal, with a slight sweetness in the beginning, washed away by the citrus for a long full flavored, slow burn. This so that you can taste all the other ingredients before the heat kicks in after half a minute or so. We testify it is the perfect heat.... and don't get us wrong, it is quite hot.


Health and Nutritional Benefits:

and last but not least are they good for you?

  • Hot peppers and thus hot sauce are a great source of antioxidant such as vitamin-A, and flavonoids like ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin
  • Chilies carry a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • Chilies are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them from external sources to replenish.
  • Chili peppers have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance):

240% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid),
39% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine),
32% of vitamin A,
13% of iron,
14% of copper,
7% of potassium,

Diabetes Prevention and Well Being

A study published in the July 2006 issue of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that when participants consumed a meal with capsaicin and a meal without it, their insulin levels were more normalized after consuming the capsaicin meal than the plain meal. This was especially true for overweight participants. The study indicates that the habitual consumption of meals containing capsaicin may be useful in preventing meal-induced hyperinsulinemia, or increased insulin levels, which can lead to insulin resistance -- and Type 2 diabetes.

Adding hot sauce to your diet is good for your mental health too. Eating spicy peppers feels good. Capsaicin binds to pain receptors in the mouth and nose, which creates a burning feeling that gets passed along to the brain. The brain reacts by releasing endorphins, which are natural opioids that produce a feeling of well-being. So if your too old to hit the rave scene any longer than that spiritual explosion of endorphins you're looking for might be as easy as reaching for the hot sauce!

Recipe:  Poached Eggs with Wozz! Super Hot Chili Sambal 

Poached Eggs with Super Hot Chili Sambal Sauce

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The Ultimate Condiment For Your Burger says Yankee Magazine!

Sometimes when crafting condiments and sauces you reach that perfect balance of sweet and savory and immediately you know you struck gold. At least you are pretty sure you've crafted a masterpiece that is until you bring it to market and then you really find out.  Let me tell you, our customers are not shy, they say it like it is...if they like it, they gasp and swoon, tell their friends, and tell us over and over they think it's amazing ...which is always nice.  When they don't like something, they also gasp in a different kind of way, tell us over and over how much they don't like it and sometimes even dramatically spit it out (that's really nice)...but hey!  that's people and if it wasn't for those folks that either scream in excitement or gag in dismay we wouldn't know what our customers wanted and we certainly wouldn't have gained all the knowledge we have on the wide variations of people's palates.  Our product line goes from sweet to tangy with a lot of variants, spice, umami and depth in between.   We created a specialty food line of dramatic variation to meet the demand of everyone's taste.  BUT, for all taste testing we have done along the way, I do have to say this...

Our Triple Ale Onion Spread has become a star athlete in the Wozz! condiment world. There are very few who don't like this one and I have my dad to thank for this because if he gives it the green go ahead then we have all kicked a goal.  Let's just keep this short and sum it up to the fact that he is a bit opinionated about food...not in a pretentious dorky "foodie" kind of way but in a 5 year old "I don't want to eat that" kind of way.  So when he devoured a whole lot of triple ale onion spread slathered all over his steak we knew we were onto something...  

Triple Ale Onion Spread | Wozz! Kitchen Creations

We have always referred to our Triple Ale Onion Spread as the ultimate "man jam" for the summer grill...and about 90% of the time when a customer tastes it for the first time they say to me, "You know where I could see this going?" and of course, I don't want to ruin their "a ha! oprah moment" so I usually say "where?" with eyes wide open and of course I know they are going to say "A Burger!"  and so after years and years of this interaction with customers at tasting events and demos we were thrilled to hear the news that Yankee Magazine chose our Triple Ale Onion Savory Spread to be the condiment used on Vermont's Ultimate Burger Slider at this year's Vermont Cheesemaker's Festival.  It has been officially validated.

 

Vermont Ultimate Burger

 

We were in great company with the additional ingredients for the Ultimate Vermont Sliders which included Beef Patties from the Vermont Beef Industry Council,  6-Month Aged Cheddar Cheese from Shelburne Farms, Potato Slider Rolls from the Vermont Bread Company and Gourmet Horseradish and Maple Wholegrain Mustard provided by our friends at Green Mountain Mustard.  These juicy burgers were grilled to perfection on a state of the art Kenyon Grill.

And just a note...the Vermont Cheesemaker's Festival takes place every July at the beautiful historic Shelburne Farms on Lake Champlain.  It's a gathering of the best cheese makers and artisan purveyors of specialty foods in Vermont and in the country. It's one of our favorite events, orchestrated beautifully.  If you can attend one year, it's worth it, it's a great day out.

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