The story has all the trappings of a Hollywood screenplay – bootleggers, a remote barbecue shack in the woods of western Kentucky and a debt owed. It culminates, rivetingly, with a bottled barbecue sauce based on a 176-year-old recipe. Owner DeeDee Crook traces the sauce back to his grandfather, who owned a dairy farm in bluegrass country and had a brother who ran moonshine. One thing led to another, and the boys ended up with a secret recipe that became Old Kentucky Barbeque sauce.
OKB is not like other barbecue sauces – not like Texas barbecue sauce, not like Kansas, not Memphis nor North Carolina. More or less, it’s a blend of all of those styles – tangy, thanks to a good dose of vinegar, with a splash of orange juice and a glug of tomato puree to add a hint of sweetness. Black pepper lends a mild bite. Texturally thin, it’s versatile beyond mopping meat in the smoker. Brush it on salmon or shrimp as a glaze, or even pour a bit into your next Bloody Mary – we won’t judge. Find OKB at Luci’s Healthy Marketplace, Duck & Decanter, Brooksies and at select farmers’ markets, including Power Road Farmers Market in Mesa. ($7)
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