Sometimes it can be hard not to think Louisiana cuisine was forged by earth’s hottest fires. Every table of deliciously spicy jambalaya or blackened redfish is replete with a variety of hot sauces: Crystal, Tabasco, Louisiana, Mindy’s, etc. For all that spice, though, there isn’t much in the way of barbecue sauce. One food blogger decided this was unacceptable.
Meet Jay D. Ducote. He’s many things: Louisiana food blogger, radio personality, and founder of Bite and Booze, owner of a fantastic beard, (presumably) reamed out by Gordon Ramsey at least once en route to being named a top 100 amateur chef by MasterChef. He also has created one of the first iterations of something that should have existed long ago: a Louisiana barbecue sauce.
And why not? All those other states have their versions. It was time for the Boot to step it up, and who better to lead the charge than a man who’s been eating food for a living since 2009? Sure, he’s got a master’s in political science, but he’s also got a trained palate (and is a trained cast-iron tailgating chef). And he’s chock full of opinions re bottled barbecue sauces.
“The strong, strong majority of what’s on the market is really nothing but glorified ketchup,” he tells me.
It’s certainly not Louisiana.
“Louisiana is not known for its distinctive barbecue style, not like the rest of the South,” he says. “We have hot sauces, but not barbecue. I just wanted to create a different style of sauce that could be defined as Louisiana style.”
So he took what was best about Louisiana sauces–that delicious, vinegary spice of our hot sauces–and put it through a barbecue filter.
“One way to look at it is it’s a hybrid of a lot of different styles from around the American South with some of those flavors that are indigenous to Louisiana,” he says.
The result? A lighter sauce that won’t burn in the pan. Each bite starts off sweet before a firestorm rages down your esophagus (in a good way!). Tomato, apple cider vinegar, Louisiana cane syrup and brown sugar, creole mustard, hot sauce, and more blend together into a “medley of a lot of different flavors you’d see in Louisiana cooking and barbecue sauces across the country.”
Louisiana might not famous for its barbecue, but this sure isn’t a bad start.