Austin anti-ketchup

Eclipse grill sauceHere’s what’s in the 57 variety: tomato concentrate, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, and “natural flavors.” No wonder there are some of us oddies who don’t even like the smell of it. And here’s what makes up Cafe Josie Eclipse Grill Sauce: shoyu tamari (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), sun-dried raisins, cider vinegar, canola oil, toasted sesame oil, chile japones, ginger, and tamarind. Despite the absence of tomatoes, this stuff is red.

The little bottle caught my eye when I made my recent second visit to the new Whole Foods. Other language on the label states that “Equatorial Eclipse is an original recipe by Chef Charles Mayes” and that it’s a “rich, complex flavor infused with the heat of the tropics,” as well as that it’s “deliciously spicy on grilled seafood, vegetables, chicken, beef, and pork.” It’s seriously addictive. It carries so much flavor punch that a little goes a long way. I can find nothing about the Equatorial Sauce Co., which has an Austin 78703 address. Cafe Josie, of course, is in 03. “Zesty” and “tangy” describe this stuff well, and it also has a picante bite.

We’ll be firing up the Lodge cast-iron deep fryer very soon. I can’t wait to partner Eclipse sauce with homemade French fries. I was unsuccessful in finding out anything, on line or elsewhere, about this sauce or any siblings it may have. Our guests have been applying it to anything that might otherwise receive a dollop of ketchup. No doubt Eclipse would brighten boring old plain broiled chicken. The most recent use for Eclipse was as an accompaniment to sliced flank steak. Eclipse sauce isn’t just anti-ketchup; it’s also much like an over-the-top Worcestershire sauce. It has more than earned a place on the jammed shelves of the fridge.

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