|Photos: © Susannah's Sauces|
Susannah Ferguson's love of food and her want to encourage younger palates to become more adventurous spawned her cottage industry business making a range of savoury and sweet sauces known as Susannah's Sauces (naturally).
Recently we had the privilege to try the fruits of her labours when she sent some jars to us for testing.
Susannah has developed her sauces to make food more appealing and delicious and believes the key to this is to use fresh ingredients.
She completely avoids the use of any artificial additives or preservatives and all her products are gluten free.
“My philosophy is everything in moderation. It’s the quality of ingredients that really counts, fresh, wholesome and locally sourced where possible.
What is the point of eating something that is full of artificial preservatives and additives and has been sitting on a shelf for a year or more. It probably won’t do you any harm, but why not eat something that was made fresh last week? Who benefits by adding artificial ingredients? It certainly isn’t the consumer who eats the product.”
Flirty French Dressing and Bewitching Butterscotch are old family favourites, the others having been added over time.
The savoury sauces…
As with all oil and vinegar dressings, some separation occurs so the jar first needs a good shake to mix everything together.
On opening we can see the dressing has a greenish hue from good quality olive oil. The smell is not overly vinegary, there’s a hint of garlic and whole grains of mustard are clearly visible, giving it substance and texture.
The flavour is quite smooth and mild – the mustard not too hot, so that it is subtle enough to enliven foods rather than overpower them. The garlic is detectable and not too strong, the seasoning well balanced and the vinegar has just the right amount of tang.
The consistency is good and coats well.
Although this is fundamentally a good dressing, we did find that it was perhaps a little too sweet for our tastes.
It is naturally good on salads but also doubles as a marinade for chicken, pork or vegetables.
This sauce as a mightily long ingredients list, and nothing wrong with that, everything in the jar you’ll want to eat.
It has a creamy thousand island dressing sort of colour, which initially gave us a surprise when tasting as it didn’t seem to match what we were expecting!
The aroma is creamy with a hint of vinegar and doesn’t even begin to give away the flavour within.
First taste is strong of green olive, then comes a deep savoury note from tomato followed by a fresh herby fragrance, mainly mint and basil.
Use a s a dip with crudités, slather over a jacket potato, but it really comes into its own with a sizzling steak straight off the barbecue.
Is it okay to have a favourite? Because of all the ‘savouries’ this one's ours.
A tomato sauce that is obviously packed full of tomatoes. The colour is nice and natural – a deep burnished orange-red and it smells rich and ever so slightly spicy.
The texture is gorgeously smooth and knowing there are no bulking agents or thickeners used, it has to be pure tomato goodness.
The flavour is deeply savoury with all that natural umami from the tomatoes with the garlic and onion in perfectly balanced attendance. A little more excitement is added in the form of fragrant, peppery basil.
It could be used as a condiment like ketchup for meats such as chicken, pork, beef or lamb or use it hot for a pasta sauce or over meatballs.
Although we were sent the full range of sauces to try, the mayonnaise suffered a slight trauma in transit. Nothing to worry about though. UPDATE! We received a replacement and have now tested it. you can read the review here.
The sweet sauces…
In light of the recent health stories about sugar it seems almost criminal to be putting a very sweet concoction in a good light. But if you can’t have a treat now and then, life would be pretty dull.
This butterscotch sauce is everything it should be; gooey, sticky and sweet. Its buttery toffee smell is indeed bewitching and will have you sticking a spoon in the jar even before you’ve decided whether it’s to accompany ice cream or a pud.
It has an irresistible caramel flavour which liquefies in the mouth.
This is truly for chocolate lovers and surprisingly, not too sweet so will appeal to the more sophisticated palate.
A properly thick, dark chocolate spread with a fruity aroma.
It has a super rich and velvety texture in the mouth revealing the quality of the Belgian chocolate used. Susannah has also added some coffee for an even richer aftertaste adding pleasant bitterness.
It spreads straight from the fridge and is delicious on all manner of things from a simple slice of bread to a filling for pancakes or cakes. You can even make a hot chocolate drink.
Susannah has taken enormous care in using high quality ingredients in all her sauces. She believes that you can’t make a good food product with poor ingredients.
Her range of sauces is sold at numerous food fairs around the country and at a few selected farm shops.
We will continue to use what we have left after sampling and will post any recipes or meals using them at a later date, so look out for them.