You can’t get any more “local” than this sauce is. Made right here in Manzanita, Oregon, BigFoot BBQ Sauce was first developed by Joe Lebold as a hobby. We asked Joe about his sauce, how he developed it and just what makes it so darned special (besides the awesome name and label.) He took some time to respond to our questions yesterday via email, even though he was pretty busy in the kitchen most of the day, whipping up another big batch of sauce. “I had a good basic recipe, and I decided to put some serious time into it just to see if I could make it better than the other products out in the marketplace.”
A lot of the original batches were produced and tasted with help from a group of friends at the San Dune Pub. We learned there was an ulterior motive behind the sauces’ spiciness. Joe revealed that, “The heat in the sauce was an idea of mine to help sell more beer in a restaurant environment.”
We’re not sure if the spicy sauce ended up boosting beer sales at the Sand Dune but BigFoot sauce and BBQ definitely goes well with an icy cold northwest-sourced brew.
Some of the ingredients that make Joe’s BigFoot BBQ Sauce so unique:
1. Real maple syrup
2. Honey (from a beekeeper friend of Joe’s in Idaho)
3. Local Marionberry Jam (yum!)
4. Deschutes Brewing Mirror Pond Ale
5. Many different spices (the secret part, but we feel safe saying there are chilies in there)
When we asked him about the Marionberry Jam Joe revealed, “the idea was purely random. I could not find molasses at the store and thought it might be in the jam and jelly section. I was standing there looking and saw a large jar of seedless marionberry jam. I thought, “‘Huh … I wonder what that would taste like in the sauce?'”
He went straight home and cooked up a batch of sauce using the Marionberry jam. “After I tasted it, I ran some down to the pub immediately. The bartenders raved so much about it that a few guests at different tables requested to try it, and then offered me money on the spot for a pint of sauce. The rest is kind of history.”
We asked Joe for a recipe suggestion for his sauce: “One of my customers told me that they use a normal meatloaf recipe but use a muffin pan to make mini-meatloaves for the kids. Then they top with BigFoot sauce for the last 20 minutes of cooking. The kids get a big kick out of it because they get to choose their own meatloaf out of the pan. And cooking the sauce for that long tones down the heat a little for younger children.”
Look for jars of Joe’s BigFoot BBQ Sauce in the meat section on top of the seafood case. Try some and then leave a comment below with your own serving suggestions.