Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Taste Texas

A new retailer has joined our ranks.  Their store is about to open at the well-known "Oasis" off RR 620, overlooking Lake Travis (what lake there is at this time.)

Nick Pieschel is the proprietor of "Taste Texas" and is establishing a store focused on Texas made items (including, of course, Drippin' Sauce Ketchup).

His plan is to open for business in the next couple of weeks....look him and his store up on the web at http://www.taste-texas.com/


We wish him all the success possible with his new venture.

Fredericksburg Wine and Food was Great

A little over a week ago we participated in the Fredericksburg Wine and Food Festival.  It was a well run event with large crowds partaking in the wonderful food, wine and artisan offerings.  We were proud to be a vendor at that event and recommend it to all vendors and food/wine lovers wherever you might live.

We look forward to similar events, such as the Texas Fest (11/16 in Horseshoe Bay, Tx) and Christmas on Mercer St (12/1 in Dripping Springs, Tx).

Look for us at those events and at our usual farmers markets and local retailers.


Get Holiday Orders in Early

As mentioned before order early for the Holidays and get 10% off the Gift Boxes and Samplers.

Some have asked...can we order early and have our order shipped to arrive just in time for Christmas?

Absolutely!

Place an order, in the comments tell us what day you want the order to arrive at your recipients' address and we'll insure that the order goes out to arrive on the exact day you want it to.  With FedEx we can insure that, with UPSP we can at least get it close (maybe a day early, but not likely a day late).

Especially if you want the "Holiday Taster" (4 x 4 fl oz bottles), get the orders in early.  The bottles we use are cute, but require a special order for us to obtain them and there in lies the potential issue....should the orders overwhelm us and we need more 4 oz bottles quickly it might put your order up against a tight deadline.  Ordering from us early let's us know what demand is looking like and allows us to get the supplies needed to ship your order on time.

Hope that helps.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Upcoming Opportunities for Holiday Purchase

In addition to our normal participation in Farmers Markets in our area, we offer Gift Boxes, Samplers and, especially, our Taster (sampler with 4 - 4 fl oz bottles, one of each flavor) at some key upcoming events.

If you want to order for shipments to friends and relatives out of town, consider that we're offering a 10% discount for orders placed between now and November 24th.  The Taster is designed for gifts you want shipped (as the weight of the four bottle Taster is a lot less than the weight of the 12 fl oz bottles). We have also lowered the price down to $25.00...so this is a really good way to send something made in Texas to your loved ones.

On October 27th we will have all of the options on the table (literally)...you can purchase individual bottles, Gift Boxes, Samplers and Tasters...at the Fredericksburg (TX) Wine and Food Festival.

As the holidays approach we will also offer these items at the Texas Fall Festival to be held at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Yacht Club, Marble Falls, Texas on Friday, November 16, 6:00 p.m  – 9:00 p.m.

Then on December 1st we will be home in Dripping Springs at the 8th Annual Christmas On Mercer Street.

Come see us at these events and our regular booths at the Dripping Springs Farmers Market (every Thursday from 3-6pm), Barton Creek Farmers Market (every Saturday, other than the days of the events mentioned above, from 9am-1pm) or at the Lakeway Commons Farmers Market (every Sunday from 9am-1pm).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Prepare ye for the Holidays

In case you didn't notice, we've added a 10% discount on orders for the Samplers and Gifts when ordered prior to November 24th this year.

In case you are wondering why...first response is "why not?" but the real serious answer is "So we can insure we have enough supply of the right flavors of ketchup and the packaging for the Gift Box and other packaging to meet demand."

If you know what you want to order, order early to insure we have exactly what you want, when you want it and save at the same time.  Last minute orders don't give us enough time to reorder any supplies we might need and we may, in that case, need to offer you alternatives.

Besides, if we have just the right quantities of things on hand, we can keep our prices down, too...all a benefit to you, our customers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dripping With Taste

We're really looking forward to participating in the "Dripping with Taste Wine and Food Festival (see the event web site HERE.


The Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau puts on this event which will occur on Saturday, September 8, 2012, from 1pm to 7pm on the grounds of the breathtaking Texas Hill Country Olive Company Tasting Room and Orchard in Dripping Springs, Texas.  This is the first time the Dripping with Taste event has been held at this beautiful venue, and it is absolutely the perfect location to showcase our local wineries, restaurants, chefs, caterers, artisans, and musicians! 

Besides this event, our products are always available at the Texas Hill Country Olive Company.




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A short respite is coming to an end

The past couple of weeks we've not been at our regular Farmers Markets, although Donna represented us at the Williams-Sonoma Artisan program (held on the third Saturdays of each month).

Well expect us back with a flair.

For those of you who watch the local markets, our local Dripping Springs Farmers Market took the month of August off (mainly because A) it is awfully hot and B) a lot of the farmers do not have much produce to offer.  But we've also missed the Barton Creek and Lakeway Commons markets...for an entirely different reason - Bill's right ankle.  A little surgery and a little recovery and we hope make things better.

So when we come back...likely Sept. 1st.  watch for some of the same quality ketchup and following soon, the gift boxes and 4 x 4 fl oz sampler package both suitable for tailgating and other autumn parties.

Fall WILL be a great season at events, farmers markets and our select set of retailers between now and the December Holidays.  Stop by and see us for a taste and to stock up for the season.

Gourmet Ketchup ought to taste great

We've done a lot of market research about ketchup, especially those brands who assert they are "gourmet".

According to Ask.com, "Gourmet food is of the highest quality and flavor, prepared well and presented in an artful manner."

Clearly, when anyone in our culture first considers "what is ketchup?" they think of the typical Heinz, Hunts, or even store brands of the red, tomato like stuff that dominates the grocery shelves.  Considering the market share, Heinz clearly is the big manufacturer, so it makes sense to compare all other "ketchup" (or "catsup") to them...but Heinz and their clones are hardly "Gourmet" and certainly not "artisanal".

Then there are the "Organic" versions, essentially the same recipes as Heinz et al but with organically grown ingredients...otherwise, the same taste, texture, and how they can determine that High Fructose Corn Syrup or even Agave Nectar is "organic" ought to puzzle most scientists...but we digress.  Even those with sugar instead of HFCS aren't really gourmet, now are they?

When we do our research we try as many ketchups as possible that advertise or label themselves as "gourmet"...and there really aren't that many.  Some labeled as "gourmet" are not really much more than "flavored" ketchup...essentially regular ketchup recipes with a few flavors added; for example, a well-marketed "Habanero" ketchup is nothing but regular ketchup with a smattering of ground up peppers added for flavor.  Hardly the "highest quality".

So what about the rest of the gourmet ketchups we've found.

Let me summarize this way....a clerk at a well-known international grocery chain (headquartered in Austin) told me they had tried two versions of a well-marketed "Gourmet" ketchup.  Her comment essentially, to be polite, was that it tasted bad.  "It was pasty, not tasty."

We've tried many, including one while we were passing through Louisiana recently.  It's a "spicy" gourmet ketchup.  I almost gagged as did my wife.

The reasons that so many of these ketchups seem to be less than tasty is apparent when you look at the labels....both the ingredients and the nutritional label.

When you see "tomato concentrate", "tomato paste", or worst of all "tomato puree" as the primary ingredient, expect the flavor to be less desirable.  If you see HFCS, you might want to question how this could be of the "highest quality" (at least from a nutritional standpoint.  When you see "ketchup" as a primary ingredient you know you are looking at a product that was not "well prepared".

The bottom line is that there are few "well prepared", "highest quality and taste" ketchups and even fewer that have all natural ingredients.  So if you want a gourmet ketchup that tastes good, try our ketchups.  And, our label designer did a great job of presenting Drippin' Sauce Ketchup "in an artful manner", didn't he?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's Approaching...almost here!

What could we possibly be talking about?

Football.  

Football means tailgating or having folks over to watch the away games.  In ANY CASE it means eating, food, beverages and associated side dishes and condiments.

Well, to our fans that means either you are the cook, the guest or asked to bring a side.

Cooks...look at our recipes. If you want to make one up and send it to us, we'll test it and post it on our web site.  If you want to use our ketch with smoked meats, try the Special Reserve...or try a little of each.  If you want some gulf shrimp cocktail or maybe a pound or so of boiled, spiced shrimp, put our ketchups out on the table...a separate little dish of horseradish might be appropriate for those who are overly set in their ways...but most people report the Drippin' Sauce Ketchup by itself is a great dip for your scrimp.

In any case, Cooks, you can get a package of all four flavors at a reduced price over the list price of four bottles.

Guests...instead of the traditional bottle of wine or other gift for the host, get them a Gift Box Sampler.  It's about the cost of better wines and includes three bottles (you pick the flavors you want) in a nice gift package.

The Rest of You....maybe you just want to bring a small but tasty gift.  Try the 4 x 4 fl oz bottles (it's a follow on to last year's popular "Tailgate Trio" but this year we have a fourth flavor and will offer a sampler with all four flavors.

In any case use or take Drippin' Sauce Ketchup to your next football gatherings.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Question: Gluten Free?

Another question that comes up every once in a while...is Drippin' Sauce Ketchup gluten free?

The legal answer is that none of our ketchup flavors are "certified" as gluten free.

To the best of our knowledge, however, the ingredients we use do not contain any gluten and the facility in which they are cooked does not, as far as we've been able to determine, make products or use ingredients that contain gluten (i.e., no wheat or wheat flour).  So, although not certified as gluten free we believe our products are either no or low risk.

Given that some people have real serious gluten allergies, we would recommend they only use certified products; on the other hand, many people are choosing gluten-free products as a choice not as a health requirement and they can use their own judgement whether to choose our products or not.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Weight Watchers Score

First, the disclaimer.

Our products have not been submitted to any authority associated with Weight Watchers (TM) so the following is anecdotal.

Last weekend a customer stood at our table at the Lakeway Commons Farmers Market on Sunday.  Looking at this woman, it was clear that the normal spiel about our products ("Drippin' Sauce, Ketchup with a Flair for Flavor, is made from scratch with all natural ingredients in Dripping Spring, Texas") was not appropriate; her attention was focused on her smart phone.

When customers are on their phones one ought to be patient, let them finish their business and then assess how to introduce them to our products.

While still focused on her phone she picked up a bottle of Sweet Onion looking at the nutritional label...then the Mild Chipotle, and the Hot, then finally the Special Reserve.  Well, the patience was worth the short time.

When she finished her business on the phone, she looked up and said, "You're gonna like this!"  As she completed her sentence she turned the phone towards me and said, "I just entered all your information into the Weight Watchers phone app and it gives your product a 'score' of zero!"

Not being very knowledgable of Weight Watchers scores, it took me a second to understand that zero is the best score you can have.  I guess weight watchers add the scores of the foods they eat up to some maximum level per meal, day, etc.  So a score of zero means they can have as much as they want without it affecting their consumption of other food items...that's good.

Oh, the customer bought a bottle of Drippin' Sauce Ketchup knowing she could enhance other foods on her menu without adding to her Weight Watchers score.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate

One of the oft asked questions is whether our Drippin' Sauce Ketchup needs to be refrigerated or not.

The technical answer is no, refrigeration is not required.  However, the recommendation is that you DO refrigerate ketchup after opening the bottle.

Ketchup, more specifically tomato ketchup, is made with vinegar and tomatoes among other ingredients.  The acidic (pH) nature and the lengthy cooking at or near the boiling point should prevent the growth of any bad stuff.  The pH when bottled is at 4 +/- a small tolerance.  That's acidic.

Our ketchup (as with all commercially available ketchups -- or catsup if you want) has been tested by an independent lab for "shelf life".  Shelf life is literally "long".

Clearly, the unopened bottle does not require refrigeration...it can be left in the pantry until you are ready to use it.

The major difficulty ketchup encounters is oxidation...air causes that dark red semi-dry stuff you see around the cap.  Any ketchup can oxidize (even that stuff you see on tables in burger joints.)  So keep the lid on the bottle either in or out of the fridge.

The reason we recommend refrigeration after the bottle is opened is to retain the complexity and richness of our ketchup with a flair for flavor...keep the flair!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Welcome to the Drippin' Sauce blog.

We intend to keep you informed and, of course, interested in our products, how to use them and others use them.