Cooking with Stonehouse 27 sauces is like picking up a bottle of wine. It’s more sophisticated than the boxed stuff, has a range of boldness and flavors, and costs a whole lot less than you’d pay at a restaurant. Like a bottle of wine, it also requires little effort to enjoy. Simply open, pour, and eat. Whether you simmer the sauce or serve it straight-up as a dip, it’s up to you.
Now, with 6 flavors to choose from, the problem I encountered – just like with wine – was deciding which sauce to pair with which dish. But like a product that knows its audience (namely, people who don’t normally dabble with flavors like Dates & Tamarind), each jar of Stonehouse 27 cooking sauce includes suggestions for use. Cashews & Cream, for example, recommends pairing with chicken, beef or vegetables. The labels also indicate the heat level for each sauce, from mild to hot. I’m not one to shy from heat, so I tried them all. Here’s the verdict:
Dates & Tamarind – As the label warns, this sauce is hot and sweet, which makes for an unexpected flavor combination. The first bite is sweet and tangy, but that is quickly enveloped in a heat that holds on tight. It’s a whole-mouth heat, which makes a big gulp of milk or a spoonful of rice all the more quenching.
Tamarind & Garlic – This was noticeably milder and more savory compared to the Dates & Tamarind sauce. It’s not salty or buttery like most garlic sauces; instead, it’s thick and tangy, with a dash of cumin and turmeric for earthiness.
Tomatoes & Chilies – This “Medium” sauce has a nice kick, but not so much that it drowns out the flavor. And while it may be tomato-based, it’s far from a marinara. Taste closely and you’ll even notice the hints of cinnamon mixed throughout.
Cilantro & Coconut - I’m not a big fan of cilantro (use too much and I get the ‘tastes like soap’ reaction), but I still enjoyed this sauce. The creamy coconut mutes the strong cilantro flavor, making it a bright and zippy sauce that tastes great on fish (like the freshness of ceviche, but in a hot dish).
Cashews & Cream – This was a very mild and creamy sauce, a great option to introduce first timers to Indian food. The ground cashews add a thickness and texture to the sauce, almost like parmesan cheese without the saltiness. To me, this sauce was a bit too subdued; it needed a kick. But wait…
Spicy Cashews & Cream – Ah, yes. This was the boost I was looking for. The addition of heat (it’s labeled “Hot”) helped this sauce outshine his mild-mannered brother in my book. When simmered with chicken and vegetables, this sauce makes every bite warm and hearty.
One thing to note: All of these sauces are all natural, low sodium, vegan and have no refined sugars. Yes, it sounds a lot like ‘health food,’ but put down the salt shaker and give these sauces a chance to show what they’re made of. Did I mention they’re gluten-free, too?
Stonehouse 27 cooking sauces can be purchased online or at stores across the U.S.