Hitting the Sauce on Cinco de Mayo
Richard Ries, Growing Synergy Intern
Tucked inside of yet another faceless Florida strip mall – this one in Oviedo anchored by a Home Depot, a Staples, and a McDonald’s – lies a little bit of actual culture. Cavallari’s Gourmet Market, at 1954 W. State Road 426, is one of those independent, European-influenced deli/markets (redolent of Petty’s in Longwood) that features not only prosciutto, pastrami, pepperoni, pastries, and pasta, but breads, cheeses and other delicacies. The market has an interesting wine collection (some good Tuscan and Chianti bargains) – and an equally intriguing sampling of sauces for dipping or cooking: barbeque sauces; curries; hoisins; pestos; chimichurris from Cuba and Argentina – and some creative locally concocted sauces, some of which fall under the brand name “Fat Cat.”
I stopped by Cavallari’s on Cinco de Mayo Sunday for some tacos and taste education from Eyal Goldshmid, who, along with his wife Deborah Moskowitz, creators of Fat Cat Foods. While the bottles resemble larger Tabasco or soy sauce bottles, they shouldn’t be confused with condiments you might only add to food. Goldschmid is inherently multicultural, with an Israeli father and a South American mother; sauces from both cultures are used it multifaceted ways: basting, stir-frying, simmering, and dipping.
There are six Fat Cat sauces in all, ranging from a mild Guajillo Ghost sauce to the authoritative Cat in Heat – which is not for the faint of heart. My favorites were the Purry Purry sauce – a South African inspired blend of tomatoes, ginger, onion, garlic, and pequin peppers – and the Papaya Pequin Passion, a Caribbean inspired sauce that, as you might guess, is both sweet and salty. The Cat in Heat could make a simple sloppy Joe’s quite interesting, while the Papaya Pequin Passion could be used for something like changing how you prepare scallops. What I like about the Fat Cat sauces (beyond the fact that they are produced here in Orlando) are their versatility: you could slow roast shredded pork in them, or you could add a few drops to scrambled eggs in the morning – and have something more than your coffee wake you up.
Growing Synergy has Fat Cat Sauces for sale each week on its web store.