Summertime is just around the corner, and grill masters and chefs are getting ready for backyard cookouts. National BBQ Day is Tuesday, May 16, and we invite you to celebrate the day with gourmet sauces and spice blends from Idaho’s own Oma and Popie’s.
Gail (Oma) and Jan (Popie) started crafting their sauces in 2014 while living in Kentucky, using mason jars as containers and bringing their recipes to social gatherings. They soon moved back to Idaho and began commercializing their production of sauces and seasonings in 2017 at the University of Idaho Food Technology Center in Caldwell.
Oma and Popie’s sauces are blends of peppers, white and apple cider vinegar, seasonings, and light brown sugar for a sweet, savory, and spicy combination. Interestingly, no tomatoes are used in their sauces. The sauces can be used on meat, fish, vegetables, pizza, and green and pasta salads. Their brown sugar bourbon sauce can create different desserts with local fruit throughout the year. Seasoning blends from Oma and Popie’s make dips and cheese spreads for any occasion, adding flavor to everyday dishes.
To celebrate National BBQ Day this year, Gail and Jan will smoke some baby back ribs smothered in their sauce and grill shrimp seasoned with one of their blends. When asked what their personal favorite flavor is, Gail loves all things hot and spicy and can not go without their “Hawt Mess” for steak sauce, and Jan goes for a Caribbean flair with “Ja Makin’ Me Crazy” jerk sauce on chicken, beef, and pork.
Gail and Jan are very proud that they support other Idaho businesses by using local products in their spices and sauces, and their website prominently displays the Product of Idaho and the Idaho Preferred logos. Oma and Popie’s is a loyal customer of Amalgamated Sugar and uses approximately 10,000 pounds of White Satin brand light brown sugar yearly. They use locally produced apple cider vinegar, jalapeño, and habanero peppers grown by area farmers.
Oma and Popie’s are a great example of the thriving group of small-batch food producers in the Treasure Valley and beyond. You can find their sauces and spice blends at several local retailers and on their website.