Recently, HEB released its own line of chicken wings, both bone-in and boneless. This release was accompanied by so much fanfare that the very heavens themselves opened up in response. Well, not really. In all honesty, there’s nothing special about the wings; the boneless wings, which are what I bought, are your standard chunks of breast and rib meat. More interesting, though, is the fact that the grocery chain released a line of wing sauces to go along with the new chicken products. These sauces seem poised to appeal to all sorts of wing lovers, since they represent a variety of flavors and heat levels. Even better, they’re dirt cheap. Let’s take a look at the Spicy BBQ version of Flyin’ Saucy wing sauce to see how it stacks up to more specialty sauces.
High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tomato Concentrate, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Molasses, Salt, Contains less than 2% of each of the following: spices, maltodextrin, natural smoke flavor, corn syrup, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, natural flavors, caramel color, paprika, preservatives (sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate [less than 1/10%])
Well, now I know why this stuff is so cheap. Its primary ingredient is the lovely High Fructose Corn Syrup, and it contains no actual fresh components. Everythign in here is from concentrate or is dehydrated. Lovely.
Thankfully, this stuff looks like it should. The tomato (concentrate), molasses, and caramel color work together to give this product the standard reddish-brown hue common to tomato-based barbecue sauces. Also, this is an extremely sticky sauce. That may be due in part to the HCFS, but it does look like it should stick to meat rather well.
Smell and Taste:
Above all else, I smell the molasses. There’s no real hint of spice in the scent here; it just smells sweet, and not entirely naturally so. The flavor isn’t any more balanced, and it lacks that smokey flavor that I’ve come to expect out of good barbecue sauce.
Although there’s a slight spice to this iteration of Flyin’ Saucy, I still have to put it at a Mild. It will register on the weakest of palates, but the ever-so-slight burn comes and goes very quickly. There’s nothing to worry about here. For the flavor, I like it just enough to bestow upon it the rating of Nominal. It’s not bad, but it just doesn’t really work as a proper barbecue sauce. It’s just too sweet, so much so that the sweetness overpowers every other important part of the barbecue flavor experience.
Chicken wings, sure, but you could conceivably use this for beef and pork as well. But why bother, when you probably already have a decent barbecue sauce sitting around? I guess if you’re really hard-up for some barbecue flavor, and you only have a dollar (which is what I spent on this, plus change for tax), then this is all right. Otherwise, you’re best off skipping this one.
I did buy a few of the other flavors, so I’m hoping they fare better than this one. I typically approve of HEB’s store-brand products, but this only barely escaped being an utter disappointment.