I love it when someone reimagines a standby food product, making it special. Take soy sauce. A very basic commodity that most of us take for granted, maybe looking for a lower-sodium version.
But even the low-sodium is quite salty; my Japanese Marukin premium low salt soy sauce still has 460mg of sodium per tablespoon. My Chinese Pearl River Bridge, an oft-recomended brand, has 570mg in the “premium light” version, plus the addition of caramel and perservative. (Ideally soy sauce is just soybeans, wheat, salt and water.)
Enter the Bluegrass Soy Sauce Co. from, of all places, Louisville, KY. Yes, Kentucky. There is a reason for this. Soybeans are grown in Kentycky (even non-GMO if you please!). And there is plenty of spring water, a key ingredient in distilling premium bourbons. Et voila! We have small batch micro-brewed, single barrel soy sauce, produced with local ingredients. Aged in bourbon barrels no less. It is not cheap; the small bottle I bought at Whole Foods was around $6-7 dollars. But I don’t dump this in my Asian dishes at the stove. I use small amounts at the table, something I never did with regular soy sauce, as it was just too harsh for me.
Bluegrass soy sauce is mild, briny, even slightly sweet. It is a kinder, gentler, brew. Just a few drops finishes a dish, much as a sprinkle of good sea salt would. It’s good on almost any kind of vegetable, too, and not necessarily with just Asian food. It’s my current fave condiment.
The company that makes Bluegrass Soy Sauce, Bourbon Barrel Foods, makes a few other products, too, like bourbon vanilla sugar and smoked paprika, sweet sorghum, and Worcestershire sauce (now there’s a product needing upgrading).