To Damien Noble, sauce is a family tradition.
The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation since 1925 when it was created by his great-great-grandmother in Jamaica.
Back then the sauce was served only on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. Later his dad used the special sauce at his barbecue restaurants in Rochester, N.Y. But these days, Damien's Original Sauce has been updated, bottled and is now being sold everywhere from Baltimore to Barbados.
"It tastes radically different than my dad's version," he says. "It's a little tangier and tastes less like a barbecue sauce. I refuse to pigeonhole it as a barbecue sauce. It's a cooking sauce and a dipping sauce."
The sauce, which recently came on the market, has a suggested retail of $1.89 to $1.99 for 16 ounces and $2.89 for 32 ounces.
It's available locally at some Royal Farm Stores, Stop, Shop & Save, Eddie's in Roland Park Morton's in Baltimore and Harvey's Gourmet Shop in Greenspring. Graul's in Ruxton will be carrying the product next week.
For more information on availability, call 354-1998 and ask for Matthew Kern or Hamm Cottrell.
This is prime time for grapes in Maryland. And the Maryland Grape Growers Association in Germantown has made it easy for those looking for authentic wine grapes to make their own table wine or to pick their own grapes.
But you better hurry. Because of the unseasonably warm weather, the grapes have matured earlier than normal. Some of the crops were as much as three weeks early, according to James L. Russell, chairman of communications for the Maryland Grape Growers Association.
The association has put out a helpful list of where to pick your own grapes in 12 Maryland counties. Varieties range from chardonnay and chambourcin to sauvignon blanc and vidal. Here are some of the nearby vineyards:
* Augustine's Vineyard, 2921 Paper Mill Road, Phoenix. Call A. John Janos Jr.
* Copernica Vineyards, 1116 East Deep Run Road, Westminster. Cabernet sauvignon grapes should be available in the next few weeks. Call Jack and Emily Johnston at (301) 848-7577.
For a complete list of vineyards, send a self-addressed and stamped envelope to: Maryland Grape Growers Association, 18517 Kingshill Road, Germantown 20874.
The Tidbits column welcomes interesting nuggets of food news -- new products, food-related news events, local cookbooks, great mail order finds, openings and closings of restaurants and food shops. Please send press releases to Tidbits, Attn: Charlyne Varkonyi, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.