Middle Eastern Condiments

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With its spiced meats and soft breads, Middle Eastern cuisine is a treasure trove of rich and diverse flavors. Much of these flavors come from the condiments served with the dishes. Let’s have a look at a few of these amazing Middle Eastern condiments divided into two categories!

Feel The Burn

Shatta: If you’re looking for an introduction to Middle Eastern hot sauces, Shatta is a great place to start. There are red and green variations of this sauce, both of which are basic mixtures of ground chili peppers, olive oil, and a few spices such as cumin and coriander. Try it with falafel or hummus!

Zhug: This condiment is more of a paste in olive oil, but with plenty of heat. The process of making Zhug starts with the grinding of a spice mixture (usually cardamom, coriander, cumin, and black pepper) with chili peppers and cilantro to form a thick, spicy paste. Olive oil is then added into the mix. It’s great as a dipping sauce for vegetables or pita!

Muhammara: Looking for more texture? Try Muhammara! In addition to pepper, spices, and olive oil, this sauce also includes breadcrumbs and chopped walnuts. Though it is most often used as a dipping sauce for pita or vegetables, many people also use it with meat dishes such as kofta.

Soothe Your Tongue

Yogurt Sauce: For those who need to douse the fire on their tongue or just prefer more mild condiments, yogurt sauce is a great option! It’s a refreshing sauce made primarily of yogurt, cucumbers, lemon juice, and spices of choice. This sauce is delicious with shawarma or meatballs.

Tarator: Tarator is a fresh, versatile sauce that can be paired with almost any type of meat or vegetable. It is also very easy to make! Just blend tahini (ground sesame paste) with lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and salt. We think this sauce is especially delicious on hot summer days when we’re craving something cool.

Toum: This sauce is often compared to mayonnaise and yogurt sauce, except with more garlic. It’s smooth, rich, and flavorful with dishes like pasta or chicken skewers. If you’ve got a food processor and a few basic ingredeints, you can make Toum at home! Just grab some lemon juice, garlic cloves, canola oil, and salt, and you’re ready to go.

Which of these Middle Eastern condiments have you tried? Which one would you like to try first? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

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Our Staff’s Favorite WN Foods Sauces

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Even though we’re surrounded by sauces all day, we still absolutely love what we make! Even at home, we use our own products in our personal cooking all the time. Here are our staff’s favorite WN Foods sauces.

Margaret, Marketing Manager

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“I think my favorite would be the gochujang, which is the Korean fermented pepper base sauce. Several reasons why I enjoy this particular product—it’s a ubiquitous sauce, meaning that you can use it for anything and everything. You can use it for your stir fry, in your fried rice; you can use it for your soup, you can use it as a dipping sauce. It’s extremely versatile, and I also like the special, authentic Korean fermented pepper, the authentic goodness that’s being put into this particular formula.”

Bernadette, R&D Manager

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“Any type of sauce that we work from scratch… for example, General Tsao. We actually had the chance to develop like 5 or 6 different kinds of formulas, and all the clients were happily asking me for more different kinds. So that’s a blessing, and it’s a joyful moment for me!”

Hanh, Project Manager

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“My favorite sauces here are hoisin sauce, curry, and sriracha.”

Linda, Office Manager

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“Our stir fry sauce.”

Peter, Plant Manager

WN Interview Peter.png”My favorite sauce is probably the Thai chili peanut. It’s so versatile. I love it for salad!”

As you can see, the WN Foods staff has a pretty wide range of tastes in sauces. How about you? What’s your favorite sauce of ours? Let us know!

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Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

Dietary Restrictions

As a food manufacturer and co-packer, it is important that WN Foods stays up to date on the different types of dietary restrictions that our clients and customers may require. We keep a comprehensive list in our lab, but today we’re looking at just a few common types you may or may not know. (Side note: if you have questions about our products and the dietary restrictions they meet, please reach out to wingnienfoods@gmail.com!)

Vegan

People following a vegan diet do not eat any animal products. This includes not only meat, but also dairy, eggs, and any other non-plant-based food products. Many non-vegan ingredients can be substituted for vegan versions such as almond milk, cashew cheese, and tofurky. Most vegan products are explicitly marked on the packaging as being vegan, but double checking is always recommended.

Gluten

Gluten is dangerous for people with a gluten allergy (the immune system overreacting to foods containing wheat) or Celiac disease (the body responding to gluten by creating an immune response that attacks the small intestines). This means they cannot eat bread, pasta, or any other product containing gluten. There are many gluten-free options or substitutes available, but it can still be difficult for people with these dietary restrictions to avoid gluten entirely.

Peanut Allergy

Many people associate peanut allergies with children, but people from all ages can be affected by this allergy. Peanuts can cause any allergic reaction from itching to nausea to anaphylaxis, so avoiding food products containing peanuts can be a matter of life and death for people with a peanut allergy. Even small amounts of peanuts or peanut oil can cause reactions, so it is advised to always check ingredient lists and see if products have been manufactured in facilities that handle peanuts.

Dairy

Dairy products should not be consumed by people with dairy allergies (allergic reactions to the proteins in milk) or lactose intolerance (the inability to digest lactose due to a lack of the enzyme lactase). Milk, butter, yogurt, and any food product with these ingredients are unsafe for people with a dairy allergy, but people with lactose intolerance may be able to consume aged cheese or other dairy products with extremely low lactose content.

Religious Restrictions

Some religions restrict the types of foods their followers may eat. These include but are not limited to…

If you are looking for a food co-packer that works with your dietary restrictions, please contact us to see if we can accommodate your needs!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

French Sauces

French food is known worldwide for its decadence and abundance of flavor. Did you know that much of this comes from the five French mother sauces? These sauces form the foundation of most other sauces found in French cuisine. Let’s have a look at these foundational sauces!

BĂ©chamel

This creamy sauce feels luxurious on the tongue, but it is actually quite simple to make. With just milk and white roux (butter and flour), béchamel becomes a thick, velvety condiment that can be eaten as is or combined with other ingredients such as cheese, herbs, or onions. This sauce pairs well with hearty foods like beef, pasta, and potatoes.

Hollandaise

Hollandaise is a favorite of brunch fans all over the world, and it is also made with a few simple ingredients. This smooth, tangy sauce is an emulsion of butter, lemon juice, and egg yolks. Beyond eggs Benedict, Hollandaise is often used with seafood and vegetables to give them a kick of freshness and rich texture.

Velouté

Like béchamel, velouté starts with a roux, but it is then combined with stock (usually fish, chicken, or veal). The result is a deliciously savory white sauce that can be used with almost any French dish. It is a versatile condiment that is great to have in your cooking arsenal!

Tomat

French sauce tomat is not your average tomato sauce. Cooking it is a long process involving simmered meats, vegetables, and assorted herbs, but it pays off in the end when the sauce becomes a chunky, filling sauce. It is closer to a bolognese meat sauce than the runny tomato sauce we are used to in the USA.

Demi Glace

Demi glace or sauce Espagnole starts with a brown roux (similar to a white roux, but cooked longer until it becomes nuttier in flavor). Meat stock, bones, herbs, and vegetables are added to the roux and cooked until the sauce is thick, rich, and decadent. Spoon this over some dark meat with mushrooms and mashed potatoes, and you will feel like royalty.

What’s your favorite French mother sauce? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

Food Science Fun Facts

This week, we would like to honor the WN Foods R&D and QA departments by sharing some food science fun facts!

  • Ever wondered about the crunchy layer on top of your crème brĂ»lĂ©e? Caramelization (the browning of sugar) happens when heat causes the molecules in sugar to break down and form completely different molecules, giving the sugar a totally new flavor.
  • Before you peel that juicy apple, consider eating it with the skin! Many fruit and vegetable peels contain beneficial fibers and vitamins.

  • Speaking of apples, do you know why the inside turns brown after you cut it open? It’s nothing dangerous, it’s just because the apple’s plant tissue cells have been injured and exposed to oxygen.
  • When a sauce is too thin, many people use cornstarch to thicken it. This is a great cooking tip that works because of a process called “starch gelatinization” in which starch molecules break down in heat and start to take in water, increasing the thickness of the sauce.

  • Anyone who has made bread before knows that yeast is absolutely essential, but do you know why? Yeast is actually a fungus that feeds on sugar and excreting carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, causing bread dough to rise.
  • Does chopping onions make you cry? You can thank syn-propanethial-S-oxide. This chemical irritant is a gas secreted by cut onions. Your tear glands produce tears to try and flush it out of your eyes.

What’s your favorite food science fact? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.