Every once in a while a new product hits the market and I just wanted to write a little bit about a wonderful peanut sauce under the label Saigoniste. It has a delicate flavor with a little kick is the best way that I can describe it. But it has to be tasted to be appreciated… and right now the only place you can order Saigoniste is through facebook Saigoniste All Natural. Their website will be up in 3 days: Saigoniste All Natural And for $8 a jar, it is worth more than it’s weight in gold.
My love, Jene Youtt and I went to an opening at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery last Friday. We arrived very late, (past the artists’ reception hours of 6 – 8pm) but knowing Emmanuel and how crowded his openings are, we knew we would not be turned away. The gallery was featuring 2 emerging painters and a taste testing of delicacies of Vietnamese flavor. The event was catered with samplers from Saigoniste, hosted by entrepreneur Mary Nguyen.
Mary was born and raised in Vietnam, immigrated to the US at the age of 5. . At an early age she learned her way around the kitchen of her family owned restaurant and developed an understanding of the balances and dissonances in the food that she was eating.
As lifestyles change with motherhood, she found herself yearning the full flavors of a peanut sauce with intense flavors that she could not find. Mary started experimenting in her own kitchen bringing about a more natural, healthy sauce as well as other foods without any preservatives or added flavors until she had perfected it. Fast forward to the launching of Saigoniste’s all nautral peanut sauce.
Being counted as favored VIPs at the gallery, Mary took us into the kitchen for leftovers and gave me a jar of her sauce. Knowing there weren’t any artificial ingredients was totally gratifying and I couldn’t wait to try her concoction at home. My shrimp kabobs were simple – shrimp, peppers, onions, mushrooms and pineapple chucks; made sumptuous and exotic with the additional ingredient of the sauce. It’s versatile and can be used on just about anything from meats to vegetables and can easily be made into a salad dressing by adding oil and rice vinegar. I hope Mary will divulge some of her recipes to me as I know how much Jene enjoys Vietnamese food. I was always afraid of ruining his love of my cooking by bastardizing the delicate flavors of the far east – now I think it will be made easy.
I can’t wait to pair up Saigoniste peanut sauce with some steamed vegetable dumplings that I regularily buy at Trader Joe’s. I will have my own taste-testing this Saturday when my friends and family come to celebrate my birthday.
Until we eat again…