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FOOD

A fresh idea: barbecue sauces infused with fruit

The BBQ sauces are available at Roche Bros., Crosby’s Marketplace, Fruit Center Marketplace, and Whole Foods Market locations, or at thebackyardfoodcompany.com.Handout

The Backyard Food Company, a homegrown business whose name reflects the company’s origins, began by selling three products — tomato jam, candied jalapeño, and apple butter. The founders, friends Matt McClelland and Louby Sukkar, in the early days grew the bounty for the condiments in their backyard gardens. The gardeners preserved their peak-season produce — a bumper crop of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and more — as a hobby using old-fashioned canning recipes. They gave the jars away to friends and neighbors. The project was also a welcome distraction for McClelland while recovering after a cancer diagnosis. “We called it our Victory Gardens,” said Sukkar. Now, eight years later, the Warwick, R.I., company offers 30 products made with farm-fresh produce and natural ingredients, including salsas, garlicky and dill pickles, apple and cranberry sauces, jams, and others, all available in stores throughout the East Coast. This year, they introduced a new line of barbecue sauces. Besides one that’s sweet and tangy and another crafted with honey, four are infused with fresh fruits: apple, blueberry, raspberry, and peach. “We wanted to reinvent the category and do something new and unique,” says McClelland. Each has a distinct flavor of the fruit that balances the BBQ’s sauces tang and spice. The fruit also adds richness to the texture. Apart from grilling, they make a delicious condiment for burgers and hot dogs and a dipping sauce for nuggets or fries ($8 to $12 for 16 ounces). The BBQ sauces are available at Roche Bros., Crosby’s Marketplace, Fruit Center Marketplace, and Whole Foods Market locations, or at thebackyardfoodcompany.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.