Every Saturday, Dave Forbes brings 30 sauces to the Falls Church Farmers Market, which he acknowledges is an insanely large number to carry back and forth.
He uses the market to test flavors, wild concoctions defying our notions of time-tested combinations. A few weeks ago he debuted “Goodbye Blue Monday,” the base of which is cauliflower, plus North American-natives cassava root, dried chiltepin peppers and dried blueberries, plus, beer.
The sauce, says Forbes, “will most likely be very spicy.”
Forbes talks fast, spinning sentences marrying vegetable blends, business practices and the persona of Karl, an amalgamation of a cabbage worm and a caterpillar, the mascot of Disturbingly Delicious Foods, which is also the name of his forthcoming store.
This is a new name for Forbes’ vegetable-based sauce line. It started as Monkey Boy Consumable, also the name of the six-month pop-up where he sold the more healthful versions of what he calls “new American condiments.”
He then changed the name to Snack Kracken, selling his wares in a few area stores and at the farmers market. But he realized naming his brand after an obscure mythical creature isn’t the best for branding (and ease of spelling) purposes.
With his new retail outlet, he’ll manufacture sauces in the back, letting the caterpillar mascot stay with the name change. Forbes, a former software and UX designer, will sell his own brand and is currently searching for other Virginia-made products to feature in the store.
As a certified co-packer, he hopes to help other brands figure out how to take an at-home recipe and scale it for the marketplace in his Food Lab. Besides those who are curious about entering the specialty foods industry, he’s also opening up his equipment for people who want to make salsas or hot sauces for one-time events, like fundraisers or to use as a (birthday, bachelorette) party favor.
Forbes’ own sauces, he says, “prove to people that using nothing more than fruits, vegetables, vinegar, herbs and spices” can duplicate the taste of mustard (Flower Power), mayonnaise (Mayonot) and ketchup (Yumchup). He also takes liberties, making a kale-based ketchup (Kalechup) and a Thai peanut sauce using a fig concentrate, balsamic vinegar and sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. There’s also a vegan hollandaise and a vegan queso. He looks to those with limited diets as his core audience, like those who refrain from added sugar, gluten, soy, nuts and dairy—recently creating a marinara without nightshades, for example—and letting crucifers and brassicas fill their roles as flavor boosters.
Opening in July, Disturbingly Delicious Foods, says Fobes, will prove “I can make cauliflower taste like damn near anything.” // Disturbingly Delicious Foods: 455 S. Maple Ave., Unit H, Falls Church
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