Forget the Tomato Sauce

Staff Writer
African sauces arrive at the market in the United States because of a southern-based company

Kitchens of Africa

We all have jars of tomato sauce sitting in our pantries, waiting to be tossed with spaghetti for dinner on a lazy night, but what if there was a jar of sauce that was much more interesting than tomato sauce? A sauce that has so much flavor, we wouldn’t save it for a lazy night when we don’t feel like cooking— one that we could strangely enough, find right under our noses.

Here’s an alternative to your jars of tomato sauce that are gathering dust: Kitchens of Africa.

Recently, the company released a line of jarred sauces that packs a lot of punch, and The Daily Meal was able to taste it firsthand. We don’t usually see the rich, untamed flavors of Africa condensed into a 12 ounce jar, so we were excited to try it. Founder Jainaba Jeng, inspired by the pre-made nature of canned sauces that she could buy in the United States, wondered how she could integrate her own richly-rooted cuisine into American culture. Then, the line of sauces, and the company, Kitchen of Africa was born in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Click Here to see Quinoa Salad Dressed in Yassa Sauce Recipe

Jeng, the founder of the company said to The Daily Meal “Africa is definitely the final frontier when it comes to specialty food.  It remains virtually untapped and we are leading the charge to bring exposure to our diverse and delicious cuisine.”

On top of the powerful and traditional Africa tastes that these jars contain, the line is free of thickeners, colorings, or artificial flavors. Perhaps the best part about this line of sauces is that they are vegan friendly, and can be used on anything from tempeh to bison to enhance and boost the flavor of your meal without sacrificing any of the taste. The two sauces the site features are Maffè, which is a peanut simmer sauce that’s bold, spicy, tangy, and sweet all at the same time; and then there is a sauce called Yassa, an onion simmer sauce which has smoky, sweet, and rich bold flavors under its lid. The site also offers Jerk Pastes, which come in mild, spicy, and fiery- and while they follow traditional African heat and intensity, there is a secret ingredient that makes these pastes a bit different than others.

The jars have a shelf life of approximately 24 months, so even though they may not last as long as your traditional jarred tomato sauce, we have a feeling they won’t be sitting in your pantry as long, anyway. 

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