Bring Kentucky’s bourbon history to your cooking with Bourbon Barrel Foods

Kentucky is known for bourbon. The state has a history of making the whiskey, going back to the 18th century. It started as a way for farmers to make use of the grains that would otherwise go to waste and came with the added benefit of providing a pretty good time. As time went on, Kentucky bourbon makers began refining their techniques, which led to the popular spirit we have today. However, bourbon itself isn’t the only thing to come from Kentucky’s bourbon industry. Bourbon Barrel Foods is taking on the original waste-reducing spirit that bourbon was born from and repurposing bourbon barrels to make sauces and smoked spices. Students taking online culinary courses will be excited to figure out how the bourbon changes these sauces and spices, and how to include them in their cooking.

Where it all began
Bourbon Barrel Foods began when its creator Matt Jamie decided to brew his own soy sauce, aged in bourbon barrels. Soy sauce takes about a year to make, and during the time it took Jamie’s first batch to finish, he ran with his inspiration. He started with bourbon-smoked sea salt.

“I had seen Chardonnay Smoked Sea Salt, and since we’re the gateway to Bourbon Country, I thought we needed one that was bourbon,” Jamie told Find. Eat. Drink.

Now bourbon-smoked sea salt is just one of the many bourbon-smoked spices Bourbon Barrel Foods produces. You can also find pepper, chili powder, paprika and even bourbon-smoked cocoa nibs that can be used in place of these spices in your recipes.

In addition to spices, Bourbon Barrel Foods makes a number of sauces aged in bourbon barrels. The soy sauce Jamie used as a jumping-off point is now the Bluegrass Soy Sauce, the only microbrewed soy sauce in the United States. You can also get bourbon barrel aged vanilla extract and Worcestershire sauce, and the aptly named Kentuckyaki sauce.

Bourbon Barrel Foods’ unique take on spices and sauces all comes down to those repurposed barrels. Spices are smoked using wood from bourbon barrels, specifically Woodford Reserve barrels. Not only is Bourbon Barrel Foods bringing the spirit of the Kentucky bourbon industry to cooking, it’s doing so in a way that reduces waste and supports the environment.

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