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Barnacle Foods – Bullwhip Hot Sauce Feature


Alaskan Kelp & Piri Piri Pepper Hot Sauce

Worth noting that Barnacle Foods is currently going through a packaging revamp, so the design seen in the video is different than the new labeling, seen below.

Ingredients: Alaskan Bull Kelp, Water, Organic Vinegar, Organic Tomato, Vegetable Oil, Garlic, Salt, Piri Piri, Xanthan Gum.

The sauce is a pale yellow with bits of what we assume is the kelp spread throughout. The Piri Piri Peppers don’t show up on the ingredient list until 8th of 9, so the expectation prior to tasting is that it may have a hint of heat, but will likely be fairly tomato and kelp forward.

This sauce took top honors at the 2020 Alaska Symphony of Seafood, winning the grand prize. Using bull kelp is definitely unique and something we’ve never seen in a hot sauce before. The way Barnacle Foods tells it, the Bull Kelp gives a savory (umami) flavor that bursts forth, mixing nicely with the acidity of the vinegar and tomato. Smoothing it out is the olive oil and then a basic hot sauce staple of garlic and salt.

From Barnacle Foods: “”Bullwhip” is the local name for our favorite type of kelp — bull kelp. Kelp packs uniquely savory flavor and unmatched nutrition — vitamins, minerals, iodine, and fiber.”

Lower on the list is the Piri piri pepper (aka peri-peri pepper), which comes in at about half the heat of a habanero pepper. A tabasco-like fruit, the piri piri is red and packs a wallop for its small frame. The piri piri is typically found in South Africa, so how it was selected or from where Barnacle Foods procured the pepper remains a mystery.

You can find Bullwhip hot sauce on the Barnacle Foods website for $5.95 or through Fuego Box for $7.95 and leverage it to make a seafood dip “by mixing in some Bullwhip with sour cream or mayo, possibly a splash of fresh lime and chopped cilantro for a little something extra”

I can feel the Vitamin K coursing through my veins. Those that end up being true lovers of Bullwhip can keep an eye out for their Barrel-Aged variation that is prepared and then “tucked away in a Boatwright Bourbon barrel from our friends at Port Chilkoot Distillery in Haines, Alaska.” The barrel-aged sauce is sold out at the moment, but goes for $8.95 when it’s back in stock.

About Barnacle Foods

Kelp as an ingredient is an interesting choice for a hot sauce, but when you consider that Barnacle Foods is all about that kelp life, it makes much more sense. Kelp pickles, kelp salsa, kelp seasoning, Barnacle Foods continues to find new ways to unleash the nutritional value of a zero-input ingredient. Their goal is to have has small of an environmental impact as possible, while supporting their local economies, keeping all sourcing within Alaska.

Kelp stalks or stipes can grow to 30 meters long and get to that size in only one growing season, making it a great option for Barnacle Foods to harvest yearly crops. More on Bull kelp can be found the University of Puget Sound website.

Founded in 2016 by Lia Heifetz and Matt Kern and based in Juneau, Alaska, Barnacle Foods originally focused on their salsas and pickles, but their reach is continuing to increase, always experimenting and trying out new recipes and ways to use kelp.

Find Barnacle Foods Online

About Medium Monday

Medium Monday is a weekly series dedicated to highlighting other small-batch hot sauce makers. Have a sauce you think we should highlight? Let us know!

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Video edited and produced by Geoff Peterfy.

Sound Effects from ZapSplat.

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