Aug. 22—From barbecue and hot sauces to mustards and spreads, the Saucy Festival in Frederick on Saturday had it covered.
The event at the Frederick Fairgrounds brought sauce enthusiasts from around the region to sample or sell some of their favorite recipes, or just anything new on the scene.
"It's a whole subculture" that draws people of all ages and walks of life, said Bo Stawicki, creator of Bo's Honey Brown Hot. "It really is."
Currently based out of Lynchburg, Virginia, Stawicki previously lived in Buffalo, New York, a place known for its chicken wings.
He came up with an idea for a wing sauce of his own with a cayenne pepper base, jalapeños, brown sugar and raw honey.
He's been making it for about 10 years, and selling it for around eight, he said.
He also makes a sweet and spicy rub that he said has been pretty popular, and is preparing to unveil a ghost pepper version of his sauce in the coming weeks.
He said people who come out to events like Saturday's are just there to have a good time.
"That's what it's all about," he said.
Brian Staley said he and his friend came to the festival because they love hot sauces.
"The flavor, the heat, all of the above," he said about what he enjoys most.
The festival had a good environment, with good vendors and food trucks, he said.
Nearby, Ann Raresheid told customers about her brands of Bar-B-Que Beast Sauce.
Raresheid started experimenting with sauces in 1982, while she was in the Air Force and living in Germany.
But she didn't really get serious about it until years later with her business partner Tara Runkles, who first encouraged her to sell her products.
They began going to shows in 2009, and started bottling and selling sauce in 2014.
They started with a barbecue sauce, then went to a spicy version, then a hot one.
"Spicy is just interesting. Hot is hot," she said.
Then came a vinegar recipe inspired by sauces in North Carolina, a curry version, and finally, an Old Bay sauce.
That was a hard one to do, Raresheid said, because Old Bay is spicy, and their sauce is more sweet. So they had to find the right mix of ingredients that could bring the two flavors together.
Leslie Moore of Kingsville, in Baltimore County, started Moore Sauces by Leslie after she retired 12 years ago.
She makes five different sauces with mostly her own recipes, although she sells a red pepper sauce that was her grandmother's recipe.
Her first sauces were a horseradish and a barbecue, because she was thinking of opening a pit beef business.
"But it went in another direction," she said.
Like many of the vendors at Saturday's event, Moore started simply.
"But it always evolves," she said.
Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP