Oso Pepper company is on fire. Their latest product, Coastal Fog is a temptingly tangy, spicy, white BBQ sauce made with Vegan Mayo. The plant based mayo – from Just Foods – is the perfect base for this livelyh, BBQ Sauce. Interestingly, it is perfect for a spicy cole slaw and changes the face of a Wedge Salad with Bacon.
The Oso Pepper Company story starts out at the turn of the century, when a bad garlic harvest left engineer Vincent Verret and his wife Myra no choice but to start planting peppers. The untold bounty of every kind from serrano to bell that season became a strain on the couple and their loved ones.
“People kept saying, ‘stop giving us peppers,’” Verret said. After his mother-in-law suggested Verret start bottling, he was off to the kitchen.
That was around 2002. Growing peppers then grinding them into his popular hot sauce became a tradition. Even though Verret is a well-practiced engineer, there was hardly any math involved in the kitchen.
“I was just grinding them up, I knew what the mix was but never wrote down a recipe,” Verret said. “I would serve some to my wife and ask, ‘does it taste like last year?’ After you do it once or twice, you basically have it figured out.”
Coming up with a name for his sauce came easy. Verret, proud Californian that he is took the name “Oso,” which is Spanish for Bear, the animal on the California Republic flag. However, considering the world is increasingly smaller by the day, Verret discovered “oso” has another meaning in at least one other language, a discovery he made at the San Juan Batista Rib Cook Off.
“The health inspector was laughing at us and said, ‘you speak my language,’” Verret said. “I responded, ‘I don’t know what language you speak.’” Apparently, “Oso” means “spicy” in a regional Southern Nigerian language.
Catchy name and fiery flavor are a couple of reasons Oso Pepper Sauce is on the rise. After being in bottles since 2012, 2015 saw Verret’s business increase six-fold. Soon, baseball fans watching the San Jose Giants at the Municipal Stadium will be able to enjoy Oso Pepper Sauces on their ballpark favorites.
Turkey Mikes Barbecue Pit, who provides game grub to many California League teams, will be slathering Oso’s Siracha on their “Heater,” a Louisiana hot-link sandwich. Oso’s barbecue sauce beat out Sweet Baby Ray’s and Kansas City Masterpiece, earning the title and privilage of dressing Turkey Mike’s tri tip, chicken and ribs.
“We beat out a national brand, which is pretty awesome,” Verret said.
For Verret, his sauces and baseball are a natural fit.
“I still remember back when they were the San Jose Bees,” Verret said. “It’s a great organization, that’s generated some great players. I love baseball, always have.”