I've waited about a month to confess this, but it's time to come clean: I am a tweaker.
Since the very first batch of Boat Sauce, I have been a constant stage of tweaking. First, to scale a recipe from 8 units to 800, and then to double that. Then, to address a myriad of supply chain issues since Covid, like learning the fresh turmeric puree in my recipe was discontinued by the supplier right before a production run, and then discovering that no one else in the western hemisphere makes a similar ingredient. From dried chiles to fresh onions to grape seed oil, it's been a game of supply chain whack-a-mole.
As a result, I haven't been happy with all of the substitutions I've had to make over the years, and I've had my sights set on a "Boat Sauce, Now With More Boat Sauce" reformulation since the first pandemic-related supply chain problems cropped up.
Over the holidays, I printed out all of my past recipes for Bobbie's Boat Sauce, researched density, acidity, and where different chiles' heat hits certain areas of the tongue, and turned my kitchen into an R&D facility. I filled my refrigerator with quart containers full of Boat Sauce prototypes. And I honed in on two recipes that are more Boat Saucey than ever before, with ingredients that *shouldn't* be too hard to source.
What's different? Organic tomatoes. A higher chili-to-tomato ratio. The Purest Fish Sauce On Earth™. Organic turmeric. More balance, more depth of flavor, more heat. More Boat Sauciness. I don't expect most people to notice a huge difference, but like the mom wiping the smudge of dirt of her child's brow with her own saliva, I notice, and that's all that matters.