Style

The World’s Most Expensive Pasta Sauce

by Matthew Wexler
Contributor
Sunday Feb 10, 2013
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This isn’t your mother’s Sunday night marinara. Dave’s Gourmet unveils the world’s most expensive pasta sauce, $1,000 White Truffle Marinara, to commemorate its 20th anniversary. The sauce is handmade in Dave’s Gourmet’s own kitchen using fresh vine-ripened tomatoes and some of the world’s most expensive ingredients including imported Italian white truffles and edible gold flakes. Each jar also comes in an antique handcrafted wooden box bearing the company’s insignia.

The over-the-top product is part of a yearlong celebration of a company that has grown from a kitschy hot sauce manufacturer to a much broader specialty food brand. Dave’s Gourmet, owned by Dave Hirschkop, had its early roots as a small restaurant near the University of Maryland.

With a typical drunk and boisterous late-night crowd, Hirschkop developed a tongue-sizzling hot sauce to tame the more unruly patrons. The trick seemed to work better than a bouncer and he was inspired to take it to unheard of Scoville levels (the heat measurement of chili peppers) and created the Insanity Sauce. He wore a straight jacket to its debut at the National Fiery Foods Show in New Mexico and the product was banned for being too hot.

Twenty years later, Hirschkop is just as fired up but the specialty food brand now encompasses a broader scope. He’s still producing 10 different hot sauces along with pasta sauces, snacks and drink mixes. Shoppers can also peruse the website by heat level and zero in on products suitable to their palettes.

As far the $1,000 jar of sauce, Hirschkop said, "The White Truffle Marinara is a fun and fitting next step in our mission of developing innovative premium products." If that particular variation is out of your price range, the company has other award-winning flavors including butternut squash and masala marinara.

In addition to the White Truffle Marinara, Dave’s Gourmet will celebrate its 20th anniversary with other events throughout the year. "These events symbolize our continuing commitment to innovate, have fun and grow for the benefit of the consumer, and we are really grateful to our partners and customers for all their support for the past 20 years," said Mr. Hirschkop.

Matthew Wexler is EDGE’s National Style and Travel Editor. More of his writing can be found at www.roodeloo.com. He is also a trained chef and currently writing a food memoir.

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