Wacky Snacks: Mang Tomas All Purpose Sauce

Wacky Snacks: Mang Tomas All Purpose Sauce
Edwin Goei

Name: Mang Tomas All Purpose Sauce

Origin: Philippines

Found at: Bodega R Ranch, Tustin

Cost: $0.79

Water, Cane Sugar, Bread Crumbs (Flour, Sugar and Palm Oil), Cane Vinegar, Salt, Hydrolized Plant Protein (Soy Protein), Onions, Garlic, Black Pepper, and 0.1% Sodium Benzoate Added As A Preservative

Why I Bought It:
The name. A friend quipped, "Does it clean floors too?" Of all things that the "all purpose" label should be applied to, I wouldn't think a bottled sauce to be one of them. The lack of specificity seem opposite to, say, the French, who have a different name for even the slightest variation of béchamel. This one either bespeaks of either confidence or laziness. I say confidence. Read on.

Tasting Notes:
Surprisingly, this sauce might just be true to its name. So far, I've used it to dip some fried tofu in, which is as blank a slate as any. And darn it if it didn't taste awesome. Though the consistency is goopy and slightly gelatin-like, and the color a dull brown, it's got a tart, sweet, and garlicky flavor perfect for accompanying, well, almost anything. Those Filipino egg rolls called lumpia Shanghai or roasted pork called lechon would be ideal, but I can see it highlighting eggs, fries, maybe even taquitos. It can take on food in any weight class. This is the Manny Pacquiao of sauces!

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