. . . to the U.S., that is.
I was excited to learn from James that in the next few week their products are going to be available in the U.S. in selected TJX stores (the parent company of our local TJ Maxx). I'm eagerly waiting to hear from our State College, PA store if it is receiving some. In case you only frequent the stores for clothing, you're missing out on the fact that they have an intriguing selection of specialty foods, too.
If you haven't heard of Bim's Kitchen's creative line of "African-inspired" sauces and seasonings hand-crafted by a small family firm, you are in for a delightful discovery.
Bim, aka James "Bim" (his Nigerian name) Adedeji and his wife Nicola founded this inspired line of sauces using a variety of African ingredients/spices/seasonings from baobab and peri peri peppers to egusi (agushi) seeds, hibiscus, and alligator pepper.
To be more specific, 2400 units of the following are expected to be on shelves in selected TJ Maxx and Homegoods stores by April: Hot Tangy BBQ Sauce, Smoky Baobab BBQ
Sauce, Smokin' Red Hot Sauce; Fiery Hot Sauce, Baobab Chilli Jam, African Chilli Coconut Relish; African Lemony
Piri Piri and Hot African Lemony Piri Piri. Several of these items have already won awards in the U.K.
I've followed Bim's Kitchen for a couple of years from afar (the company is based in the U.K.), and hooked up more directly last winter when James generously sent me a complimentary sampler of items, from the award-winning "Smokin' Red Hot Sauce" and "African Bean and Nut Curry" above to their (also award-winning) "Baobab Chilli Jam," delightful "African spice and herb mix" and a chickpea and melon curry sauce. And that's just a partial list. Do check out their site for more information.
I was grateful to taste their products firsthand, and later learned that two colleagues, Jessica Harris and Josh Schonwald, are also fans. I've been meaning for 2 months to share with my readers Bim's Kitchen's exciting foray into making these new flavors and ingredients more widely available outside the African continent, and doing it at a very sophisticated and exacting level. They remind us of the original meaning of that overworked word "gourmet." Now I'm glad that I can share their great news with you.
Congratulations to James and Nicola for all they hard work they did to make this happen. Well done! May these accomplishments be an encouragement to all African culinary entrepreneurs.
In conclusion, if you're lucky enough to see any Bim's Kitchen's products in a shop in the U.S., do snatch them up. They'll make wonderful gifts as well as enhancements to your own pantry.