Fishtown Pickle Project Co-owners Mike Sicinski and Niki Toscani just added another completely original item to their already beloved pickle brand’s product line — jars of ‘XO Sauce Spears’ in partnership with Jacob Trinh, the chef of Càphê Roasters, and the recent recipient of a James Beard Foundation Fellowship for 2022-23.
The XO Sauce Spears are being released on Valentine’s Day to keep with the “XO” theme, and a portion of proceeds will benefit 12plus, whose mission is to increase educational equity by building school cultures that inspire academic achievement and empower students. 12+ partners with Philadelphia and Camden high schools to create a climate of inclusion, equitable student support, and academic achievement focused on college and career exploration.
This savory and mildly spicy product is made with cucumber spears, red peppers, cauliflower, dried shrimp, Szechuan peppercorn, star anise, and spices brined in apple cider and rice vinegars, as well as with Chef Trinh’s Cantonese XO sauce. XO sauce is a popular, spicy seafood sauce from Hong Kong made with dried seafood and aromatics that is commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking. The flavor attributes are umami with a touch of heat. Jars are 32 oz. and are available online from Fishtown Pickle Project’s website, and can also be purchased at farmers’ markets and select retailers in and around Philadelphia, including Càphê Roasters. Càphê Roasters, owned by Thu Pham, is the first and only Vietnamese specialty coffee roaster and café in Philadelphia.
“We love everything that they do at Càphê Roasters. We love their coffee and their floats, and have recently become obsessed with Chef Jacob’s food,” said Toscani. “Our businesses are aligned in our shared values of bringing people together and uplifting our local communities. When we first tried Jacob’s XO sauce, we had this ‘aha moment’ and realized this had to be our newest flavor. It’s a perfect combination of flavors, and one of our favorite products since we launched our business. We also saw that it had never been produced before, so we jumped at the opportunity.”
Trinh’s XO sauce can also be purchased individually in 4 oz. jars at Càphê Roasters, which is open Wednesday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fishtown Pickle Project was created by Chef Mike Sicinski and Dietitian Niki Toscani in 2018 after gifting handcrafted pickles to their wedding guests. Their small-batch fare is purposefully crafted using all-natural ingredients and bold flavors, sourcing cucumbers and other produce from local farms, like Muzzarelli Farms in Vineland, New Jersey.
All photos by Mike Prince.
If you like what I do, throw me a coffee or a stiff drink!
I’m a *REAL* person and your support means the world to me!
Food enthusiast. Travel lover. Social media maven.
Independent Journalist. Food marketing/PR expert.