INTRODUCING RIDICULOUS NO. 88 — "THE XO"
Sublime's latest foray into the world of Ridiculous butters will cast your tastebuds to the Far East, with a rare and sophisticated flavour destined to astonish even those who've seen it all.
If you've followed Sublime's Ridiculous butters over the past few years, you'll know that they're characterised by three things: exotic ingredients, bold and decadent flavours, and by necessity, an eponymous price tag. No. 78, for instance, spared no expense with its Cinco Jotas Jamon Ibérico, Pedro Ximenez sherry or Carabinero prawns. The challenge in creating these kinds of butters, though, is this: how do you continue to raise the bar, when it's already so dizzyingly high?
2023's answer to this challenge is Ridiculous No. 88 — affectionately known as "The XO" after the sauce that inspires it. XO sauce is known in foodie circles for being explosively flavourful; defined by the use of dried seafood, chilli, and pork. Naturally, it wouldn't be very Sublime to take this foundation at face value. We've decided to elevate it to something otherworldly instead.
No. 88 — a number that Chinese culture considers to be the luckiest of all — brings together some of the most sought-after produce in the world. The transcendent flavour, and perhaps the rarest ingredient to boot, comes from imported Hokkaido scallops: a Japanese delicacy surrounded by a great deal of reverie from those in the know. Jinhua dry-aged cured ham, sourced with great effort from China, tempers the oceanic profile of the scallops with a gentle sweet-smokiness. Bird's eye chillies, along with onion, garlic and pink Himalayan salt, offer a balanced foundation of heat and astringency that also helps to better define the hero flavours. In Chinese tradition, the number 88 represents strength, power and fortitude. That is, "The XO" packs a punch. It offers slight spice, lots of umami, and a deep savouriness that you simply won't discover anywhere else.
All of this makes No. 88 the perfect adornment for all seafood, especially crustaceans, seared pork chops, fried rice or noodles, sautéed bak choi or morning glory. Or, as ever, in teeth-markable wedges on your favourite sourdough.
Tony Ho, the chef and alchemist responsible for Sublime's products (including No. 88), has explored the idea of an XO butter before. In fact, his own XO sauce won a celebratory two stars at the Great Taste Awards a few years back.
"Palates develop over time and there has been no greater demand than now for products free of all things artificial." said Tony on the subject.
He has made it his ambition to bring this all-natural approach to Sublime. With No. 88, it seems he's achieved this ambition with aplomb. "I wanted to create a product that packed a punch so naturally powerful it wallops you in the mouth and makes you go all starry-eyed. XO is this punch."
As always with Sublime's Ridiculous range, you can expect an accompanying butter dish that's Ridiculous in its own way. More news on that to follow. It's worth mentioning before we sign off that to make such a special product is not possible in large volumes. That means you'll need to be extremely lucky indeed to get your hands on some. To those interested, we wish you good fortune. Until then, thanks for reading, and keep your ears to the ground for all the latest.
For more information about Ridiculous No. 88, including samples, images, and more detailed product info, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org