A Pig, A Blind Date, and Safta's Tomato Sauce

What responsibility to the world does a cook have? This was a question that Cured and Crisp founder, Chef Eron Picus, had to face as he came up with his new product, Safta’s Tomato Sauce.  Tomato sauce might not seem like a taxing investment, but there’s a lot more that goes into food prep than one might expect. Because of this, many foodies cut corners with added sugars and hard to pronounce preservatives. For Chef Eron, though, this was not an option. Especially not for a product based on his grandmother’s (Safta’s) recipe.

Safta's Tomato Sauce


Cured and Crisp is a DC-based food company that specializes in all things pig, including bacon, sausage, and patties. Founded last year, Cured and Crisp is sold online, in Union Kitchen stores, and a handful of independent accounts around Washington, DC. Now, you might be thinking that it’s a large pivot for a bacon-based company to start producing tomato sauce, and you’d be right. For Chef Eron, though, it’s a reflection of his desire to try something new after spending so much time in the pork game. It’s part of the “five fingers of Chef Eron.”

The story of Cured and Crisp begins in a very unlikely place: a blind date. Arranged by their moms, Chef Eron Picus was set up with his now wife Sarah. Quickly realizing their mutual love of food, the two bonded over long conversations around culinary delicacies and, of course, pigs! Eventually, the two decided to make two big commitments, to be together in matrimony and in business. Over a decade later, Chef Eron decided to start Cured and Crisp with his wife, Sarah. After mostly focusing on bacon and other pork cuts, Cured and Crisp is unveiling a new product that is a bit more vegetarian. After noticing an increased demand, brought about by the pandemic, for tomato sauce, Chef Eron decided to create his new Safta’s Tomato Sauce. 

In an ideal world, people wouldn’t have to worry about their impact on the world as they eat. Unfortunately, the truth is that many of our consumption habits are exploitative and unsustainable. To counter this, Chef Eron always makes sure that he gets his ingredients from ethical sources. This means a tradeoff. Chef Eron pays more for ingredients but also gets to leverage stronger flavor profiles with more nutrient density. And you can taste it! Because the ingredients are so fresh and carefully grown, Chef Eron’s Safta’s Tomato Sauce includes no added sugars, a rare find in the pantry aisle. 

Those looking to try Cured and Crisp’s new Safta’s Tomato Sauce can find it online and at Union Kitchen locations. We recommend trying out Safta’s on top of pizza, pastas, and lightly toasted french baguette.