Today, for a nice change, I have a sauce to review from Byron Bay Chilli Co, their Smokin’Mango Chilli Sauce. I have been fortunate to spend a year travelling round Australia including an extended stay in Byron Bay so I always welcome some good old Aussie influence in the hot sauce world.
What began in the Byron Bay hinterland over twenty years ago is now a world famous range of chilli sauce, corn chips and salsas…brought to you by the Byron Bay Chilli Company.
“It all started with a chilli patch on a hill overlooking Byron Bay. With a little help from a friendly farmer and some good compost from the old Byron Piggery, there were soon more jalapeno chillies than we knew what to do with. So they set up a Mexican food stall at the Byron and Bangalow markets. Then to go with the burritos, tacos and nachos they started making their own chilli sauce, salsas and corn chips to go with them just the way they like them so they can pass them onto the good chilli loving public.”
Since then, Byron Bay Chilli Company has grown into a world famous brand, winning stacks of awards on three continents, including the Grand Prize Scovie Award from New Mexico, for best tasting chilli sauce.
Ingredients: tomato puree, mango, water, red jalapeno chilli, cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion, golden syrup, chipotle chilli powder, caynne chilli, garlic puree, habanero chilli, mustard powder, cinnamon, salt, cumin.
The label proudly displays five separate chilli and good taste awards spanning the UK, USA and Australia. The design is very cheesy in a good way, featuring Australian animals and what I assume is the Byron Bay lighthouse. For some reason though, the style of label compared to the British and American is a little uninspiring and looks like something you would find in the foreign food or ‘specialist’ aisle of the local supermarket. But then I remember this IS foreign food and it’s great that it looks different. It’s not always about the label.
This sauce’s main ingredient is mango, always a favourite of mine combined with a combined hit of four kinds of chillies, jalapeno, cayenne, habanero, and chipotle. Opening the bottle I expect a fruity aroma but am greeted with tomato and spices not of mango. The aroma is almost cheap if that makes sense, I try again but still cannot pick up the mango. The sauce is nice and thick as I would hope it to be for a BBQ sauce, there are even chunks of something I can’t quite make out to chew on if you like texture. My first taste I love, then the heat creeps in gently, catching me a little by surprise and a little hotter than expected. But the after-taste is not so welcoming and a little confusing to describe. Much like the aroma missing mango I can’t pick up the taste of mango either despite 25% of the sauce being mango. Perhaps the other long list of ingredients is masking this beautiful fruit. I pondered this over a few days trying the sauce with several dishes. The Byron Bay Chilli Co website describes this sauce as one that “will treat you to a new level of BBQ sophistication. For those who require zest in their tomato sauce” I would agree, this is a more sophisticated BBQ sauce but it is still a basic average sticky sauce with a bit of heat at the end of the day. Tasting on its own I just can’t decide if I like the combination of ingredients, adding to a burger or basic BBQ food however this sauce is a great accompaniment. Using this sauce to enhance a meal may leave you disappointed.
A hearty 250ml bottle is much larger than the average hot sauce perfect for lasting longer in your fridge. At £2.99/ 5 AUD per bottle that’s much cheaper than a 140ml or 150ml bottles we are used to in the UK too! It worth a taste to experience the sticky goodness but sometimes you get what you pay for.
Check them out here at http://www.byronbaychilli.co.uk/