Levi Roots – Reggae Reggae Sauce

by Darth Naga on September 5, 2009 · 1 comment

in Product Reviews

Levi Roots’?—?Reggae Reggae Sauce

Levi Roots’?—?Reggae Reggae Sauce

It’s a bank holiday Monday, the sun is shining bright so I thought to myself “why not review a sauce that has its roots in sunshine and hot weather!!

The sauce I’m tasting today comes all the way from Jamaica, and from a man by the name of Levi Roots. His legacy started with his grandmother over 35 years ago, where she was making the sauce with “secret” herbs and spices, she handed the recipe down to him and in 1991 he took the sauce to the Notting Hill Carnival where it became so popular that its now an annual fixture!

It still was another 16 years before Levi Roots’ achievements were recognised and endorsed by two of the “Dragons” from “Dragons Den”, Levi was invited to the show by a BBC researcher but his kids told him not to do it as the “Dragons” would tear him apart, his mother told him to go for it and so he did.

He won the hearts and investment of Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh, shortly after the show Sainsbury’s signed an exclusivity deal and literally six weeks after the show had aired “Reggae Reggae Sauce” was on Sainsbury’s store shelves, now it’s available in every major supermarket in the UK!!

The bottle design if you have never seen it is a simple but elegant one, its curvy in all the right places *wink* and it has the Jamaican colours proudly adorning the very colourful and eye catching label, there’s also a silhouette of a man dancing, and the name of the sauce in orange lettering on the front, on the back is a picture of Levi, along with his signature and the list of ingredients.

Ingredients:

Water, sugar, barley malt vinegar, tomato puree, onion, red scotch bonnet chilli (1.5%), modified maize starch, salt, colour: plain caramel, garlic, ginger, all spice, spring onions, black pepper, mixed herbs, coriander, paprika, nutmeg, cinnamon, basil, thyme.

Now that there is a LOOOOOONG list of ingredients, with this in mind i was expecting a hit of flavour and smell when i opened the bottle and took a whiff, the smells that instantly hit me were garlic and ginger, with a smattering of onion and chilli too, the smell was indeed incredible and this surprised me as this sauce has a much better aroma than any supermarket sauce available bar the “Nando’s” range of sauces.

I usually use a tasting spoon but in the case of this sauce i decided to put the bottle to my lips and take a nice swig, WOW the explosion of flavours in my mouth were amazing, not too sweet and not too sour, a lovely combination of both tastes with a hint of heat from the chilli, this is definitely a sauce that relies on its flavour rather than heat, and as such i wouldn’t personally call it hot sauce more of a BBQ sauce for people who want a little more flavour than sweetness!

The aftertaste sits in the mouth nicely with the heat, a beautiful savoury aftertaste of garlicky peppered onions and a hint of cinnamon, i think Levi roots may just be the bridge between the supermarket mass produced sauces and the speciality market that most of us ChileHeadz go to.

I think this sauce is amazing value for money, i believe in most shops it is around £1.50-£2 depending on where you shop and for your money you get a generous 310g of one of the best commercial mass market sauces there is, i don’t personally keep stock of this, but i know my mother and a couple of my friends love the stuff and always have a bottle in the fridge!

I would pop down to your local supermarket right now and grab a bottle of this, don’t ask why, just do it!! then come back and thank me later. If you’re already a fan of RRS then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, and that it’s definitely worth the money! No BBQ sauce in the supermarkets can even begin to compare themselves to this as they aren’t even in the same league!

There ya have it folks, a widely available sauce that is actually a good product for even the snobbiest of hot sauce enthusiasts! Till next our path’s cross, may the sauce be with you, always!

Editors Note: Levi is currently on BBC2 with this program “Caribbean Food Made Easy” which is supported by a book of the same name Caribbean Food Made Easy

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