Sinful Sauces – Habanero & Cardamom Pickle

by Tim on April 21, 2011 · 0 comments

in Product Reviews

Sinful Sauces - Habanero & Cardamom Pickle

Sinful Sauces - Habanero & Cardamom Pickle

This is my first product review for the ChileFoundry and it’s for a product that just lately I’ve been enjoying on an almost daily basis. The product I’m referring to is a Habanero & Cardamom Pickle made by Sinful Sauces. It’s a pleasure to be able to review a Sinful Sauces product, not least because we’ve known Paul & Kelly from Sinful for a year or so now and we have seen Sinful grow from being a fledgling project to an actual reality. I remember when shortly after meeting them both, they left me with several bottles of sauce in the development stage of production and even then, all of the sauces were in my view, very special. Paul and Kelly both have an infectious enthusiasm which has driven Sinful Sauces onwards and upwards to a point where a fantastic range of chilli products is in production and ready to buy.

One of the Sinful Sauces products stood out for me when I got those early pre-production samples; it was the Habanero & Cardamom Pickle. I tasted an awful lot of chilli products last year and whilst most of them were great, only three or four really stood out for me and had the wow factor. When one of those is a pre-production sample, it’s fair to presume that great things are destined to come from the producer of it.

Rather than tell you what I think about the pickle at the end of the review, I’m going to do it now; my opinion is that it’s fantastic – bordering on perfection. I know that I need to qualify a statement like that, so that’s what the rest of this review will aim to do.

Upon opening the jar, I can see a thin layer of rapeseed oil covering the pickle. I can see pieces of garlic, cardamom seeds and I’m pleased to be able to see decent sized pieces of habanero chilli. It looks wonderfully spreadable. The smell is familiar and I’m guessing that the spice blend has an Indian influence. It’s time to taste the pickle; I load a good sized blob onto my cracker and into my mouth it goes. The first thing I notice is just how fresh and zesty the pickle is, probably as a result of the lime being in there. Then I get the spices with a hint of cardamom. The garlic is a flavour which for me, seems to come in as the heat is fading, adding yet another dimension to an already complex product. About the heat; as you’d expect from a habanero product, it’s substantial, but not to the point where you don’t want, or can’t have more of the pickle.

Ingredients: Orange Habanero (80%), Cider Vinegar, Rapeseed Oil, Onion, Spices, Garlic, Lime, Mustard, Cardamom (2%).

This jar of pickle was kindly provided by Sinful Sauces

I guess my point is that what Paul & Kelly at Sinful have created, is a pickle with a spectacular balance of not only flavours, but sensations too. Using the ingredients they chose to use and getting the right balance isn’t easy; too much of one or not enough of another would make for a pretty ugly product. As a sauce maker myself, I know that some products have a bit of give in them and you might be able to get away with a small degree of imbalance with the ingredients, but I don’t believe that’s the case with products like this because so many of the ingredients have such strong qualities. Everything must be right. I like the fact that the garlic flavour isn’t overpowering and comes in after the burn, I like the initial freshness and I like the slow building habanero burn. I like the fact that I can spend a minute or two enjoying a mouthful as one flavour takes over from the last. And I like the fact that although hot, I can carry on eating it for as long as I like. The heat balance is spot on. The two percent cardamom content is just right; cardamom can be extremely overpowering and it has to be used with caution. Sinful have got this spot on. I can taste the cardamom but it never dominates.

So, what can you eat this pickle with? Well, I haven’t found anything that it doesn’t go with yet. I’ve had it with bacon, cheese, sausages and with eggs which have been done various ways. It’s very good spread across a meat joint fifteen minutes before the end of cooking and I’ve also coated a steak in it prior to cooking.

Do yourself a favour and get yourself a jar of this directly from the Sinful Sauces website. It’s a top-class, tasty pickle from a top-class outfit. As the guys themselves would say, it’s so good, it’s sinful and only £3.95  for a 110ml jar.


Editors Note: Tim Murphy is the proprietor of the Cambridge Chilli Farm one of the UK’s new breed of artisan chilli sauce makers, his Ghost Pepper 10 scored a 9/10 for flavour in our review.

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