May 2013

I was in two minds whether to review this product, being as the main ingredient is Rhubarb, a real love or hate flavour, and in my opinion a brave ingredient to use in a mainstream product. I’m not a big fan of Rhubarb but decided to put my aversion aside to review Mad-Ass Rudebarb ‘n’ Jalapeno.

Mad-Ass have created some great sauces and some great names to go with them so let’s see what this one has to offer. The bottle suggests it is a traditional jam recipe given a Jalapeno twist.

The contents do look interesting , with the chopped fibres of the Rhubarb clearly visible along with the odd red chunk and seed of the Jalapeno. I assume this is meant to be a sweet sauce and not a jam as it is quite runny.

The label is in their familiar style with the menacing chilli, I think the quality of the labels could be improved a little but I am sure that will be developed in due course. Although the label attracts the customer to the product, ultimately it is the contents which are important.

Ingredients:

Preserving Sugar, English Rhubarb, Jalapeno Chillies, Root Ginger, Distilled Malt Vinegar

Bottle kindly supplied by Mad-Ass Foods UK

Once the jar is open, there is a great sweet aroma and obviously the Rhubarb, the ginger also coming through. It does pour like a sweet chilli sauce, but how does it taste? Well I have to say this may well cure my aversion of Rhurbarb. It has a great texture with the fruit having been cooked well, soft but not really mushy and no sign of the stringiness I associate with Rhubarb.

There isn’t very much heat here, so quite a mild sweet sauce. I would liked to have seen a little more Jalapeno to compete against the strong flavours present.

The label suggests using on toast or with Duck and Chicken. This would make a great alternative to plum sauce and would work well as a glaze for gammon. I can see this working drizzled over ice cream too.

All in all, another really tasty product from the lads in Croydon.

Available in 150ml full  or 30ml sampler bottles, contact them on their website, twitter or facebook

Flavour
(9/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)

 

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Here we have another of the range from Twisted 7 Sauces, this review is for one of their hotter sauces, the interestingly named Chocolate Sorz. The sauce comes in a standard 100ml bottle, the label having the same look as the rest of the range and has a very professional look with the black background and the different coloured flame image on each bottle. This is rated 4 out of 5 chillies on their heat scale.

This sauce is called Chocolate Sorz, but as the label says, it is no normal chocolate sauce. It is named due to the primary ingredient, Chocolate Habaneros, but does contain a little real chocolate.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Habanero Chillies (24%), Chipotle Chillies (20%), Water, White Wine Vinegar, Cherry Juice, Sundried Tomatoes (6%), Sugar, Lemon Juice, Smoked Roasted Garlic (0.7%), Cocoa Powder.

The sauce looks the fairly standard dark orangey red colour, due to the sundried tomatoes. Looking through the glass bottle I can see the odd chilli seed within the slightly textured sauce. Opening it reveals a very thick sauce which takes some coaxing to get out of the bottle, it is certainly not a pouring sauce but that is no bad thing as a lot of sauces are very runny resulting in half the bottle coming out!

The sauce has the characteristic habanero aroma, coupled with the smoky garlic and chipotle, make a nice first impression on the nostrils. One thing to mention very quickly, is the word Smoky or Smokey, which is correct? Or are both right in this context? I don’t know, answers on a postcard please…..

Back to the sauce and it’s taste. The initial hit is Habanero, not surprising as it has 24% chilli content and then the various other flavours flood the mouth, garlic, sweet fruitiness and the smoky chipotle. From reading the ingredients list I did think there were a lot of strong flavours which might fight against each other but actually they work well together.

I have seen a few sauces which contain some percentage of chocolate and I have often wondered whether I can taste it or not. In this sauce, I think I can but it could just be my brain being tricked as the sauce is called chocolate.

The heat level is good and is present straight away and builds quite well but is never overpowering, still allowing the other ingredients their space. It is also a nice lingering burn, my lips are pleasantly tingly about 7 or 8 minutes after tasting. I can see this being used as a sauce in a burger as it would stay put and not dribble out the sides or added to soup etc.

In summary, a very nice tasty sauce from a new comer to the chilli industry.

Available from Twisted 7 Sauce website for £4.49

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(7/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

 

 

 

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Right then me lovelies, Scooby back again with a sauce today from South Devon Chilli farm.  It’s their ’15 Chilli Sauce’. This is one of their Hot Six, available individually or as a set. The sauce comes in a stylish 100ml bottle with sealed off cap. No mistaking this for a chilli sauce a rich red chilli slap bang in the middle of the glossy label with ’15’ Chilli sauce splashed just beneath it.

The sauce is a touch darker than the label which helps it stands out well. It is a pulpy and seedy sauce which looks like a lovely puree that is pourable. Enough of the talk of the aesthetics, lets get on with the best bit, the sauce 😀 😀 😀

Good to see sauces coming through with no bulls**t in, just natural ingredients. The smell backs up the claim on the ingredients list.

There is a very strong aroma of fresh chilli which is unmistakeable, coupled with a touch of an acidic smell from the vinegar but I am sure the chilli will pull through this. The label states it contains 15 varieties of medium to hot chillies with a heat rating of hot.

Time to bring out the sacred spoon of death and get this sauce to where it  meant to be, in ……my…….belly.

Ingredients:

Fresh chillies (60%), Cider vinegar, Lemon juice, Salt

Bottle kindly supplied by South Devon Chilli Farm

Straight away I get a taste of fresh chilli and a mild capsaicin tingle on the tongue. While the fresh chilli flavour stays, it is quickly greeted by, for me, and overpowering vinegar taste which in my opinion taints the sauce too much for me to enjoy other than the odd occasion.

The heat does increase but I would not personally call this a ‘hot’ chilli sauce, medium maybe, but not hot. It would be quite interesting to see what chilli went into this though as the initial fresh fruity flavour is pleasant, it’s just a shame the vinegar swamps it afterwards.

Whilst you can just about make out a slight lemon twang, the acidity and flavour of this does not do enough to wind the vinegar back. All in all I can see this sauce being used for a dip to give your doritos etc a slight change of taste and character. Further than that, maybe as a side for your Chippies on a Friday night.

A good enough sauce if you are not into your extreme heat products, with a smooth puree texture to boot and ok for someone who is starting out exploring chilli products, and at £3.57 a bottle available from South Devon Chilli Farm this wont break the bank.

So remember guys, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out!

Flavour
(6/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(7.5/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(5/10)

 

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From the creative trio of minds that are the Mad Ass Chilli Sauce Company comes their twist on ketchup. Now to many, the word ‘ketchup’ is synonymous with the tomato based sauce from Heinz but ketchup actually dates back to the 16th century, when the Chinese made a sauce from pickled fish and spices called “kôe-chiap” meaning ‘brine of pickled fish’. This sauce gradually spread to other Asian countries and was discovered by British explorers visiting Singapore and Malaysia during the early part of the 17th century, with “kôe-chiap” evolving into the Anglicised word “ketchup”.

The tomato variant of the sauce didn’t become a prominent recipe until mid 19th century when its popularity in the United States grew as a way of eating tomatoes which, at the time, were thought to unsafe to eat raw. Later during the 20th century it became ubiquitous with the Heinz brand.

Labelling the ketchup is a variant on the designed used for the Mad Ass sample sized jars – this time the chilli character is bright red and the background flames are purple. Some of the wording is difficult to read with the small font sized used in parts, although I suspect this is due to a poor batch of printed labels as many letters are blurred & not sharp on areas of the label.

Ingredients:

Bramley apples, golden gran sugar, raisins, onions, tomatoes, ‘The Garlic Farm’ garlic, cider vinegar, lime juice & zest, scotch bonnet, star anisee, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, cracked black pepper, rock salt, rice bran oil

Jar kindly supplied by Mad Ass Chilli Sauce Company

Looking at the ingredients list, the sweet / tanginess of this ketchup isn’t going to come from tomatoes, which are further down the ingredients list. The base ingredient for this sauce is apples supplemented with tomatoes, which gives the sauce an amber pink hue rather than the rich red colour that people would normally associate with ketchup.

As I open the jar and inhale the aroma of cooked apples & cinnamon is released with underlying hints of lime and ginger also coming through. Although not a completely smooth sauce, it comes out readily from the jar and I can see small bits of apple pulp and flecks of black pepper & red chilli within it as it sits on my spoon.

When tasting the sauce, the sweetness of apples & cinnamon are at the fore followed by an underlying taste of lime & raisin flavours with hints of pepper. The aniseed flavour also comes through in the aftertaste. Heat from the Scotch Bonnets used therein is disappointingly low. The sauce is rated as a 5.5 out of 10 on the Mad Ass website but with my sample there’s only the merest brief hint of warmth. It gives a slight tingle on the tongue before rapidly disappearing without a trace. It can be hard getting consistency in heat strength from batch to batch so perhaps that’s what has happened in this instance. Nonetheless it’s such a nicely balanced sauce, being neither overly sweet nor sharp, with a range of flavours that the lack of heat doesn’t trouble me too much.

For usage I think this sauce would work well as an accompaniments to cold meats, ham in particular given the apple base. Indeed I think it would work as a nice alternative to tomato ketchup on a bacon sarnie, with the sweetness of the apples helping to cut through the salted bacon. Equally it would work well as an addition to a cheese board being complementary to a Wensleydale or creamy Lancashire and contrasting with the saltiness of a blue veined cheese.

Available in either 30ml jars for £2.00 or 150ml bottle for £5.00 from the Mad Ass website.

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (6.5/10)
Overall
(7/10)

 

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