Pique (pronounced ‘Pee-kay’, not ‘Peek’ in this instance, I am delightfully informed) is originally from Puerto Rico. There are many different styles and recipes of how to make Pique, mainly by steeping a selection of ingredients in vinegar and using it to enhance soups and stews and such. Stuart at Hot-Headz has worked on this basis and created a great sauce.
Water, Pineapple, Cane Vinegar, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (natural preservatives), Salt, Laurel, Habanero Chillies (15%), Garlic, Cilantro (coriander), Black Pepper, Aniseed, Xanthan Gum (natural thickener), Parsley, Sweet Pepper, Olive Oil.
In a 148ml bottle with the standard Hot-Headz branding with a gradient from bright green on the base to dark red at the top. This sauce is a deep orange filled with very fine herb and fruit pulp. it pours relatively thinly. The first thing I can smell is the garlic and cilantro (coriander to us Brits) which reminds me of italian dishes. The Parsley gives it a relatively mild earthy tone which grounds this sauce well. The initial taste is mainly vinegary with a very strong Parsley aftertaste just before the Habanero kicks in.
There is a slight sweetness but the sharpness of the vinegar soon sorts that out. Sadly I cannot taste any pineapple with the sauce but I feel its mild flavour pulls everything together. The Habanero heat gives a punch after the first taste and lingers all over the mouth. Its a relatively mild burn compared to some. This sauce pulls the Habanero heat away from being overbearing and gives just enough to allow the other flavours to show through before making its rightful place on your tastebuds.
Pique is best tried with soups, stir fries and stews as an addition to any meal. Try it as a marinade too, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Available from Hot-Headz directly for £3.99 in a 148ml bottle.