January 2014

“Ooft” is produced by Island Girl, a hot sauce maker based in Scotland but with Caribbean heritage. The website states, “Our premier quality pepper sauce is made from pure ingredients hand blended to create a special Caribbean flavor”, and tells the customer a little about the history of the development of “Ooft”, which is based on a recipe originally used by the proprietor’s father in Trinidad.

Bottle kindly supplied by Island Girl.

The labelling is evocative of the Caribbean, using the red, black and white of the Trinidadian flag on a sunset background, and gives the customer some suggestions on how the sauce could be used.The labels are a reasonable size so that it is easy to see the product in the bottle, but still has space for information needed by the customer.The sauce itself is an appealing orange colour, with seeds and bright red flecks of chilli clearly visible suspended in its body.

On opening the bottle, the aroma is exactly what you would expect of a product with a high scotch bonnet chilli content – though there is a sharp vinegar smell beneath the scent of the peppers.

In terms of texture, this is a sauce with good body.There is plenty of pulp from the chillies and other ingredients such as daikon (a mild flavoured radish also known as “mooli” in the UK) which presumably has been used as a bulking ingredient, and chosen so that it would not disturb the balance of flavour.There is a certain silkiness and viscosity to the sauce, due to the inclusion of olive oil in the process.

According to the website: “Well known to users of social media, the exclamation OOFT! means a pleasant surprise, a shock, but a good one.”  Does the product match up to the marketing?

Ingredients:

Scotch bonnet peppers (40%), garlic, daikon, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, olive oil.

There is an immediate strong bonnet flavour to the sauce, and it is surprisingly not as sharp as the vinegary smell would lead you to expect.  The garlic and lime are not really present in the flavours as it is eaten, but the garlic is sensed as an after-taste.

Going by its placing in the ingredients list the salt content of the sauce is not high, but the flavour is salty and became progressively saltier when more of the sauce was tasted on its own.  However, this is far less noticeable when the sauce is used as a condiment in accompaniment to a meal, as it is meant to be used.

There is instant heat from the sauce, which builds to a pleasant, lingering tingle with each additional mouthful.

Overall, this is what we would expect of a well-made Caribbean fermented mash based hot sauce, and is certainly far superior to the “well-known brand” of West Indian hot sauce available from supermarkets.

“Ooft” is available from Island Girl priced at £3.50 for a 100ml bottle (plus postage).  Volume discounts are offered when ordering multiple bottles, bringing the price down to £2.67 per bottle if ordering a batch of 12 – so planning a bulk purchase among friends may be worth considering.

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(6/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (6/10)
Overall
(7/10)

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Happy New Year Chilli padawans!! Hows the new year treating you? Mine was amazing, thanks for asking!…oh…you didn’t ask?..hmm…

ANYWAY! Here it is, the first video review of the year, and it’s a blinder! I have a sauce that was crafted by two very evil gentlemen, a couple of swedish guys, Marc and Jimmy are  known to the world simply as “Evil Chefs” and they have a penchant for creating some truly evil, but great tasting things..and this my friends…is one of them!

Ingredients:

Fresh Naga Chilli, Cider Vinegar, Onion, Garlic, Salt, Water.

Bottle kindly supplied by The Evil Chefs

A rather simple list of ingredients as I’m sure you’ll agree, but if you look on the Evil Chefs website you’ll see that pure evil doesn’t need to have many ingredients, its all about the process and application of such a product!
Know simply as “No.1 pure 100% evil” the evil chefs have this down as a “natural naga hot sauce” and i’ll tell you what, they’d be right!

The garlic and onion can barely be tasted in this sauce, this is the evil chefs homage to the naga pepper, and it really does show, pure naga flavours and stupid heat push through everything else to provide a kick and taste thats akin to eating a naga straight up (coincidentally they sell those too!) and with no mucking about, its pretty clear these chefs want to pleasure and yet hurt everyone that comes into contact with this sauce..well..they are evil after all?

So as you can see, it pretty much destroyed me, but then I had *a lot* of it in one go!
(trying to defend my current low tolerance of chilli there :p )

“But Darth, what the hell can we use such an evil sauce for!?” I hear you cry, well my Chilli Padawans, I can tell you now that this would be excellent to use wherever you would use a fresh naga or 5, so chilli and curry are a good start, if you’re particularly sadistic you could splash it over your chips or even mix it with some oil and do pure evil roasties with it! (you can have that one) The bottom line is, use this wherever you want a nice fresh chilli flavour, but also a good punch of clean heat (by clean I mean not extract based).

You can buy this marvellous bottle of sauce over at the Evil Chefs website and as i said in the video, the only thing that lets this sauce down, is the price…which unfortunately is a little too expensive for my tastes, if you want a single bottle, delivered to the uk, its 159 SEK, or £15 including shipping…which as i’m sure you’re aware is at the high end..but then it is a high end sauce!

Anyway, thats another one wrapped up for now padawans, so until the next review, have a good one, and may the sauce be with you…always!

Flavour
[Rating7/10]
Heat
(8/10)
Packaging
(7/10)
Value (3/10)
Overall
(6/10)

 

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Yellow Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease spread by female mosquitoes in South America. Its symptoms include: fever, chills, nausea and vomiting, which sound remarkably similar to symptoms that chilliheads can suffer from when eating excessive amount of chillies located higher up the Scoville scale. Perhaps that’s why in part the guys from Mad Ass named this sauce as such.

Labelling on this product is akin to the other Mad Ass products previously reviewed on the ChileFoundry, with the customary mean looking chilli, this time in a mustard yellow colour. Unfortunately with the colour scheme used on this label the white coloured font on a yellow background makes it extremely hard to read the lettering clearly, particularly on this smaller sample size jar.

Ingredient:

Yellow Habanero chillies, ‘The Garlic Farm’ garlic, fresh ginger, malt vinegar, soft brown sugar, lime juice, rock salt, cracked black pepper, mustard powder

Kindly supplied by Mad-Ass

The pungent smell of Habanero’s and mustard is clearly apparent when I open the jar with subtle hints of sugar, vinegar and cracked pepper underneath. It’s a sweet n sharp combo on the nose. The sauce is a rich mustard yellow colour and is reasonably fluid and it’s easy to see bits of garlic, cracked black pepper and some chilli pepper pulp suspended within it.  The natural flavour of the habaneros is clearly apparent when tasting and the mustard flavour intermingles really well with it. Some sweetness from the sugar and a little bit of sharpness from the lime juice can also be detected. Whilst the flavour from the mustard is apparent it’s not a dominating flavour.

The heat from the Habanero’s comes almost instantly, initially at the very front of my mouth and residing at the back, somewhat disappointingly though I don’t get the expected nasal burn that would accompany a good spoonful of English mustard. The intensity of the chilli kick recedes quickly but there’s still a good, satisfying burn left behind in the mouth.

Not surprisingly given its mustard base this product goes amazingly well on a steak sandwich, so well in fact that my taster / sample jar was emptied after trying it this way. If you are looking for a variation on the mustard theme this is definitely worth trying. The mustard taste isn’t full-on as normal English mustard thus making it a great alternative or substitute for those who English mustard that little bit too intense.

Available from the Mad-Ass website at £5 for 150ml bottle or £2 for 30ml taster/sampler jar.

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(5.5/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(7/10)

N.B These scores are based on the recipe used for this sample. Looking at the website it appears the latest batch of the product uses a new recipe with yellow Bell Pepper & Yellow Scotch Bonnet Chillies rather than Habanero. Heat should be of a similar level but I would imagine the flavour would be somewhat different due to the naturally sweeter flavours of the bell pepper and Scotch Bonnet chillies.

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From the Capsicana Chilli Company comes the Bhut Jolokia Chilli sauce and is the second hottest sauce in their range. Capsicana are relatively new to the chilli scene having been around for about three years, but they sport a good range of products; along with the hot sauces the website offers whole and powdered chillies,  beans and seeds, herbs and spices, recipe kits and a whole host of chilli recipes so is worth a browse just for those alone.

Although the sauce is monikered Bhut Jolokia this makes up 2% of the ingredients, but is bolstered by an additional 39% of a non-specific chilli mix.

Ingredients:

chillies (including 2% bhut jolokia) 41%, water, barley malt vinegar, spices (including mustard), salt, cornflower, stabiliser and xanthan gum.

The sauce comes in 150ml bottles at a very reasonable £3.80 a pop. The label designs are very professional looking with a deep black background and a clean white font giving the name of the sauce. Beneath this is a chilli heat rating in red chillies; this one is rated at 5+chillies and gives the overall impression that this might be quite hot. The label describes the style of the sauce as rich and fruity and also offers some rather broad suggested uses, from marinade to condiment.

The reddy brown sauce is quite thick with number of seeds visible through the uncovered portions of the bottle (which adds to the impression of heat). Once the lid is removed the overriding aroma is that of pungent bhut jolokias; it’s also sweet smelling. Despite the small content of Bhut Jolokias, it gives the impression there’s more packed in there and that they are of good quality.

On the spoon the chilli seeds are a bit more obvious but there are not so many of them that it impacts on the texture. The initial hit is very intense and burns everywhere it touches, there is no mistaking that there is Naga in this sauce it almost takes your breath away initially. Then something strange happens; normally Naga based sauces continue to build, but this one levels off quickly and begins to fade leaving a really gorgeous fruitiness with a brilliant lingering tingle on the tongue.

This is a great value everyday usable sauce for those that like some spice with everything they eat. I could happily dip my Friday lunch chips in this one and add it to my cheese and marmite sarnies. It certainly impressed enough to urge me to go and seek out the other sauces Capsicana have in their range. You should do the same.

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

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