It was not until 1975 that Econa first introduced their Hot Pepper Sauce range under the ‘Encona’ name and they haven’t looked back since. Having served the Caribbean community in the UK for over 40 years supplying quality sauces prepared to original recipes and containing blends of the most authentic chillies, spices and ingredients. Their iconic square embossed glass bottle has become the category symbol for quality, trust and delicious, authentic flavours in this community.
Encona now has a range of over 20 sauces and marinades. Today they have kindly provided me with a bottle of their African Peri Peri sauce to review.
Ingredients: Water, Chilli Mash (Chillies, Water, Acetic Acid, Salt ), Spirit Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Lemon Rind, Salt, Modified Maize Starch, Rapeseed Oil, Sugar, Garlic Puree, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Stabiliser: Xanthan Gum, Birds Eye Chilli, Preservative, Potassium Sorbate, Colour, Paprika extract.
Their bottles are different to most with the square embossed glass and their labels are very to the point matching as a larger set and just telling you what is inside, usually with a small picture to match the flavour. In this case the bottle has a giraffe. Encona African Peri-Peri Sauce claims to explore the taste of Africa by using a special blend of African birds eye chillies, aromatic garlic, zesty lemon and spices, to me the aroma is certainly zesty and you can even see some of the spices in the sauce. Overcoming this aroma though is a rather chemical feel of the different preservatives and stabilising that are necessary for a sauce produced on this scale. I did find the sauce rather tasty though often reaching for more to add to my food, it does fit the bill of a basic Peri-Pieri sauce with the right flavours and heat coming through to your taste buds so you won’t be disappointed. I am a sucker for the sauces from a certain chicken restaurant though so in my head I am making the comparison and though they taste similar one is clearly above the rest, but this may be down to personal preference.
Encona Sauces are certainly versatile. You can use them as a dipping sauce, a marinade, a cooking ingredient or just an everyday table sauce. They can even be easily used to drizzle into stir-fries, rice dishes, dips and salad dressings. Being a Peri-Peri sauce this sauce lends itself naturally to chicken and great for a dollop onto burgers too.
This is a sauce for the consumer not for the enthusiast, that said if you like the taste go for it you can find it in all good supermarkets and you still get a tasty hit. Would I buy other sauces in this range, yes but they would be more of a tasty table sauce for use rather than to expand my hot sauce stash.