sauce

The brains behind the Twisted 7 organisation is a chef and winner of a second place fiery foods award for their one sauces the delightfully names Organ Grinder! If you ask Dean “why twisted 7” the answer you will get is “it’s as simple as lucky number 7, I was born on the 7th and there are 7 letters in twisted”

The bottle is a standard 100ml and matches the rest of their range in size, shape and label design. The shape of the bottle does unfortunately make it look smaller than bottles used by other producers. Rather than any pictures that stand out Twisted 7 have opted for a running graphical theme across all their labels with different colours for each different sauce. As a result the set looks nice when altogether and lined up.

On the label you will also find this from the brains at Twisted 7

“This is not your average BBQ sauce it has more in common with a Carolina style BBQ sauce – this is based on an old family recipe that will blow your perception of BBQ sauces/marinades away. Super tangy and packed full of flavour, give it a go, it’s sure to make your burger taste better – marinade your meat before BBQing and get a proper bit of pork, or using it for basting your best bit of beef!”

Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce, Tarragon Vinegar, Onion, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Worcester Sauce, Garlic, BBQ Seasoning, Salt, Tabasco, Chipotle Chilli Powder, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Sage, Bayleaf

Bottle kindly supplied by Twisted 7 sauces

The Carolina Charm sits at the low end of heat in their hot sauce range with their own classification of 1.5 heat level. The ingredients only specify Tabasco and chipotle, but not what percentage, so I am not expecting much in the heat department here. However as a big BBQ fan, lover of rich both smoky sauces and South Carolina cooking what I am hoping for is a nice tangy BBQ sauce with all the feel of the Deep South!

This sauce is thick, making it ideal to stick to any meat; the aroma brings out the cumin and tomato with so far only a sense of the south. The first mouthful tastes a little like a liquid version of many South Carolina dry rubs I have tried. Perhaps I have been swayed by a recent Caribbean trip and the wonderful tangy fruity sauces they offer but I’m not sure if using this as a dipping sauce works well as isn’t doing the product much justice based on their description given by Twisted. So to give it a chance I am going to check out how it performs on a BBQ and mix it with some meat.

With anything South Carolina what I want to get that home made mammas cooking feel that makes me think of Bubba Gump shrimp. Though this sauce undoubtedly has the ingredients of the south in it for me it does not feel right. I am overpowered by the cumin and missing any kind of warmth from the chilli I would like.

The chipotle too has wonderful flavour and aroma as we all know but I can’t pick up even a hint of it. However on meat, this sauce does perk up a little mixing with the juices of a burger or slightly caramelised on chicken or a nice rack of ribs I am reminded of the flavours my palate is looking for. This sauce will no doubt add some unusual tasty flavours to your regular cooking and bring a change to regular BBQ sauces but sadly I don’t think it will have you reaching for more too soon.

In the summer hold a South Carolina themed BBQ party and add this sauce to your collection on the day and enjoy you won’t be disappointed. But as winter sets in, this sauce didn’t charm me, it won’t keep you warm and will leave you wanting more from it.

This 100ml bottle is £4.00

Flavour
(3/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (5/10)
Overall
(5/10)

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Cottage Delight Ltd are purveyors of speciality foods since 1974 claiming to use only the finest ingredients and traditional production methods in a wide range of award winning jams, marmalades and chutneys. You will find Cottage Delight products in lots of locations including department stores, garden centres, farm shops, tourist attractions, delicatessens and traditional grocers.

Today I will be tasting a bottle of Cottage Delights Tropical Mango Lime and Chilli Sauce. The bottle is a decent size and shaped like an HP sauce bottle with careful attention to the label looking like a small batch production product. However you may have gathered from the amount of stockists above that Cottage delight are quite large producers with production levels capable of filling any supermarket shelf. Even though Cottage delight do produce in small batches, being able to fill shelves everywhere does, for me, loose a little of the magic you get from small UK family companies where each batch will have a unique quality and sometimes vary in taste depending on the chilli crop that year.

The label also contains several descriptions of the contents, describing the sauce as: A fruity exotic sauce with a chilli hit. An exotic, fruity sauce to serve with meats, fish or vegetables. An excellent dip, marinade or bbq baste.  Not forgetting the web description of this Lime & Chilli Sauce is an exotic and extra fruity sauce with a chilli hit.

So basically it should be fruity in taste and appears to go with any food invented. I am almost expecting another description saying zero calories and an ecological alternative to fuel suitable to power any vehicle.

Ingredients:

Mango chutney (37%) (mango, sugar, ginger, garlic, chilli, acidity regulator: acetic acid), sugar, water, lime pickle (12%) (limes, salt, vegetable oil, chilli, mustard, spices, acidity regulator: acetic acid), dried glucose syrup, salt, acidity regulator: acetic acid, thickener: xanthan gum, spice extract

Jar kindly supplied by Cottage Delight Speciality foods

On opening this sauce it smells and looks like a watered down version of mango chutney, given the ingredients listed above this is not surprising. The sauce is sticky allowing it to cover anything you want but is still able to be poured out of the bottle. The ingredients make reference to chilli flakes but don’t mention which chilli, as a chilli head I am always curious and every chilli sauce I buy is usually proud to display the chilli used. The aromas make you think of papadums and bajhi.

The taste of the sauce is like that of a good curry house and is very familiar. I always mix lime pickle and mango chutney with the fresh onions with my papadums. It appears this sauce has just mixed the two together and added a few chilli flakes with some extra sugar. Don’t get me wrong this sauce is tasty and VERY sweet, but disappointing in both heat and inventiveness. One of the suggestions listed is to add into a stir fry. I must admit I haven’t tried this option and can’t picture how an Indian themed stir fry might end up tasting, maybe I’m wrong? The sauce will probably go well over prawns on the bbq or as a cool dip for a buffet meal. Other than that I would keep it handy for your next Indian takeaway as an alternative to mango chutney.

A 220ml bottle will set you back a very reasonable £3.30 for its size direct from the cottage delight site though you will have to spend £15 to qualify for free postage. But you could ask yourself is it worth just purchasing a jar of Mango chutney for about a pound instead? I would also expect you might pay more in any garden centre.

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

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The Mad-Ass Chill Sauce Company based in Croydon run by Dave Etheridge & Tony Walker have a wide range of sauces with lots of different flavours and unusual combinations. Their product that I have for review here is no different and I don’t believe there are other chilli sauces out there using Thyme as a main ingredient. However with chilli sauces becoming ever more increasingly mainstream, why not make a sauce that incorporate a herb which compliments most meats so well?

The familiar Mad-Ass menacing chilli appears on the front of the label and as with other Mad-Ass products there is a QR code on the label but strangely when scanned the product is incorrectly identified as their ‘Double Smokey’ product.

Ingredients:

Green bullet chillies, Cider vinegar, Demerara sugar, ‘The Garlic Farm’ garlic, Lime juice & zest, fresh thyme, fresh root ginger, rock salt, cracked black pepper

Kindly supplied by Mad-Ass

The sauce is a rich green colour with flecks of black pepper throughout and although I can see that the sauce is somewhat pulpy, it seems quite fluid in the bottle. Opening the bottle I get a big hit of a fresh zesty citrus aroma from the lime and ginger; strong undertones of thyme with hints of cider vinegar and salt are also present.  Pouring the fleshy sauce onto a spoon I can see bits of garlic, chilli flesh and thyme throughout it. When tasting, the lime and ginger flavours are very much at the fore with the sharpness of the lime being well contained by the sweetness of the sugar. The flavour of the bullet chillies, thyme and garlic then come rushing through and peppery tones remain in the aftertaste. The heat from the chillies begins to attack the back of my mouth but the burn effect is quite mild.

Labelling on the sauce indicates it’s to be a marinade not a condiment sauce so I’ve got to try it as such. Thyme is a great accompaniment to most meats but I particularly like it with lamb. Alas much as I suspect it would work really well with that I don’t have any lamb at home so instead I’ve to make do with marinating some peppered mackerel in the sauce.

Some hours later after marinating and cooking the fish, I get to taste it again. The sauce has done a good job in complementing the flavours of the mackerel. It cuts through the oiliness of the fish well and the thyme & lime flavours have really intermingled and work well together. The zesty of the lime is still there but not as sharp as uncooked. I have to say it whilst it tasted nice ‘neat’ from the jar, it tastes even better when cooked.

Overall a great tasting marinade sauce – one worth trying if you are looking for something with a more unusual flavour. Available from the Mad-Ass website at £5 for a 150ml bottle (as pictured) or £2 for a small 30ml taster.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(8/10)

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South Devon Chilli Farm have an interesting range of hot sauces and they like to keep things fairly simple on the ingredient list, preferring to let the chillies they grow there do the talking instead. The range runs from the Extreme Bhut Jolokia to the humble Jalapeño. The one on review here is the Aji Chilli Sauce.

Ingredients:

Fresh Aji Chillies (60%), Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice and Salt.

Bottle kindly supplied by South Devon Chilli Farm

That’s it, no exotic fruit or spices, instead just keeping it simple and there’s nothing wrong with that. The Aji chilli originated in the Americas and is used a lot in Peruvian cuisine; it has a citrus flavour with a medium heat level to it.

SDCF sauces come in smaller 100ml than are usually used and sit at around the £3.57 mark – if you want to try the six different sauces in this range, including the interesting 15 (a sauce made with no less than fifteen different chilli varieties), there’s a multipack for £18.

The bottle tells you all you need to know about the sauce with some suggestions to try it on chicken and fish. The label is clear and simple, just like the ingredients with a picture of a single Aji chilli on the front. It is a muddy orange colour and quite thin making pouring it out an easy affair.

Once the top is off the bottle the aromas that escape from the neck mostly seem to be the cider vinegar – there’s also a slightly sweet smell to it. On the spoon there are some seeds and flecks of chillies but not for long.

In the mouth there is initially a sweet flavour, quickly followed by a bitterer citrusy sting. The heat level is middling, it certainly won’t challenge the hardened chilli head, but it is a pleasant tongue tingle that soon mellows off leaving quite a refreshing almost fruity aftertaste with little hint of the more vinegary nose.

Given this sauce is very thin it doesn’t make much sense to be using it as a dipper but it would make a great ingredient for those dishes where a citrus zing would add just enough heat and flavour, such as the suggested fish dishes. In heartier cooking, the delicate flavours would probably get lost. Overall this is an interesting sauce and a worthy addition in the range – it’s nice to see simpler styles on the market so definitely give this one a go if you get the chance.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(4/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)

 

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