Yeah, rocoto sounds like a plan. I'll see if I can get hold of the hotter Jalapeno strains too. Orange Habs are certainly on the list along with the hottest seed I can get, for sauces and giggles ......
I've got Reapers, Scorpions, Jigsaws and so on if that's the kind of thing you're after but do be prepared. Gloves are mandatory for any fresh super because the juices just don't wash off.
In terms of possible grow ideas, Poblanos are pretty good for stuffing but they're more a replacement for bells than an actual chilli, IMO. Big Jims are even larger and basically just giant Jalapeños so could make for some rather entertaining stuffed pepper meals (one giant Jalapeño popper per person). Cherry Bombs are definitely goodies and Rocotos, while something I've not tried myself, are the same shape and very strongly recommended for stuffing and many other uses.
For a bit hotter, Pot Blacks may work as stuffing peppers, while I'm quite partial to dried Pequins for their slightly cherry smoked flavour and Lemon Drops as a salad pepper or powdered to add a bright fruitiness to curries.
I also really like Orange Habs but, after that, we start talking supers.
Best Aji Lemon Drop thing I've had was Grim Reaper Foods' Alchemy sweet chilli sauce. I won't say too much now because it's an upcoming review but it was excellent. As, for that matter, was The Chilli Alchemist's Melliculous Aji.
Odd that it doesn't show up in the US but I can see what you mean about that slight bacatum green note when eaten raw or in some sauces.
Never seen anyone use the Pineapple over here but it's only very subtly different.
Tabasco has a Raspberry Chipotle? Interesting. I've never even heard of that or seen it. I actually really like their original chipotle.
Their original Chipotle doesn't quite do it for me, personally, but my dad loves the stuff. Raspberry Chipotle is basically just it bulked out (with extra chilli to keep the same heat) and put into a double size bottle with raspberry, pomegranate and blueberry concentrates. I've only ever seen it in germany, hence why it hasn't made my blog, but it's damn good.
Hey, I have a thing for the lesser known Tabasco flavours, I won't judge you.
If you've never tried anything else then that feels a little sad but if you know what's out there, appreciate the differences and still like a mainstream supermarket sauce, there's nothing wrong with that.
For me, green Tabasco has a pure, aged Green Jalapeño taste that I just don't see elsewhere, while the combination of smokey and sweet fruit in their Raspberry Chipotle is rare but does occassionally show up in things like Hot Plot Chilli Co's TNT. I tend not to go for mainstream sauces that don't do something unique but, if they do what you like then you get a sauce you like at a fraction of the cost and there's noreason to feel ashamed about that.
Not that it's actually that powerful of a heat but doesn't it sound like a cheesy Sci-Fi Villain?
This one, however, is intended to improve your health, not end it like that mighty space emperor, and it looks to do so by combining the antibacterial properties of chilli and garlic with lemon juice's vitamin c and a good deal of fresh herbs.
It was the first of Chilli Pepper Pete's sauces and even pre-dates the formation of the company.
Its labelling reflects this, being the simplest of their range with little more than their logo, its name and a brief description of the product.
Yet, despite its simplicity, the bold red from which the name is cut out stands out well from the bright yellowy green background that represents the sauce's flavour. A sharp, green taste with a fair bit of citrus, if its description is to be believed.
To find out if it lives up to its promises, I poured myself a spoonful.
Half liquid, half paste, this sauce doesn't seem to have stayed together too well but a good stir will sort that out nicely.
I can smell the citrus and herbs right away, with the cumin coming through just a little less powerfully than the strong coriander but it's a little less noticeable still in the taste, as the garlic content really makes itself known. This is very strong flavoured product.
Interestingly, though, the leafy herbs seem to have enough green, grassy flavour between them to transform the citrus elements from the lemon they actually are into something tasting rather more of lime. Which certainly works for this sauce.
And as for the chillies themselves, it uses the green thai sort, matching the colour of the other ingredients. They don't to the flavour of this sauce, though, being rather overpowered by everything else, but they do give it a nice, respectable
on the tongue that lingers as it dies away.
It's a pleasant medium burn that remains for long enough to be good and warming should you need it but this zingy sauce, or “zauce” as the company have dubbed it, is definitely more about its flavour. A strong flavour that apparently hails from the Arab country of Yemen.
That would technically make it Asian-styled but the taste of this product strikes me as much more reminiscent of north African cuisine, with its garlic and cumin providing a powerful backnote to its otherwise rather fresh flavour.
It has all the lime and coriander you'd expect from a jalapeño sauce but the jalapeño itself isn't there and that backnote gives it a very different feel overall.
It's not bad in the least but the sheer strength of its flavour takes a little getting used to. I would not use Pete's Zhoug as a pour on sauce but, thinned down a bit, it would make an excellent sauce for fish and maybe for chicken.
I also feel like it would be quite at home in a good few Moroccan and Tunisian dishes, as part of a unique pesto or maybe, just maybe, with Indian food. It does, after all, seem uniquely suited to pairing with lentils and chickpeas.
And, as for it being good for you, I wouldn't purchase artisan chilli sauce just for the health benefits myself but its ingredients sure do look like the thing to fight off a cold. When all blocked up, I could see myself eating this straight, if only to get some flavour back into my life.
I usually grow one type of no heat pepper, last year I grew Trinidad Perfume. This year I am growing a variety called Sweet Heat. I find them very useful especially if you are making Habanero Jelly and such because adding say too many Habs to a batch of jelly makes it to hot for most people but say 1-2 habs and the rest Trin Perfume and I get the intense Hab Flavor I like and not so much heat that normal non chili-heads cannot eat it.
This week's blog post is a little break amidst a flurry of free samples to look at some sauces that really interested me. And, since it was as cheap to get the travel set as a single full sized bottle, I figured why not get and review them all at the same time?
Hello again everyone, today we’re taking a look at The Ribman’s sauces. All of them.
Because he doesn’t really make three different sauces, just the same one with slightly differing chilli content. And that chilli content doesn’t change the flavour anywhere near as massively as it did for the Melliculus Popping Candy.
But, while it is just three heats of one sauce, it’s a very interesting one that showcases a recent trend, allows me to explain some flavour science and provides an experience like little else.
If you don’t mind a bit of strong language, click that Continue Reading button and I’ll show you what I’m talking about.*
This is what he calls his “Holy Trinity”, three bottles of sauce labelled “Holy Fuck”, “Christ on a Bike” and, the max heat, “Holy Mother of God”.
They’re all scotch bonnet and dorset naga sauces and they all technically contain extract but not the sort you’re thinking of. The Ribman doesn’t use chemically concentrated heat but rather the purified juice of green jalapeños. For extra flavour.
In terms of their packaging, they’ve come to me in what he calls a travel pack of 100ml plastic containers. The full sized versions look to be in glass bottles but I prefer what I got, for reasons I’ll explain later. For now, let’s look at the labels.
These are made from clear plastic too, really allowing the look of the sauce to take the spotlight but still having enough print on them to easily distinguish the three.
Holy f**k goes for the look of an old family crest with its shield outline and “The Rib Man” banner but the name of the sauce extends well past the edges of this, making it stand out even more than its bold text otherwise would.
There’s a heat scale on the side and tiny twin hammers crossing each other above the name but that’s otherwise it. It’s simple and it’s elegant but it doesn’t tell us much about the contents. It also doesn’t do much visually to compliment the name, though I think we can all guess why that might be.
Unlike Holy Mother of God, which embraces its name fully. It takes the exclamation and runs with it, placing an image of Saint Mary front and centre, between two banners that together form the product title.
But between her and the topmost banner, we see those hammers again, this time within a black circle that acts as Mary’s halo. And this clues us in to the fact that there’s more to this label than initially meets the eye.
That’s not Jesus she’s carrying, for one. It’s not even a swaddled baby but rather a disproportionately large bottle of sauce. And her wings? They’re the ribs she’s meant to go on.
It’s a clever little design but one that sadly comes out rather pixilated when forced into black and white with no mid shades.
And then we have my favourite design, the mid heat, Christ on a Bike. It’s not so cleverly done or anything, it is just literally Christ, on a bike, driving towards the viewer out of a white oval. All contained within a black rectangle that holds the sauce’s name and, when the same hammer circle is placed on the top, is oddly reminiscent of a phone booth.
It’s nothing fancy and, at this size, the hammers don’t even print properly but it’s whimsical. It’s just so silly and I love it for that.
Of the range, only the hottest tells us anything about the sauce from its artwork and even that is no more than we could get from the company name. They do, however, show us exactly what the sauce looks like with their clear bottles and heavy use of transparency.
They’re a wonderful bright orange from the combination of red chillies, dried tomatoes and yellowy olive oil. And we can see the herbs in them, making it oh so clear how thick these sauces are.
In fact, if they weren’t in squeezable plastic containers, I would have had a lot of trouble getting these onto my spoons.
From left to right, we see them in heat order. First Holy f**k, then Christ on a Bike and finally Holy Mother of God. The difference is quite interesting.
While they are all smooth, thick sauces, Christ on a Bike is just a little bit chunkier than the rest due to its extra chillies and, curiously, Holy Mother of God, despite having still more, is smooth again. It does, however, have a touch of red oil that the others don’t possess, hinting at a greater quantity of chilli juices within.
But, before I sit down and try these, it’s time for that science I promised you. These sauces, unlike the vast majority made in the UK, contain a good deal of olive oil. An ingredient that has recently started becoming popular in America but has, so far, hardly popped up on our shores.
What’s the significance of it? Well, it changes the texture. Completely.
You see, while we talk about layered “tastes” all the time, there are in fact only five that our tongue can detect: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and china’s favourite, the savoury meaty “umami”. Everything else comes from our sense of smell. Nearly everything, anyway.
Spiciness comes from natural chemicals that trigger the tongue’s heat sensors and creaminess comes into play when the tongue is coated with something so fine it can’t pick out the individual particles.
Usually, this would be some kind of melt in the mouth fat like cocoa butter or actual cream but, by adding oil to a chilli sauce, you end up with the resulting product blending down into a fine emulsion. A mix of ever so tiny particles that stay together not because they are bound to each other but because they are too closely surrounded by the particles that repel them to escape in any particular direction.
It’s the same trick that gives mayonnaise its creaminess and it works just as well here.
While I find the shear thickness of The Ribman’s sauces makes it a touch harder to appreciate, they do indeed both feel and even “taste” creamy. But that’s not even close to the extent of their flavour.
No, their flavour is intense, with the scotch bonnet coming through very strongly and some interesting olive notes coming from the oil but supported by their green jalapeño extract. And the scotch bonnets themselves are supported in flavour slightly by the nagas but also by the umami-rich dried tomato.
Yet it isn’t just the tomato that brings umami to the table as they all include some yeast extract to further boost its prominence, without going overboard and giving us that dark, salty flavour. And, while that’s the most prominent here out of the five things our tastebuds are set to pick up, all but sour are technically present in these sauces, though the bitterness of the dorset nagas is easily offset by the addition of sugar.
The maker hasn’t put enough in here to turn the sauces truly sweet but you can see its effects by comparing the range. Holy f**k does have some slight sweetness going on, while the extra nagas in Holy Mother of God bring it down so much that the sauce becomes properly savoury and the herbs become a bit more noticeable.
Not that I could tell you exactly what those herbs are because their leafiness blends rather well into the olive-like aspects of the sauces. At a guess, however, I would say that one of them is probably bay or curry leaf.
Likewise, the garlic and onions feel a little hidden beneath the rich, heavy, creamy chilli and umami overtones but they are certainly there, rounding the sauces out.
Yet there’s one thing I’m definitely not getting from this sauce, even in the slightest, and it’s usually a main ingredient. Vinegar. These sauces are entirely vinegar free and not only that but free from any major acids.
It’s a pleasant change but, without any other preservatives, these are going to have a short usage time once opened. Perhaps the three weeks and mandatory refrigeration mentioned on the bottles is actually true this time.
Regardless, these are good sauces that combine chilli flavour and heat with strong, rich dried notes and a thick, creamy texture. They are more spreadable than pourable but definitely worth the effort. However, despite them being completely vegan, they are clearly meant for strong flavoured meats.
They will go on ribs, they will go on burgers, they will go amazingly well on hog roast and they may well even find a home on ham sandwiches or peperoni pizza but I simply cannot imagine using them for any vegetarian purpose besides adding flavour to a creamy pasta sauce.
Not to belittle that particular use, mind you. Just some of one of these and a good helping of double cream will simmer down into an excellent linguine sauce that can, if you’re not veggie, be improved yet further by some small crab or bacon pieces.
And, should you want to go the other way and avoid all animal products, The Ribman’s range have enough creaminess of their own that you could easily achieve similar results with another thickish liquid like coconut milk.
In terms of heat, they’re not the strongest naga sauces I’ve tried but the way the scotch bonnet hits first and the dorset nagas follow up as they’re beginning to die down does produce a very pleasant two stage burn which, for the Holy f**k, peaks at the very top of a
that transitions from a slightly weaker mid tongue flame to that classic naga back of the throat burn.
It’s more like a scotch bonnet sauce with a little extra than it is a dorset naga sauce and it’s not even quite as hot as the hottest of scotch bonnet sauces. It is still hot though and it’s very enjoyable.
Christ on a Bike then ups this to a mid
that, just as you think it’s over, has one final punch left in it. A blast of hard and fierce naga throat burn that really pushes the upper limit of that number.
And The Ribman’s hottest, the Holy Mother of God, tingles the tongue a bit more before blazing its way backwards and growing to a fairly serious
that makes the nagas known.
All of these sauces are a little slow to peak and have a similarly slow fade afterwards but, while the other two are a nice lingering glow, Holy Mother of God still feels like it’s raging away for a good minute or so after the hottest point. They’re not the longest lasting burn I’ve ever had but they’re definitely not fleeting, either.
All three qualify as hot but they go from a supermarket’s top end but tastier to ghost pepper levels that truly reflect their specialist chilli content.
Realistically, I would say that there’s very little reason to get them all if you know your heat tolerance. They’re so very similar to each other that, if you’ve tried one, you’ve practically tried them all.
If you want something rich, strong flavoured and quite clearly scotch bonnet to slather on meat, though, any one of these will tick every box and do it with a uniquely creamy texture.
I would certainly recommend one of them but, while Christ on a Bike is my personal favourite for both flavour and label design, there’s so little in it that it’d be better to just get the heat that most suits your palate.
*Appologies for the contextually irrelevant 4th wall break, these posts aren't really written with you guys in mind. I just share them because I like you.
Basically what's stated here. Chilli plants are loosely related to Nightshade and do, therefore, contain small amounts of the same or similar nicotinoids in their foliage.
I have, however, both read about and witnessed several people eating them to no obvious ill effects (to the people at least).
I'm pretty sure it's like cinnamon extract where a combination of being techinically poisonous in extremely high doses and being connected to something spicy makes the general populace freak out. So many people still think that chillies actually burn you and can spontaneously combust if they grow too strong.