Chillies are good for you; they energise you and are a natural pain killer. Get used to them and you will see the benefits. For me, the first and most important aspect of these Chilli No. 5 sauces is that I experienced flavour and the impression that they had just been made in a kitchen and passed to me. They tasted clean, as if the ingredients were homemade. I am not overloaded with a sensation of salt, a common thing in hot sauces, and no bitterness. The amount or extent of the heat doesn’t’ bother me as I eat the hottest chillies I can find and buy the hottest sauces I can find to ignite a pizza or a curry. I’m all for That. Someone who is handy in the kitchen can take a standard ghost chilli sauce off their supermarket shelf and add some flavour to it if they wish, I’ve done that myself many a time as I get the impression many companies seem to produce something that is simply hot and stick five chilli symbols or five stars and the words ‘extra hot’ on the bottle as if it were a competition. I take on that challenge a lot, and that’s fine if you want to blow your own head off or play a chilli trick on someone else, but it’s just about the heat. It’s just about labelling a sauce as the hottest. The question I then ask is “Okay, it’s hot, I wanted hot, maybe the hottest for the mood I’m in, but what have you done about flavour?”. I take it back home and add garlic, mustard and anything I feel with enhance it. These five sauces didn’t need that.
The ‘Forever Phall’ sauce would be welcome in any of my homemade curries. Immediately upon tasting it my instinct was that it would enhance a curry dish heavy with onions and lentils. The ‘Sriracha Cha Cha Cha’ surprised me because this is not a sauce or type of sauce I enjoy, but again I could visualise a meal it would complement. It would work well in a stir fry, as would the ‘Chinese Hot and Sour’, which was my favourite as it had plenty of flavour, a soft and sour aftertaste with an initial classy heat. It worked beautifully with my homemade mushroom and onion cheese sauce. The ‘Wicked Wasabi’ was not what I expected at all. Wasabi is usually a very hot addition to your meal, but this gave you heat and flavour, plenty of flavour.
The sauce that I felt deserved much praise was the ‘Ever so English’. I for one don’t think of root vegetables or any type of English meal that cries out hot sauce as a likely addition, though this doesn’t stop me on a day-to-day basis as I love chillies, but this brave choice not only used Beetroot, which is an overpowering flavour in itself, but used it subtly and successfully. This sauce is sweet with a bit of heat! Impressive. This will be used in my Sunday roast, was delicious with fresh beans, kale, celeriac chips, sweet potato chips, and roast potatoes.
Because Chilli No.5 appear to know what they are doing I would say to them get me a hot sauce dedicated to garlic. Smoked garlic, wild garlic or black garlic are the cream of the crop for any sauce I attempt to make at home and I feel they would achieve it comfortably with these examples of their work.
When it comes to hot sauce, remember why we buy sauces in the first place. We buy them to add flavour to a meal. What are chips without ketchup or mayo? Why do we have mustards, vinegars, dips and dressings? Make something hot but not at the expense or sacrifice of flavour, otherwise it’s pointless, all you’ve accomplished is overpowering a meal and destroying any chance of taste. These sauces have heat but have been made to compliment a dish, meal, or snack, not take over it, exactly what a sauce should do.
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