Happy tuesday again, everyone.
Last month we took a look at a good, hot scotch bonnet sauce given to me by ChimouliS so this time we’re going to see their milder side.
I have for you today, their medium heat Pear & Lemongrass sauce. Or, as their info sheet calls it, simply their Pear sauce.
Worth noting here is that the red shadowing to the name has changed to green to match the colour of the pears within and that the font size on the heat has dropped down a bit, now that it’s less necessary to warn people. Instead, that space is taken up by increasing the size of their little blurb in which they tell you how to use it. As a fruity dip, marinade or coulis.
Aside from that, though, their packaging is very consistent. The same bold text over the same faded old map background, all on the same gorgeous little bottle. There’s nothing special about the company’s logo design but their old-worldy background gives an air of traditionalism to the product and the bottles they’ve chosen, at least for their little gift-sized sauces, do look great.
I cannot speak for the regular sizes, however, as they have not sent me any.
What definitely remains consistent between both sizes, though, is the contents. The sauce itself.
This one is far thicker than their previous sauce but still pours steadily from the bottle. There is no danger of overdoing things with this one but nor is it hard to get it out. An excellent consistency for all three of its intended uses.
But, while it may poor smoothly, this sauce is not entirely smooth. It has that soft yet slightly gritty texture you find in pear purée, making it very apparent that this is a first ingredient pear sauce.
Which is, indeed, its primary taste.
It’s not the only taste, though, just as it’s not the only ingredient.
And among the other ingredients was something quite surprising. “burkina chilli”, something I’d never heard of before and I’m guessing you haven’t either. So I did some research and here’s what came up:
This chilli is a yellow variety that originated in Burkina Faso in Africa and is often considered to be an extra sweet, extra fruity strain of scotch bonnet. It is occasionally referred to as a type of habanero, though, and is in fact neither.
The yellow burkina is its own variety of pepper that just happens to share a heat level with those two. It’s sweet and it’s the last ingredient in this sauce for good reason. The few people I’ve found who have tried the chilli have all complained that, not only is it incredibly fruity, it’s so strongly so that it simply overpowers anything you try and pair it with.
But, by using it in such a tiny quantity, ChimouliS have managed to avoid that pitfall. Its burst of fruit flavour comes through weaker than the pear but stronger than the lemon drop, which is the main source of heat in this sauce. All three fruit are quite apparent and work well together.
This burkina chilli is not a flavour I was previously familiar with but it is definitely a welcome one. It melds perfectly with the citrus-tinged taste of the lemon drop and, while not quite like any other fruit I’ve tried, bears some similarity to mango and pineapple in its smooth and tropical elements. It both plays well with and is distinct from the predominant taste of pear.
There is, however, one last fruity taste that comes through here. The mild, grape flavour of white wine vinegar. It’s not as apparent as the others but its little touch of acidity is enough to take the edge off the sweetness of the fruit, while also helping to preserve them.
The only thing I don’t really notice that much is the lemongrass in the sauce’s name but there are still hints of it upfront. Which is how I like it. I’m personally not that big on lemongrass as a main flavour but, when it’s a tad more subtle, it can be rather pleasant.
Still, if this sauce is mostly fruit then it can’t be all that hot, right? Well, it’s not anything crazy but nor is it mild. The aji lemon drop is a medium heat chill and our yellow burkina is apparently up their with the scotch bonnet and habanero. There’s not a lot of either but this sauce still has enough to scrape the bottom end of a
A pleasant medium strength, as the bottle says it should be. Spice that gives a little warmth to the tip of my tongue and insides of my cheeks as the sauce passes through but doesn’t actually kick me until it reaches the throat. Nor is it fully present in every mouthful but it’s there enough that I can rate it with confidence none the less.
I feel like this sauce is far more about the flavour combination than its heat but the warmth is certainly a pleasant extra.
In the end, my main concern regarding this sauce is with how I would use something so sweet and fruity. The most obvious ideas that spring to mind are fairly niche uses like on fruit salad or as an ice cream topper but I think it might also make a good change from the usual sweet dips with chinese and thai food or be a fitting marinade for something light flavoured like tofu or chicken.
In addition, since fruity jams so often pair well with cheese, perhaps paneer or halloumi would be another option but I’m a little less certain on those.
Regardless of what you do with it, though, it’s well worth experimenting with as it really is quite lovely.