Happy halloween everyone, this week we’re looking at what some might consider a true nightmare of a creature, the megalodon.
With its bold, cracked, red and white lettering between the jaws of that prehistoric super shark, this sauce looks fierce. Yet, while its claim of having “a LOT of BITE” proved true on camera, the product’s theming makes the warning seem almost humorous.
So it’s a good thing Upton Cheyney Chilli Farm reinforce the message with a classic black and yellow warning sign. One like you might see beside dangerous waters, though my own first thoughts with such objects will always be in the realms of mad science.
It’s a wonderful, bold design that definitely drives home the point – that this is a sauce to be careful with – without losing its identity or sense of fun in the process. And the added contrast of the light blue ocean spray that wraps around behind the ingredients list (just about visible on the left) is simply icing on the cake.
The megalodon’s label is almost perfect. The one thing I can find to criticise is that you can’t ever quite see the whole name at once. A bit of a problem if you want it as a collection piece or are trying to sell it in stores but a complete non-issue at more spread out market stalls or for its main audience: People who actually eat sauce this hot.
It’s not something that will bother most people but, having had to photograph it twice for this review, it’s something that I still feel obliged to bring up.
Aside from that, its an incredible design, which I’m sure has been enough to sell bottles of this beastie on numerous occasions.
But, besides the very occasional novelty item, I don’t buy my sauces for their looks. I buy them for the flavour and fire that they promise and no promise is truer than that made by a free sample.
I bought this bottle after trying the sauce at Reading Chilli Fest but received a second recently when I took a look at october’s Flaming Licks box.
I’ve tried it twice now so I know it’s a great sauce and, if you’ve been keeping up to date with my work, I’m sure you’ve heard as much. Today, however, I’m going into detail on why.
But, before I do, the sauce itself does have one all too obvious flaw. Its consistency is practically that of water, causing it to flow from the bottle at a dangerously fast rate.
It took no time at all to fill my spoon with this
sauce and that’s pretty worrying.
Something this strong should not be this easy to overuse.
Yet, while obviously not as extreme as its heat, it does possess enough flavour to go along with it.
If you can handle the burn, this sauce provides a smooth, sweet, gentle fruitiness with its blend of sweetened red onions and mango, further enhanced by some surprisingly subtle red wine vinegar. But that’s not all.
The chilli that gives it that fierce firepower is the very last ingredient, meaning that neither me nor my friend on film were expecting much from it, but this pepper is just as strong in flavour as it is in its heat.
Its taste comes in hard and fast, having some slightly more berry like elements and a little touch of the carolina reaper’s signature sourness but, above all, strongly resembling that of the trinidad moruga scorpion.
It’s got that same acidic fruitiness to it, which puts it in direct contrast to the rest of the sauce, but its a contrast that works in the megalodon’s favour. As well as the conflict being smoothed over slightly by a dash of elderberry juice.
Elderberry isn’t the only juice in here, though, and you can tell. The addition of blood orange really helps to support whatever pepper that Upton Cheyney Chilli Farm have used.
One that they list simply as “7-Pot habanero”.
Now, habaneros are hot but the hottest sauce I’ve had from them was a four point five. This is more than half as hot again. It is not a habanero sauce. It’s a sauce with a chinense type chilli in it and Upton Cheyney, like at least one other company I’ve worked with (we’ll delve more into that later), will call any non-naga of its kind a habanero.
7-Pot, though? That means something.
It means that this pepper falls into the main group of non-scorpion supers from trinidad: The 7-Pot/Pod chillies.
Which one of those exactly, I can’t say but it’s not got the typical just below ghost heat and citrus fruitiness of the standard yellow sort. It tastes like a red pepper and hits like a reaper, with hints of the same sourness and leftward leaning heat.
If I had to guess, I’d say it was the 7-Pot Primo we saw in CaJohn’s Hydra.
It’s fierce, it’s fruity and it makes a great tasting sauce suitable for chicken, duck, spring rolls and maybe even desert. Just be careful how you use it ’cause it comes out far too fast.
For those of you who’re conscious of such things, this item contains honey and therefore isn’t vegan. It is, however, vegetarian and eagerly reassures us that no megalodons were made extinct during its production.
It’s the little things like this that make me smile.