Nuclear Meltdown

Hello again spice lovers, today’s product is for the extreme.

And it’s one that I’ve mentioned before, during my (now outdated) look at the upcoming challengers for the “world’s hottest” crown.

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This is Critical Mass “Ultimate Hot Sauce”, the strongest non-extract product that Burning Desire Foods produce and one of their very few that use more than one type of chilli.

In this case, what we see is a surprising pairing of carolina reaper and one of the chillies aiming to surpass it, Fatalii Gourmet’s jigsaw pepper. A chilli combo that features heavily in the product’s theming.

Many companies seem to favour the term “nuclear” over “super hot”, despite it having less actual meaning, and Burning Desire have really played that up here.

Everything from the name to the picture, the blurb on the back and even the heat rating fits into this sauce’s atomic styling. Hell, they even trademarked the name “Isotope X33” just to describe their blend of peppers.

And, of course, the word I’ve been avoiding until this very line is the one that brings the word play to its satisfying conclusion. The combination of two superhot chillies is, technically speaking, nuclear fusion.

This may raise a question for a few of you. Isn’t critical mass a term used in fission, not fusion?

Well, as it turns out, critical mass simply refers to the mass of radioactive material needed to produce the energy required to start the reaction over and trigger a chain event. Whether you’re splitting atoms or combining them has no affect on the phrase’s use.

The science is accurate!

Yet, despite the awesome theming of this product, it actually looks pretty mediocre on camera.

Why? Because it uses at least four different kinds of gold on its label, with a gradual fade between two that produces even more mid shades. I did my best but it’s near impossible to photograph well.

It does, however, look stunning against the orange of the sauce in person and I love the little, flaming, winged chilli logo of the company up top.

But that’s enough of what it is and what it looks like. It’s time to see just how this blend of fruit and supers interacts on my tongue.

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It’s a smooth, pulpy sauce, neither too thick nor too thin, with only some small shreds and a seed or two to hint at its chilli content. It flows well but remains controllable, as something that promises such heat needs to.

Its texture is excellent, both in the bottle and in my mouth but that’s not what I’m thinking about when I eat it.

No, my thoughts are mostly on the pain I’m feeling, spreading backwards across the roof of my mouth, down to the back of my throat and, finally, across the left hand side of my tongue.

It’s clearly a reaper sauce from the leftward lean and that distinctive sourness I’m getting from it but the throaty and roof of the mouth parts are something different. The jigsaw, I presume, really pulling its weight here.

Because, while this sauce is only 35% chilli in total, compared to the 60% reaper in South Devon Chilli Farm’s range topper, it actually tastes just a tiny bit hotter.

Not enough so that I can’t still call its



but enough that I can tell that there’s a difference.

Fatalii Gourmet’s jigsaw is the real deal but Burning Desire are no slouches, either. They’ve really brought out the heat of this sauce but also worked with two quite different chilli flavours. The mellow, almost spiced taste of the carolina reaper and the acidic, half scorpion, somewhat floral one of their chosen challenger.

Yet, despite their differences, a smaller sample confirms that they do, indeed, get along quite happily in this sauce. All thanks to the gentle fruitiness and unsubtle tang of its main ingredient, passion fruit pulp.

And here’s the rest of list for you, too:

Passionfruit puree, yellow peppers, cider vinegar, Carolina Reaper chilli (20%), Jigsaw Chilli (15%) mango puree, Charleston peppers, dried apricot, agave syrup, onion, garlic, sea salt, organic citric acid.

Of course, passionfruit and reaper make for quite the sour combination but that’s where the onion, agave syrup and roasted yellow pepper come in, as an attempt to sweeten it naturally. Along with some mango and apricot that not only do the same but also contribute to the smooth fruit flavour and texture of the sauce.

As I mentioned above, I don’t think that they’ve succeeded in fully countering its sour side but they have subdued it a fair amount and pairing it with food will tend to do the rest. At which point, its flavour is definitely that of a great passion fruit, pepper and mango sauce.

I would be a lot more inclined to use this than the last ten out of ten we looked at and think it would make a great marinade for chicken or paneer.

It also works wonders in mayo for a hot and fruity dip, where it’s second in flavour only to the Fatalii Attraction. And I’d be very surprised if it weren’t the ideal way to liven up an underwhelming dansak.

I’m almost certain you won’t find a hotter, all natural fruit sauce and I doubt that anything can match this and not just taste of pure chilli or extract thereof.

If you want a record level sauce with a more out there taste, you won’t find better than this creation of Burning Desire’s.

8 thoughts on “Nuclear Meltdown

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