Welcome back, everyone, to the fourth in my series of Mahi Fine Food products.
This time around, I bring you the hottest from that box you saw before – Their “Green Savi”.
This is the reason that I got in touch with the company. Not to ask for anything from them but simply to enquire about the chilli that they used.
Because, while it wasn’t outright stated anywhere on the bottle or on their website, the word “savi” certainly sounded like the kind of shorthand that you might use if you wanted to avoid the colour and copyright associated with the “red savina”. A chilli that was once considered the hottest in the world and is still arguably the hottest of habaneros.
So to see it take centre stage like this in something from such a seemingly mainstream company was quite the shock. Especially when it turned out they had it in both red and green.
Almost as much of a shock, in fact, as when they decided to send me it free of charge.
And they did confirm my suspicions. It is, indeed, the red savina in here, picked early before its namesake colour or any of its sweeter, fruitier flavour elements develop.
Not that you’d know that from the ingredients list:
Vinegar, Green chilli (20%), Salt, Modified Starch, Onions and mixed Spices (contains MUSTARD)
All that really tells us is that this sauce is green and quite highly vinegar based. Though I will say, twenty percent is a pretty decent amount of habanero.
It gives me hope that Mahi’s “3” rating might be a good bit hotter than their 2.
Yet, aside from that, the only difference between the label on this one and that on their Red Jala is its nice, bright, grassy green background.
If that colour was truly indicative of the sauce’s flavour, it would probably be a vibrant, fresh-tasting green chilli product with a touch of floral or even citrus notes.
But it’s not.
Instead, as its ingredients suggested, this is a sharp one, with the spirit vinegar itself its most noticeable flavour. Not to mention it being quite easily apparent in the sauce’s relatively thin consistency.
It’s fairly acidic upfront because of that but hints of onion do break on through to compliment its other main flavour – The curious taste of a much paler green chilli than our usual jalapeño fare.
The pepper is a little less heavy on the chlorophyll or, to put it in unscientific terms, less “grassy”. It’s quite noticeably salted, yet not unpleasantly so and, despite being a secondary source of bold, sharp taste, it’s also somewhat mellowed underneath.
Honestly, its a little hard to explain exactly what it is that makes this chilli unique but the overall flavour of the sauce is far more easily summarised:
It’s slightly salty, pickled green chilli, without any obvious herbs or any of the more herb-like elements of the jalapeño.
And it’s also surprisingly strong for something that colour. The savinas are clearly pulling their weight, since this sauce packs the same low
as some of the purest habanero and/or scotch bonnet sauces that I’ve ever tried, even without having ripened fully.
The burn’s as sharp as the taste, too. It’s a fairly quick rise and fall, as it strikes across the upper back of my mouth, but it still manages to light a secondary, much lower level flame that lingers long after the bulk of the fire is gone.
I don’t have a lot of uses lined up for this one, since I don’t normally enjoy a sauce so vinegar heavy. Yet, for some reason, I find that taste far more tolerable in a green sauce than in a red one like Diemen’s.
Things I do think would work with it are white fish (especially grilled), stir fries, something simple and citrusy like lemon rice and maybe, just maybe, tacos piled high with fresh veg.
I do rather enjoy a simple green sauce – One that doesn’t hide its pepper with herbs – and if you do, too, this product fills that role well, with an unusually satisfying burn to boot.