Hey folks, today we’re taking a look at a little something that’s been long overdue. The last of my freebies from Grim Reaper Foods. An item that I set aside for a while because Russel, the man behind the company, specifically told me that he didn’t mind when or if it got reviewed.
All he wanted from me was a post about the box it came in.
Well, I wrote reviews of the three things in it anyway any you’ve seen a couple crop up already. His oil and extract went up early because they were more unique kinds of products, at least among those that I’ve featured.
This last one, though, I’ve kept in reserve for when I needed something milder and greener.
It’s his Rookie Goblin and, as the name might imply, it bears some rather obvious relations to the raging one but we’ll get into what those are a little later. I really ought to focus on today’s feature first.
The Rookie Goblin is a green, leafy-looking sauce in an even greener bottle. Something which, right off the bat, gives us a good idea of what to expect.
It’s a green chilli sauce – A jalapeño one, in fact – and, as a result, liable to be one of the company’s mildest. Yet green chilli isn’t just a different heat. It also comes with a very distinctive flavour. One that’s often described as “grassy” and that pairs well with herbs.
Herbs that we can expect to see feature quite heavily, if the texture visible through the bottle’s neck is anything to go by.
Beyond its colour and what it leaves visible of the sauce, though, the label also fits both the “Rookie Goblin” name and the look of the Grim Reaper Foods lineup perfectly with its sinister central figure. One who looks a little goofy to make him as unthreatening as the sauce itself and seems to have been heavily inspired by comic books.
The black background and grey grim reaper cloak return from the company’s other products but, this time, there are no flames around the sides and only the cloak’s hood can be seen in this closeup.
A hood that does a remarkably good job of mimicking the wrap-around purple hat worn by Spiderman’s Green Goblin.
And, sure, that isn’t exactly who this character is. It’s a little off on some details, like the length of the ears and the exact shape of the chin but the angled, yellow, half-moon eyes and bright white grin make it oh so reminiscent of that old cheesy supervillain.
A vibe that combines the company’s evil motif with enough goofiness to remind us that this isn’t a sauce to be afraid of. A perfect fit for what was, at the time I was sent it, officially their mildest product. Though, as someone who’s dream has always been to fill that cheesy supervillain role, I might be a tiny bit biased here.
Regardless, it’s a simpler design than what we’ve seen from other items like their chocolate and the Vengeance oil that I mentioned above but it’s no less impressive for it. The Rookie Goblin is just as impactful and able to stand out as the Reaper’s other designs and the bold colours and line work that let it do so are only further enhanced by the way its metallic green draws attention to the face.
It’s excellent to look at but I was, when I first laid eyes on it, a little sceptical all the same.
You see, this came to me in Grim Reaper Foods’ specially selected thai gift box that they sent me. Yet it’s not a green sweet chilli like Devon Chilli Man’s or another green sriracha. It’s a more normal, herby jalapeño sauce.
And sure, the thai people use a lot of jalapeños – They are, in fact, the world’s biggest consumer of the chilli – but their main use for them is in a more traditional red sriracha.
To my surprise, though, my research tells me that they do, in fact, use them green as well. Typically in cooking and with something a little fruity mixed in. Occasionally even pickled.
They don’t, to the best of my knowledge, make condiments out of the green jalapeño in thailand but the orange, lime and cider vinegar content of today’s product might be a little more authentic than I first thought.
Let’s give it a go:
And here’s the full ingredients list to appreciate while you look over my photo:
Cyder Vinegar, Jalapeño Chilli (22%), Orange, Lime, Sugar, Sping Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Coriander, Spinach, Sea Salt, Oil.
On the spoon you can instantly see the thick, chunky, herb-filled texture of the sauce but, even before that, its citrus smell really makes itself known. It’s quite surprising just how strong the aroma is but it’s a good one and it immediately makes me think of pairing it with coconut.
A great start for that thai theme but how does it taste?
The Rookie Goblin is herby and fresh flavoured, with the jalapeño clearly present, but it’s also nice and light. There’s no need to worry about it overpowering anything but it’ll still hold its own when with a meal.
It is somewhat on the tart side, from its blend of citrus, but it’s refreshing, rather than off-puttingly sour, and many dishes will welcome such a tang.
My first thought there would be macaroni cheese but that’s just because it’s what I first have most greener sauces with. The zestiness of the fruit here would actually go really well cooked into the fried rice you have on the side of a chinese, indian or thai dish and it works excellently as a pour on for fish cakes.
When describing this sauce to friends, several of them have asked “can you taste the orange?” because, while we all know how well lime goes with green chillies, combining them with orange is a little more unusual and hard to imagine.
The simple answer to this question is “yes” but to say just that would be misleading. This sauce doesn’t have a specific orange flavour to it but nor does it taste specifically of lime. The major citrus component of this sauce is a combination of the two fruits, blending into one and becoming something that pairs a lot better with the green taste of the chillies, coriander and spinach than the orange would on its own.
It’s tangy, it’s fresh and it’s totally unique, while still doing everything a jalapeño sauce should. But, like almost every other such product, it’s also very mild. A
on my scale, just warming the back of the tongue a tiny amount.
I definitely like this sauce and certainly wouldn’t consider the low heat to be a problem with it but some of Grim Reaper Foods’ other customers have disagreed with me there.
For them, it’s his half a million scoville extract or perhaps even something higher that they use to heat his sauce up. For me, though, if I had to, I’d use his less concentrated extract. His equally green Raging Goblin.
Its similar ingredients of green jalapeño and lime will overpower some of the sauce’s subtler notes, like those of the spinach and coriander, but they’ll also enhance the Rookie’s chilli and fruit content so the two seem almost meant for each other.
Whether you’re amping it up or not, though, this one’s a must try for jalapeño fans.