Hey again, folks. Last week we looked at a green sauce made mostly out of fruit and the two weeks before that we looked at fruity red chilli blends so, this time, to change things up a bit, we’re looking at something fruit-free and yellow.
Or at least, free from any non-pepper fruit:
Today’s item is Hot-Headz’ Naga Mustard sauce from their “Who Dares Burns” range – A superhot take on a classic mustard and chilli sauce. Which is a style I don’t feel like I feature nearly often enough.
It’s got a wonderfully enticing, slightly orangey, very yellowy, golden-brown hue to it, reflected in its “Naga Mustard” name, but very little else unique about its packaging. Its sweating red chilli with steel wings and the company logo pressed onto it is used across the entire range, just like the black and grey “Who Dares Burns” banner.
The barbed wire explosion behind that pepper and the dark navy background on which it all rests definitely contrasts well with the colour of the sauce inside and gives the bottle a dangerous, imposing feel but that’s about all it does.
So let’s see what cracking it open can tell us:
In terms of consistency, this one is thin and free flowing. It fills my spoon in no time at all so I’d recommend a little care when pouring it.
Once it’s there, though, we can get a better look at the shreds of red ghost pepper and habanero that provide the majority of the sauce’s heat but, you know what? I can’t smell them at all.
No, what’s coming through on the nose is sweet acidity, with an earthy, fragrant spice tang of mustard and turmeric.
And it is, when it comes to the tasting, a sweeter mustard sauce than some. Not properly sweet but it does, at least, have enough sweetness to stop it from getting that dry, almost bitter flavour that mustard can have.
Yet it’s still undeniably mustard forward and that, paired with its acetic acid* does lend a pleasant tang to its finish.
Looking past that signature ingredient, though, the mid point of the experience comes with a little red chilli depth from the other namesake one, the naga, and that tangy ending is accompanied by a tasty blend of dried herbs. Assuming that you don’t find its strong, long-lingering and incredibly throaty
too overpowering to taste them.
It does exactly what it says on the label, blending the flavour of a mustard sauce with most, if not quite all, of the heat of a first ingredient ghost pepper one. But it also does a little bit more, throwing in subtlety that only those with a particularly high chilli tolerance are going to appreciate.
It doesn’t replace other, somewhat mustardy favourites like <Solaris> or the <Fatalii Attraction> but it is, hands down, my favourite mustard-centric sauce.
What really sells me on it, though, is not so much that subtlety at the end as the subtlety at the beginning. Another herbal note from its rosemary but a more perfumed one that leads you gently into the earthy floral of the mustard and then the heat. An unexpected addition but an oh so welcome one.
It’ll definitely help the sauce in pairing with a roast and, while many will tell you that a truly fine steak should be enjoyed without the distraction of a sauce, a merely good one will most certainly benefit from something with such a herb and mustard flavour.
But that’s not all that it’ll go with and, for more vegetarian applications, it goes great with cheese (as any good mustard sauce should) or over a spanish omelette.
Plus, while the herb content of Hot-Headz’ sauce allows it to pair better with roast meats than most mustard ones do, cold cuts, especially of things like ham, will still be a perfect fit.
When all’s said and done, today’s sauce gets a big thumbs up from me and, while it’s definitely only for those who want super hot, it’s worth a try even if mustard isn’t something that you’d normally go out of your way for.
Here’s the ingredients list:
Water, Roasted Crushed Habanero Chillies, Naga Jolokia Chillies (20%), Mustard Powder, Onion, Sugar, Salt, Corn Starch, Acetic Acid*, Turmeric, Basil, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary Powders.
*I know that I’ve said this before but, just so that we’re clear, acetic acid is nothing more than the functional part of vinegar. It’s a totally harmless and natural preservative.