Hey there folks, today we’ve got a little surprise freebie. A certain something from a company that needed no special introduction post because they only make the one product.
It’s an interesting one, though, and a pretty big name to boot:
This is Matt Tangent’s Bang Bang Chilli Oil and I’ve been wanting to talk about it for a while but there’s a second little something today that I’ve wanted to mention for even longer: The little bottle on the side that inspired Matt’s signature creation.
What you see here is Akabanga, a small vial of rowandan chilli oil that, from its ingredients list, appears to be more chilli than oil:
Habanero chilli (80% m/m), Sunflower oil (20% m/m)
Not that we can necessarily trust that list when various places have pictures of the same bottle saying scotch bonnet, capsicum frutescens or even rapeseed oil.
All I can really say for sure is that it tastes like woody, nutty and vaguely floral scotch bonnet placenta (the pithy bit attaching the seeds) more than it does any actual chilli or oil that I know. And that that flavour is accompanied by a high
that makes itself known, despite the small drops that its tiny bottle lets out.
It’s pretty unique and I’m happy that I managed to get it imported by Thousand Hills but there’s a reason that I never talked about this product when I reviewed their sauces: It came in two sizes and they only shipped me one.
By the time my sauce review went up, it was pretty clear that, despite raising the issue with them, I was never going to get the larger bottle that I’d also paid for. I didn’t want to give the company any further publicity.
But that wasn’t the product’s fault and, if you can find a more sure-fire way to get hold of it, I would recommend Akabanga. Especially in the little, squeezable, plastic bottle that I got.
Its tiny squeeze nozzle allows for the absolute utmost of control over the oil’s application and that, as it turns out, is what inspired Matt.
His Bang Bang Chilli Oil took the fine-nozzled squeeze-bottle concept a step further by filling it with a hotter oil that even real chilli lovers may want such control over.
And he’s filled it with more than twice as much, too, discarding the 20ml bottle that Akabanga shares with my grandma’s medically-prescribed eye drops in favour of a 50ml design that reminds me of bicycle lubricant. A much better choice, in my opinion, because the last thing you want your chilli to look like is something that you need to put in your eyes to be able to see. That’s a disaster just waiting to happen!
Where Akabanga is almost as medical in its labelling as it is in bottle design, Bang Bang Chilli Oil has a far bolder appearance. It’s got a high impact, bold black font that makes its forceful name hard to miss and the rest is clear to highlight the intense red of the contents.
I’m not going to say that it’ll never happen but it’s certainly going to be a hell of a lot harder to mistake that for something else. Even if your vision isn’t at its best.
And it’s not going to get misused by children, either, due to its push and twist safety cap. Beneath which, I’d like to point out, the nozzle is even finer and more accurate with its drop placement:
Matt’s bottle design has easily surpassed the original but it still holds onto one of Akabanga’s flaws: A “front” spread across way more than a third of it, making it impossible to see the full name at once.
I did have to take two pictures to show you the full label but you don’t need to see the full label to get all the information. Which makes for a massive improvement over the other items that have made me do that.
And that, dear readers, is all I have to say about Bang Bang Chilli Oil’s appearance. It’s plain but high impact and mostly just intended to showcase the vibrant colour of the liquid – A job which it does ever so well.
What that liquid is, though, is not just chilli infused oil. It’s:
Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil / Ghost Pepper Infusion, Pure Pepper Extract
A product designed for heat first and foremost, using extract to enhance its ghost pepper fire. So obviously I hate the taste, right? Wrong.
Whatever extract Matt uses in his Bang Bang Chilli Oil, he hasn’t used enough for me to taste.
Between the deep red of the ghost pepper and the distinctive rapeseed flavour of the cold-pressed oil, anything unnatural is completely covered up. It doesn’t taste bad at all. In fact, it tastes pretty fantastic.
So much so that I’m using it on everything from enchiladas, burritos and naan wraps to curries, eggs and even popcorn. As much for that deep and delicious ghost pepper flavour as for the burn that it’s sold on.
I believe I went on record during my review of Grim Reaper Foods’ Vengeance saying that I shy away from most chilli oils because they tend not to have the level of flavour that I seek in a condiment. Well, this isn’t most oils and all it takes is a couple of drops to taste the ghost pepper in your food.
From the ingredients alone, I did not expect to enjoy today’s product anywhere near this much but it gets a solid recommendation from me. I’ll even throw it a link in my sidebar!
But who can I recommend it to? How serious is its highly acclaimed heat?
Not that crazily so, actually. I’d put it at a
When used in drop form, today’s product will only add as much fire to your food as a three point five or a four out of ten sauce, due to its size. A good, hot, habanero-type level in a long-lasting yet travel-sized container. Perfect for those whole like it hot.
Just do be aware that, being an oil, it tends to coat the mouth a little and stay in place, allowing it to linger rather more than the sauces that I compare it to.
If extra and super levels of hot (above the four mark) aren’t your sort of thing, I’d advise that you use it quite sparingly and, if you’re into more mild or medium dishes, I’d suggest you skip out on it entirely.
Even if the extract in Bang Bang Chilli Oil is more subtle than I expected, it’s still an item made by a serious chilli lover for other serious chilli lovers. Not for everyone.