As another year comes to a close, it’s time to turn my sights to a new company:
Badgers Artisan Foods
A fairly recent one, started in 2016 with some home-grown chillies and this very sauce.
You might think, therefore, that they’d call it their original, but you’d be wrong. The peach and orange packaging and cheeky badger logo may look friendly and inviting but this is their Reaper Sauce.
It takes a bold chef to start a company with a world record but what I want to know is whether the taste can match the implied burn?
The ingredients list certainly seems to suggest that it’s made with flavour in mind:
Tomatoes, Red Wine Vinegar, Onion, Red Chilli, Sugar, Salt, Olive Oil, Fennel Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Coriander Seeds
And, while it doesn’t state exactly what chillies it uses on the bottle, their website tells us that it’s a blend of carolina reapers, moruga scorpions and nagas. It’s a blend that worked remarkably well for 📽️ Ashley Foods’ Mad Dog Gold 📽️ but, this time, I might actually get to enjoy it without the brutal extract heat.
Between that, the more flavourful red wine vinegar and their interesting blend of spices, I have high hopes for Badgers Artisan Foods. Let’s see if they can deliver:
It’s thin. Too thin to tell whether the oil has been drained off or made it into the final product. There’s no creamy texture to this one like there was with the Chance.
But that’s not to say that it’s not textured. It has tiny, soft shreds of tomato and chilli throughout, as well as some slightly larger spices and seeds. It’s almost soup-like in that respect and the slightly sweetened tomato base only adds to that likeness.
The pepper flavour is not as upfront and in your face as in the Mad Dog, where I first tried this particular blend, but it does give a strong yet mellow, savoury chilli undertone to the whole thing, further enhanced by the fennel and perhaps even the coriander seeds.
It is, perhaps, a tiny bit bitter but it’s the soft sort you might find in cooked fenugreek or a particularly dry white wine. It isn’t the sharp, chemical sort of a concentrated chilli extract and it’s balanced perfectly by the product’s mild sweetness.
Along with the onion, the fresh ingredients and the texture of this sauce give it a slightly mexican vibe that’s strikingly similar to a good homemade salsa. It does trade in the extra vinegar I use in my own for more savoury spice notes but, even so, this is going all over my tacos.
It is, quite simply, perfect for them and the gentle yet ever-present chilli flavour is really going to add a lot.
And a lot of heat for that matter. It may be subtler than most but this is still a reaper sauce. It still uses world record chillies and they still come through with a slow
Which is, of course, only just beyond what I’d expect of a first ingredient ghost pepper sauce (and well behind Doctor Burnorium’s) but that’s still a pretty strong sauce, especially with how heavy-handed its delicious flavour makes me want to be. And, as I’ve said already, this is going to replace a good deal of the actual salsa next time I have tacos.
It may also go onto my enchiladas, nachos or burritos but it probably won’t make it past my mexican meals. Not because it won’t work well with soups, stews, salads, mild cheeses, chicken, pasta, bruschetta or even a non-traditional, tomato risotto. I just see myself loving it too much on mexican food to hold any back for those.
I am very pleased with this purchase. I feel like it does everything that 📽️ the Screaming Chimp’s Screamer 📽️ should have done, with only a little more heat but a far more rounded flavour.
And sure, I could go still hotter but, if I’m totally honest, their new “Reapers Revenge” doesn’t appeal to me. It’s just the same sauce made stronger and this reaper one is already as high as I’d really like to go for daily use.
No, while the recent additions to their range definitely have me interested, it’s the flavour focus of their milder sauces that I’m most excited for. So, stay tuned and maybe you’ll see them in 2019.
Tah tah for now, folks. I’ll catch you again in the new year.