Speaking of finishing off things from last year, my chilli eating friends, it saddens me just a touch to tell you that today is the last we’re going to see of Opal’s range. It was, after all, a real pleasure trying her original and lime sauces.
Yet all good things must come to an end and I do, at least, have this one last bottle to try: Her Mayan Mango.
And, despite habanero and mango being the two ingredients named on the front, it’s not going to be quite the usual blend. You’ll see what I mean in a second.
As with the other two sauces in her Opal Sunshine line-up, the Mayan Mango uses scotch bonnet, in addition to its advertised habaneros. But that’s not new. Chilli Pepper Pete’s Dragon’s Blood Hot Fruity already showcased how wonderfully that caribbean hot pepper can work to liven up a mango sauce.
No, what’s most interesting about this particular product is the number of other things before we reach its namesake fruit on the ingredients list:
Habanero Peppers, Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Fresh Carrots, Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Mango, Lime Juice, Orange Juice, White Vinegar, Sugar, Salt.
In fact, for the tropical fruit-based sauce in Opal’s range, it looks surprisingly similar to her others. It’s got the exact same mix of peppers, veg, lime juice and vinegar in the exact same order as her Lime – Anero.
All that’s changed is that she’s swapped the Recardo out for ginger and mango and the apple juice for orange. So it’s no surprise that, when I taste it, the Mayan Mango is very nearly as tart.
Opal’s using the same floral, zesty lime in this one as in her others but the chilli may be a little different.
There’s no deep, red, savoury fruit element to today’s item, like there was to the scotch bonnets in Chilli Pepper Pete’s sauce and, I’m fairly sure, in Opal’s Original. But there is a definite something of the chilli all the same.
These scotch bonnets provide an element of yellow pepper, not red, and they aren’t quite as fruit-like in their taste. Yet they do still provide an ever so slightly tropical element to support the fruitier flavours of the orange and mango very nicely.
Plus, while they might seem a little subtle on my spoon, the addition of food seems to really bring both their flavour and the zing of the ginger to the fore. It’s a very different taste from your average mango sauce.
In fact, Opal’s Mayan Mango has more in common with Byron Bay’s Heavenly Habanero than any item that I’ve seen sold on its fruit content. Since, like with that popular australian product, it uses its mango to enhance its pepper and citrus flavour, not as its own main taste.
But, if you’re a fan of yellow caribbean sauces, I think you’re going to enjoy it all the same.
It has a savoury, yellow scotch bonnet flavour, tinged with orange and given a sharp ginger tingle, to replace the mustard undertones so common to that region. A smooth taste that, ultimately, reflects its bright yellow label quite well. Despite the name being potentially misleading.
In fact, none of the Opal Sunshine range have been quite what I expected but all three have been great sauces with a rather different appeal. This one, in particular, seeming best suited to chicken, fish and pineapple-based main dishes but also striking me as likely to go with just about anything jamaican. Or to liven up fresh veg.
It’s not quite as hot as her other two, hitting only a decent
and it doesn’t linger in the same way as her original. Yet it’s strong enough to satisfy without overwhelming the flavours of food and still carries some of the freshness found in her lime sauce.
I would still say that that Lime – Anero is my favourite of the bunch but that’s just personal preference at this point. The entire Opal Sunshine range is unique, well made and tasty.
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