Hey there fiery food folks, you remember Fat Man Chilli Co, right?
Some time ago, we looked at their spicy ketchup – A rich and only mildly spicy take on an artisinal tomato sauce.
This time, we’re going up the scoville scale, just a little, for an equally standard-looking sauce: Their Green Chilli.
As we already found from that ketchup, though, looks can be quite deceiving and this is not the basic jalapeño concoction that it appears to be.
It’s a smaller bottle than the last sauce that I had from them but the style of label is the same – A light, rope-weave background with bold text seemingly stamped onto that base. And, this time, that text has been printed the right way up in an array of different green shades.
It doesn’t say a lot but it does say the basics. That this is a green sauce focussed on the flavour. Perhaps with a spanish influence, though that might just be my knowledge of mediterranean footwear talking.
Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t tell us anything about what makes Fat Man’s take on this condiment unique. So let’s skim the ingredients list, shall we?
Green peppers, water, cider vinegar, onion, sugar, green chillies (5%), lime juice, mint, ginger, apple sours, cucumber, garlic, salt, spices
It starts sensible enough, with peppers and water, as though they’re trying to either skimp on expensive ingredients or tone down some hotter chillies. Then we get cider vinegar, for that almost oaky, savoury, aged apple tang.
Onions and sugar follow for a bit of sweetness, with lime juice not much further down to balance them out with acidity. So far so relatively straight forward but then there’s the herb.
This sauce uses mint, not coriander, follows it up with ginger, like we saw in the Philosopher’s Dew, and finally rounds them out with apple sours and cucumber. It’s baffling!
Is this going to be a blend of hot and cold? An earthy flavour? A green sweet and sour? A burst of fruity freshness? Or maybe even a relaxing cocktail in condiment form?
There’s only one way to find out:
It’s thin, yet pulpy, with a light, yet very fresh and herby aroma, the mint clearly discernible on the nose.
And indeed, the slight oakiness of its cider vinegar does come through but this is, primarily, a mellowed out green chilli and mint sauce. One that has cooked off its mint’s menthol content to leave only the herbal qualities.
No inherent cold remains to rival the sauce’s
which lingers in the upper back of my mouth, supported slightly by the touch of ginger.
I can’t say I know what chillies go into it, since Fat Man Chilli Co uses an unspecified blend, like Khoo’s supporting peppers, but they don’t feel or taste quite the same as jalapeños. They’re a little less bold and dark in their green flavour, with rather more of a back of the mouth and throat focus.
Not quite as sharp in their sting, either.
Whatever they are, though, I quite like them. This is a pleasant, slightly earthier and softer, green sauce, with a bit of sweetness and some elements of a mint sauce. Yet that’s about all it seems like, eaten straight.
It’s not until I start mixing it into pasta sauces that the tomato highlights that hint of abnormal apple from the sours. And, while mixing it with mayo for my chips wasn’t quite right as a pairing, the pale, creamy base brought out cucumber undertones that would make this perfect for an instant raita – just add yoghurt and garam massala.
The base flavour of peppers and mint, however, will always be the main event. And that is going to be at its best, in my opinion, with samosas, burgers and lamb. Not that you couldn’t also enjoy it in a simple, herby mash or, with a little extra vinegar, as the dressing to a salad.
Overall, today’s product is a simple one which, while it does a few specific things very well, mostly just serves as an all round green sauce. Good but not astounding. Tasty but not nearly as crazy as its ingredients suggest.
If you can’t stand coriander, this is definitely a good alternative to the typical jalapeño sauces that tend to overdose on it. But that’s all it seems like to me: A simple, mintier alternative to a normal jalapeño product.