Hello again, everyone, this week we’re trying something borderline luminous:
But that’s not colouring. No, Dalston Chillies are quite proud of their all natural approach.
What you’re actually seeing is the reason why I bought this sauce: It may claim to be bajan but, unlike other island sauces, this one isn’t mustard-based. It contains mustard, sure, but its main spice is fresh turmeric and that, dear readers, is unique.
For good reason, mind you, as the stuff stains like little else, during cooking.
In flavour terms, though, turmeric is golden, rooty, somewhat mellow and at the height of its popularity as a drink ingredient, recently. I have high hopes for today’s sauce.
Here’s the full list of what goes into it:
Vinegar, Onion, Fresh Turmeric, Scotch Bonnet Chillies, Mustard Powder, Unrefined Sugar, Garlic, Salt.
It’s tart and you can definitely taste that onion but the earthy, mustard-tinged turmeric is the boldest part, by far. And you can see the thick, slightly grainy texture that it provides in my spoon shot:
From the fragments in that picture, you can also tell that the sauce has used red scotch bonnets over yellow. An unorthodox choice but one that’s actually quite subtle in the taste.
As much as this is a scotch bonnet sauce, it’s a bajan sauce first and foremost. It prioritises golden, earthy spices for flavour and uses its peppers to enhance the tang of its vinegar and onions. It has a slightly more aromatic burn than purely relying on chillies would provide but only a light
that I wouldn’t quite label “hot”.
Yet a high medium with a slightly different feel to it is both enjoyable and exactly what I’ve come to expect from a bajan sauce. Dalston Chillies’ is a well-made example of the style but only their heavy use of turmeric sets them apart. The rest is very true to the island creation that inspired it.
If you enjoy a good bajan, their sauce is that. Great for splashing over chicken or using on ham and cheese but at its very best with white fish.
Or, if mustard’s more your thing, this is not far off at all. The turmeric, while distinctive, provides some very similar flavour notes. And there’s real mustard in here to back up any that it might be lacking.
It’s not quite as chilli-focussed as a lot of the products that I feature but it’s very enjoyable, all the same. The only complaints that I’d like to raise are with the packaging:
The label is a very plain block of off-white that highlights the colour of the sauce, yet does nothing to explain it. There’s no visual indicator of what’s inside, besides a chilli silhouette cut from the centre. One that doesn’t even match the peppers inside.
Plus, the neck holds no shrink wrap, nor other indication that it wasn’t opened by the last person to look it over before my purchase. When I took the top off, the sound of inrushing air was evident but, until then, I was genuinely worried as to whether it would be properly sealed.
It’s a fine condiment and I would, indeed, recommend it. Yet I’d also recommend to the makers that they try putting some indication of the seal around the neck and using a silhouette unique to each of their three sauces. Perhaps even one the shape of the turmeric rhizome, for this one, given how much more it does for the taste than the touch of scotch bonnet.