Greetings, everyone, and welcome back to another look at something nice and creamy.
Last week, we saw Pepper Kitchen’s mustard sauces and how an olive oil emulsion really brought out the best in them but, this time, we’re looking at a different type of product. One that always comes with that level of creamy goodness.
We’re looking at a mayonnaise from our old friend, Mr. Vikki. Coincidentally also the first thing that I’ve had from his Hell Hot Habanero line.
Will it live up to that title or will it bear only the medium flame of his Banana Habanero chutney? And will it be just as delightfully well spiced?
You’re going to have to read on for my thoughts.
Before we begin, however, I’d like to do the usual thing and talk about its packaging.
In my last few reviews, I’ve been specifically looking at what sets each product apart from the rest of its producer’s range and this one, well, it’s interesting. It has exactly one colour in common with Mr. Vikki’s chutney and that almost offensive shade of yellow is used far more subtly here.
It does provide the background, as before, but the majority of the label is taken up by a blue-outlined, white shape, reminiscent of a championship belt. As though it’s connection to wrestling was more intentional than I’d first thought.
That belt matches no WWF or WWE make that I can find, though, and nor can I place the gigantic red “OK” that’s split across it.
The only visual references that I can identify, with certainty, are the two flags which sit atop the product’s “HHH Mayo” name and tell us that it’s a UK-made product with indian spices. Mr Vikki’s speciality.
The bold, italic, green and yellow-tipped white of that title doesn’t seem to indicate anything more and, while this mayo’s label looks more retro than cheap, it still tells us just as little about the contents as his chutney’s did.
So let’s crack it open, shall we?
Out of the jar, the aroma on this one is pretty standard. Just a strong mayo scent with a hint of spices but only a hint and nothing that I can nail down.
Rather more interesting, however, is the product’s colour – A vibrant, peachy shade of pink. That’s not the colour of a normal habanero, dear readers. Mr. Vikki isn’t using an orange strain.
No, what we’re seeing here is the result of a redder pepper – A red savina, if you will – which his ingredients list all but confirms:
Mayonnaise 90% (Vegetable Oil 80%, Free Range Pasteurised Egg, Sugar, White Wine Vinegar, Salt & Lemon Juice) Red Savannah Habanero Chillies, Garlic, Spices & Salt.
It doesn’t quite say “Savina” but I strongly suspect that what we see here is just a mix-up or an auto-correct failure. We do, after all, already know that he uses the savina pepper in his chutney. And it certainly tastes like red savina in today’s product, too.
After all, it may be mayo, first and foremost, but it’s also filled with a strong, red, chinense-type chilli flavour. One that’s lightly floral and earthy, with a high
in the back of my throat, to boot.
It’s not insane but it’s darn hot for a mayo and rather more than I’d’ve expected a regular hab to give it. Which is just another sign to suggest that it does, in fact, contain the hottest of all habanero strains.
Yet that chilli isn’t the sole flavour and, much as it comes close, it isn’t even the main one. The main taste is all the raw egg, tang and creamy smoothness that I expect in a mayonnaise, while its undertones consist of both garlic and spices.
Garlic base notes that compliments the pepper’s subtle earthiness and add richness to the mayo. Spices that provide complexity, subtlety and a slight curried quality. Both very much just hints within this seriously chilli-centric condiment, despite having the potential to be very strong flavours elsewhere.
I mean, even slight hints of celery seed have completely changed a sauce before and it’s not like mustard and nigella are much milder. It seems strange, to me, that the final product is so pepper forward but it is and I’m not complaining.
A red chilli mayo with a good strong kick and enough pepper flavour to pick out the breed definitely isn’t a bad thing. It’s a solid product which is really going to satisfy those of you seeking that pure chilli taste. And it works with anything that you’d normally use mayo on.
Chicken, tuna, jacket potatoes, burgers, eggs, chips, salads and sandwiches all make a perfect fit for Mr. Vikki’s Hell Hot Habanero Mayo. As would many other things, I’m sure.
It’s a very multi-purpose product and one that I recommend to anyone who likes that strong red chilli taste. And, if you like the red savina, specifically, why not check out its encyclopedia page to see what else I’ve tried with it?