Hello again, everyone. I hope that you’re all staying safe and doing well and I hope that you managed to eke out at least a little enjoyment from this year’s stay at home halloween.
Personally, I spent the whole week working, harder than ever, to bring you videos and recipes. So, for my first november review, I’d like to talk about something simple and relatively easy to write about. Yet not at the cost of flavour.
These two are from a company that I featured a long time ago – Marie Sharp’s – but they’re very different to the previous sauce. Far less green and far less cactussy.
So, the question is, will her Pure Mango Habanero and Original Garlic taste just as fresh? And will their lack of nopal make me like them more?
Read on to find out.
If you’ve read that previous review, you’ll have seen Marie Sharp’s branding already. You’ll recognise the name banner and the central heart of her Pure Mango Habanero.
Yet the many of the ingredients in that heart are new and so, too, are the peach-gradient background and the flames which engulf the product’s name.
Do the yellow habaneros that we see make this a stronger hot sauce or is it all simply to reflect the more orangey contents? We’ll find out in just a moment but, before that, I’d like to look at the label on the Original Garlic. Because that one’s completely different.
Okay, maybe not completely. It still bears the company name on that same, white banner and it still has the same old border lines, top and bottom.
But now those lines are metallic and that same metallic orange adorns the highlights of its central image. Not, this time, a heart full of photo-realistic ingredients but simply the namesake one, sketched in white atop the speckled grey background. Its stem on fire, to hint at the heat.
Couple that with a similarly sketchy font on the product name and it could almost be a whole new brand, despite its near-identical layout.
And I have no idea what the monotone tiger on the left is about. It reminds me more of Queen Majesty than of Marie.
Yet, as big of a departure as it is, the Original Garlic’s imagery does get across three things quite clearly – Garlic, heat and the colour orange. So it’s a shame that its habaneros are red and that the orange colouration of the sauce, itself, comes from its carrot content. Otherwise, that might have been quite visually informative.
Still, I’m not writing this review to talk crap on Marie’s artwork. I’m here to give her sauces a taste. So let’s have a look what’s inside, shall we?
Flow restrictors. The pet peeve of many a reviewer. But, while I do have to remove them to fill my spoons in a timely fashion, it quickly becomes obvious why they were there.
These two sauces may have almost as pulpy a texture as her last but they aren’t nearly as thick. Meaning that their weight, alone, is enough to carry them from the bottle at a rate of knots.
These are fast flowing sauces, when left to their own devices, so the restrictor caps really help to keep them under control. Yet they do nothing to hold back their smell.
From the moment that the lids come off, the strong scent of these sauces is all but unmissable. A powerful waft of onions and mango, from the bottle on the left, while the Original Garlic, on the right, also lives up to its name with a far more savoury and earthy aroma.
Both seem to boast the same quality that I’ve come to expect from belizean cooking, with an obvious freshness that has me salivating over thoughts of fish. Because both smell like they’d be amazing on things like tuna.
They do seem a tad more vinegary on my tongue, though. Which, alongside their lime, makes both sauces quite tangy and sharp.
Yet the freshness of the namesake fruit in the Pure Mango Habanero still shines through, carrying with it both some of the yellow pepper’s flavour and its high
Stinging right in the centre of my tongue.
It’s not the strongest habanero sauce, by any means, but it has a good kick to it and the combined mango and pepper taste pairs beautifully with the citrus tang and the natural carrot sweetness.
In addition to the fish that I mentioned a moment ago, this one makes an excellent taco or enchilada sauce and should work great on chicken, cous cous and kedgeree, too.
Whereas the Original Garlic, with far more of its namesake root and nothing but the carrot, for sweetness, is really quite savoury. Yet, despite that, the carrot plays a huge factor in its flavour.
Much as I know that this a red chilli sauce, all of that orange veg makes it taste like the more common, orange strain of habanero. And it’s that chilli and carrot combination that forms the bulk of this product’s flavour. Atop which the garlic does its thing.
And it’s a heavy hit of pungent, earthy, sriracha-like garlic, hitting me hard, as I swallow, and coming in alongside the duller, throatier and slightly weaker,
that this second sauce packs.
It’s that garlic which separates today’s item from Marie Sharp’s actual original sauce but it’s the fresh, orange chilli-like flavour which makes it, for me. And, with the two in combination, I can really see myself using this one over pizza. As well as to amp up soups, stews and burritos or, like the Mango, over fish and chicken.
Both are a little vinegar-heavy but that becomes much less obvious, once they’re on food, and I otherwise like them both a lot. Give them a go if you get the chance.
The Pure Mango Habanero contains:
Mango Puree, Garlic, Onion, Yellow Pepper Mash, Vinegar, Lime Juice, and Salt.
Where the yellow pepper is described, elsewhere on the bottle, as being yellow habanero.
And the ingredients for the original garlic are:
Habanero Peppers, Carrots, Onion, Lime Juice, Vinegar, Garlic and Salt.
With the accompanying blurb looking like it must have been largely copy-pasted from her less-garlicky original sauce. Because its red habanero is not “the hottest pepper known to man” and it hasn’t been since two-thousand and seven.
Here’s my encyclopedia page for the current world record holder, if you’re interested, and here are the ones for the yellow and red habaneros in today’s products. Which are still great peppers, even if their crown has long since been taken from them.
After all, being the world’s hottest has nothing to do with their ability to make a tasty sauce.