Sad new year everyone. I’d say “happy” but it’s not.
Not for me and my blog.
The year that’s just gone has taken away both of my usual new year’s traditions – The night of partying and the green sauce for my first january review. So, while my special jalapeño product is still stuck in the twenty-twenty mail backlog, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to show you something else. A pair of red and yellow items from Prices Spices:
Their Reclus Red chilli jam and their El Salivate Ador sauce. Both of which will hopefully have the great taste to live up to their fake stickers’ claims and kick off this year, if not “right”, at least well.
After all, Prices Spices have managed to wow me many times before, including with their use of pineapple, so I definitely have reason to expect great things from the fruit in today’s sauce.
But it’s actually the jam that I’m really excited for. Because, despite its simple, red and black labelling, its chilli of choice is quite unique.
The Reclus Red, despite its fairly plain and somewhat sinister appearance, makes use of one of the mildest chinense pepper varieties. Sweet, pickled biquinho chillies which, while commonly sold under the “Roquito” brand name, have never made their way into any other product that I’ve featured.
Outside of their use as a pizza topping, I’ve never seen anyone do anything with the biquinho before. In fact, I’ve never even seen them fresh in the UK.
Today, though, we’re taking a look at this sweet and sticky spoonful:
All aglow, under my lights, and filled with tiny shreds of red pepper and chilli. Which, together, provide this jam with a rather unusual, granular texture.
It’s quite runny, too, almost more like a thick syrup than a jam. But there’s a third such sugary substance that comes to mind when I actually taste it and that’s honey.
A golden honey, in particular, with a subtly perfumed finish. Though not quite the usual, floral kind.
No, just as this jam’s golden overtones come mostly from the earthier notes of its roasted peppers, that finish is what’s become of their almost soapy, annuum-like quality. And, while it could have been off-putting, if it were stronger, it adds a delightful touch of levity, as is.
One which pairs well with the slightly fresher elements of the chilli and the undertones of onion, while contrasting with the main red and gold.
In short, this product takes every single element of the fresh biquinho and uses it to great effect, producing something more like a chilli honey than a chilli jam.
It’s pepper forward and has some savoury notes to it – Especially with its hints of paprika – but not enough that I wouldn’t spread it on toast or pancakes in the morning. Though I reckon that its stand out uses are going to be either as a glaze for meats or a drizzle over pizza.
And, because it’s so focussed on its chilli, it reaches the top of the heat that I predicted when I 📽️ate the fresh pepper📽️ – A mild, yet highly noticeable,
It’s definitely not what I was expecting but, if anything, it’s a good deal more special and ever so finely crafted. So hats off to Michael, at Prices Spices, for this one!
Sugar, Onions, Roquito Peppers (Sweet Piquant Peppers, Water, Sugar, Spirit Vinegar, Salt, Antioxidants: Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Firming Agent: E509) (4.8%), Roasted Red Peppers (Red Pepper (60%), Water, Salt, Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid) (8.6%), Red Wine Vinegar (Sulphites), Lemon Juice, Garlic, Smoked Paprika, Ginger, Salt
Or, without the brackets for easier reading:
Sugar, Onions, Roquito Peppers (4.8%), Roasted Red Peppers (8.6%), Red Wine Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Garlic, Smoked Paprika, Ginger, Salt
But what about today’s other item? The El Salivate Ador sauce?
It’s just as surprising. Albeit in a rather different way.
Like the Reclus jam, our second product is highly fixated on its title ingredient but, this time around, that ingredient is pineapple and it makes a real mess of its consistency:
This “sauce” is made of thin and watery, spiced fruit juice and thick, neck-clogging, blended pulp, with nothing to keep the two together. So be prepared for half a minute of pathetic dribbling, followed by one huge blob, when you try to pour the El Salivate Ador.
The textures of this product are just as unusual as the last, yet for rather better reason. Most companies would know to use a binding agent of some kind – Be it xanthan gum, agar or some kind of starch – in a recipe like this, to keep it together as a single, uniform sauce.
But, complete lack of a uniform consistency aside, the taste is a good one. Far less sweet than I’m used to, in a pineapple sauce, with a strong, dry and somewhat earthy overtone from its turmeric. As well as, to a lesser extent the ginger that supports its spice.
heat abruptly kicking the back of my throat, as the pulp makes its way down. The sharp, citrussy Ají Limo clearly having blended in more with the product’s solid component.
It has blended in quite well, though, hardly standing out at all against the pineapple.
Instead of being its own distinct taste, it simply skews how the fruit, itself comes across. Making it a little bit more lemony and a little bit greener and fresher. Almost as if the pineapple were a touch underripe, yet with none of the loss of flavour that that would normally result in.
Alongside the rooty spices in this “sauce” and its complete lack of added sugar, that lemony freshness makes El Salivate Ador taste completely different to the company’s India Joywalla, despite their shared fruit. Which I really appreciate.
Its texture(s) may leave a lot to be desired but the product, as a whole, is still very enjoyable. Just maybe more as a cooking ingredient or a marinade than as a pour on item.
It will, after all, serve to break down long protein chains and soften meats with the bromelain in its pineapple base and all of Michael’s spices should go beautifully into a dansak or thai curry. While its freshness should prove a pleasant twist to a piña colada, as he suggests.
Plus, as a tangy, tropical fruit and citrus item, all it needs is a little honey (or Reclus) to make a perfect prawn and shrimp dip.
So, while the Reclus is definitely my favourite of today’s pair, I definitely don’t hate El Salivate.
Here’s what went into the Ador:
Pineapple (93.1%), White Wine Vinegar, Ginger, Aji Limon Chilli (1.1%), Lemon Juice, Ground Black Pepper, Ground Turmeric, Salt.