What’s up my dudes?
Last week, we had a very surprising find from a large, supermarket brand and it was packed full of absurd, carolina reaper heat. So, today, I figured we’d turn things around a tad and try looking at a rather more sensible and flavour-focussed product from a friend of a friend’s ex. An item that even I wouldn’t know about, had I not stayed in touch with Lord Grim’s former girlfriend.
This is the Fermented Chilli Hot Sauce from Rad Dude Sauces and its artwork sure is intense, despite its lack of colour, but that’s not how it came to me.
No, Rad Dude Sauces are, in fact, a part of a larger company – If you can call it that. A two man business, known as Rad Dude Foods, who run a sandwich shop in sheffield.
The sauce is – Or was – their side project. A nice, artisan alternative to Tabasco, made to spice up their already rather stacked-looking subs. Yet now, with the state of the world being what it is, sauce sales have gone online and appear to have become their new focus. Wrapped up just like their lunches once were.
A fun little nod to the origins of today’s sauce.
That sheath’s imagery – A repeated pattern of pickles and sausages on sticks – seems to bear no relation to the product within. Yet the wrapping, itself, still adds an extra layer of personality to the bottle – Both literally and metaphorically – while shielding the real label from any scuffs, scratches or rain damage, in transit.
It’s simple and largely unnecessary but somehow manages to make our feature feel more friendly. And not just by hiding the surprisingly violent skewering of meat and veg on the bottle beneath.
I really rather like it.
But, moving on to the label under that sandwich wrapping, the brutal sword murder of garlic, chilli, tomato and steak isn’t just there for shock value. It’s there to show us the three main ingredients of the sauce, along with one of its suggested uses. And sure, the juices spraying out and dripping down the blade might be a tad extreme but, really, who doesn’t like their food fresh and juicy?
It’s there to big up their ingredients, while keeping the same tone as their black and white, skeletal rock hand logo.
Here’s the full list of what this sauce contains:
Tomato 63.8%, Red Cayenne & Red Habanero Mash (Chilli, Salt & Acetic Acid, E260) 12.8%, White Wine Vinegar (Sulphites), Ginger, Garlic, Salt.
A slightly hotter blend of chillies than the “tabasco peppers” in their mainstream rival, bulked out with tomato, in order to keep the same
tongue heat, and mixed with a fair amount of vinegar, for a similar sharpness. Yet that isn’t all that the vinegar does.
Being a white wine variety, it also adds in fruity notes from its grapes, making up for those that were lost when the Rad Dudes didn’t use the traditional chilli. And, with that vinegar doing its job so well, I don’t miss the tabasco peppers at all.
In fact, I’m rather enjoying the extra rich, deep and red chilli flavour that the habaneros bring to the table. Especially alongside the undertones of garlic and the subtly sweet top notes of the tomato.
This sauce tastes like McIlhenny Co.’s Tabasco, yes, but it has so much extra complexity, on top of that, that I’m going to enjoy it far more than the supermarket equivalent. And I already know exactly what I’m going to do with it!
Because, while this is a Tabasco replacement and a little dash of it will liven up almost anything, with that slight hit of heat and acid, it is going to work better in some places than others. Especially once you start pouring it on.
The acidity of this sauce lends itself well to cutting through fatty or greasy foods, like fried chicken, pizza and cheese dishes, while its tomato adds a level of freshness that wants to see it paired with raw or lightly cooked veg. So, to me, its standout uses would have to be either a mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich or a savoury crepe. Though I’m sure that it’d also be great over something meatier, like philly cheese steak.
The one thing which I would urge you to keep in mind, though, when using this sauce, is its consistency:
This is a thin, fast flowing sauce, with fine, almost unnoticeable grains to it. And, unlike the sauce that it’s competing with, it doesn’t have any sort of flow restrictor in its neck.
Rad Dude’s Fermented Chilli Hot Sauce is very easy to overdo, so be careful how you pour it. Especially if you are just using a few drops for that mild chilli and acid hit.
They are, after all, a large part of what sets it apart from that tabasco pepper based sauce.