Happy Star Wars day, everyone!
Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything as amazingly on theme to show you as the D_ _ th S_ ★r O.G, this year, and a look at Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge show’s that they’re only serving drinks and snacks, right now. So no inspiration there.
But, from what little I saw of their old menu, they sure seemed fond of their charred meats. And I do, at least, have a sauce for that.
This is Alkemio Kitchen’s Watermelon, Cucumber, Lemongrass, Sugar and, if you’re thinking that you’ve seen it before, you might well be correct. Not only does it use the exact same packaging as the rest of the brand but it also featured lightly in my recent overview of the company. Which you can find here.
Today, however, I’m going to give it far more thorough look.
Tenuous connection to current festivities aside, though, it really does sound like something almost alien.
I mean, I’m not familiar with every culture on our planet but, here in continental europe, cucumber and watermelon aren’t really ingredients. They’re typically eaten raw, for their crispness and refreshing water content, as much as any flavour that they might offer, and cooking them is almost unheard of.
In my half a decade of chilli reviewing, I’ve seen only one other product which used watermelon. A very special, limited edition, collaborative 📽️reaper sauce📽️, which appeared on exactly one episode of Hot Ones. And, as for cucumber, all that I’ve seen are pickles.
So I wasn’t sure what to expect, when I opened this bottle. But the sight inside was most certainly a welcome one:
A light brown liquid which shines a beautiful shade of pinkish-amber, beneath my kitchen lights. Its translucency showing up all of the herb and spring onion shreds within.
Its appearance is highly inviting and so, too, is its aroma. Sweet and strongly fruity, yet not immediately recognisable. Because it’s not the fresh watermelon that I know.
Upon tasting it, it’s more reminiscent of watermelon juice than of the fresh fruit. Bold and vibrant, with zingy undertones coming through from the spring onion, lemongrass, and ginger. While the mint leaves add a herbal quality and the cucumber provides freshness.
As sweet as the traditional thai-style, on which I believe it was based, but far closer to a garden party cocktail, like Pimm’s, in its taste. Full of serious, fruity flavour, yet still very much light and refreshing. And weirdly good with a barbecue.
Because, while it doesn’t have the smoke of a traditional BBQ sauce, it does have the sticky sweetness. Its zingy, savoury undertones complement the meats, while the fresh cucumber overtones provide a contrast which really highlights any char.
So, as strange as it may sound, it’s grilled, barbecued and fire-roasted foods that I’d pair today’s sweet sauce with. Along with bold, oily fish, like mackerel. But, if that doesn’t appeal to you, there’s always its maker’s suggestion of tempura-fried veg or using it as the base of a salad dressing.
It’s made from:
Watermelon, sugar, red chilli, spring onion, garlic, ginger, apple cider vinegar, citric acid,, lime, mint, lemongrass, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate
and cucumber, which appears to have been accidentally left of the label of my early batch.
Its generic red chillies feature quite highly but, as you may have already guessed from how long it’s taken me to mention them, they don’t play a huge role in the taste. Only in creating a high
heat in the back of my mouth.
So, if you’re looking for a sauce that celebrates its peppers, you should probably give Alkemio Kitchen’s Watermelon, Cucumber, Lemongrass, Sugar a miss. But, otherwise, it’s an absolutely beautiful and unique take on sweet chilli. Fruit forward and well worth picking up.
Plus, it’s still not too late to check out the company’s 💰Kickstarter💰.