Just the one, this week, my friends, but it’s sure to be a right doozie. ‘Cause, today, we’re looking at Singularity Sauce Co.’s Reapers & Mangoes. The only independent number ten to grace Hot Ones’ table since the advent of 📽️The Last Dab📽️.
Unlike most of the show’s line-up, however, this isn’t another pricey, american import. And, while I’m grateful to Hot-Headz for stocking so many of those, it’s also nice to see Hot Ones showcase a product made here in the UK. In scotland. The country of my birth.
It’s a rare, local highlight, in amongst their otherwise states-centric assortment, and its spot as the final sauce affords it great clout. So, throw in one of my favourite fruits and you just know I had to get my hands on a bottle.
Yet it wasn’t nearly as quick of a pick up as I’d hoped. Because I wasn’t the only one aboard the hype train.
It was going far, it was going fast and it was going… to take months for the next batch to ferment, back when I got in touch.
I’m afraid that it just wasn’t possible to write this review, back when it first saw that january feature. But it is now and I’m eager to make up for lost time.
In terms of packaging, the design is minimalist. No skulls, no scythes, no fruit and no flames. In fact, there aren’t really any meaningful shapes on the bottle, at all. Only a single square, made up of thin, diagonal lines.
Yet the colouration of those lines – Half red, for the chillies, and half the mangoes’ specific shade of oragey-yellow – says a surprising amount about the contents.
The art on this label is simple and, while it doesn’t tell us much about which particular pepper the product uses, it does instantly tell us what sets this sauce apart from the company’s other reaper offerings. It doesn’t sell the heat but it does sell the flavour.
So I would say that I like it a lot, if it weren’t for one small and unfortunate detail: The gap between two of the lines, about a third of the way in from the red corner, is slightly wider than all the others. Making the white background more visible and almost giving the impression of a third, rather pinker shade.
It’s subtle but you can’t miss it, once you’ve seen it. And, if you’re anything like me, it’ll drive you crazy!
So maybe I shouldn’t look at it any longer. Maybe it’s time that I moved on to the sauce inside:
The sauce, itself, is somewhere between those two colours. An orangey, almost peachy, red, filled with pepper shreds and the occasional seed. Not exactly a standout appearance but one which, again, really gets across the presence of that mango.
In terms of aroma, though, it’s far more pepper forward. A really nuanced, fermented blend of reapers and yellow bells. Tangy from the vinegar and slightly sweet, yet also somewhat savoury and fruity, in a soft, red pepper kind of way.
On my tongue, those same notes still hit me but their balance is a tad different. With that yellow pepper being particularly obvious, at first, before the carolina reaper and its heat take hold.
When it does so, the sweeter, fruitier tones of the superhot are all but lost. Yet the funkier, red pepper top notes remain. Along with a hint of sourness, which builds, slightly, as the burn grows, ramping up to a sharp,
stinging glow that engulfs the entire front of my mouth. At its most savage, as the reaper often is, at the left hand side of the tip of my tongue.
The mango, disappointingly, is far too subtle for me to pick up on, right away. Despite being among the first flavours coming through. Because it doesn’t do so alone.
It supports the yellow bells, along with the tang of the vinegar, and sinks into the background. Proving to be far less of a recognisable taste, after fermentation has ripped away most of its sugars.
So the fruit in this sauce is noticeable but it’s more about what it can do for the other flavours than what it does, on its own. Meaning that it’s not even close to the mango-forward product that its name and ingredients list imply.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
Mangoes, Carolina Reapers, Yellow Peppers, Apple Vinegar, Ginger, Salt
A very simple set of components with more fruit than anything else, yet it’s still dominated by the taste of that world record chilli.
Would I recommend it? Yes. It’s got a smoother, mellower and more nuanced flavour profile than most of the nines and tens on Hot Ones. Its slight superhot funkiness will pair excellently with four cheese pizza, as I found with saucey lady‘s Moonlight Serenade, and that subtle undertone of fruit does lend itself to use with chicken and strong fish.
What I wouldn’t recommend it for, however, is people who love the taste of mango. Because this is a carolina reaper sauce, through and through. With that fruit being far from a main player.