Hey folks, I’m scottish and I’ve mentioned that a few times on here. Especially when highlighting companies from my homeland. But, as much as I appreciate scottish sauce, I don’t actually live there and I haven’t done so in many years.
The smaller companies do pop up online, occasionally, but even when they do, they don’t always make a good impression. Like today’s jalapeño and chipotle pair:
Two products from The Bonnie Sauce Co., in edinburgh, who’s website is grey, gloomy, uninviting and full of desaturated, off-colour images of their craft. Of sauces which actually look quite enticing, in real life, yet might well have gone entirely untasted if my relatives hadn’t found them in person, while visiting my sister.
So, before we begin today’s review in earnest, I’d like to take a brief moment to thank my family for their find and remind you all that not everything is as it appears online.
Then we can give them a closer inspection.
So here are The Bonnie Sauce Co.’s photos for comparison and they do, to be fair, capture all the details. The white text with its small graphical flares, the day of the dead skulls used to highlight the company’s history in mexican cuisine and even the subtle differences within them, in order to highlight the different ingredients. The lime and chillies on their green sauce being replaced by one big, crinkly, dried pepper on the chipotle.
Where the problems arise is in the negative space. The unprinted, transparent label.
Like Single Variety Co., last week, this lot have chosen to emphasise the empty space where their sauce shines through. And that’s a bold move.
When the only colour on your bottle is that of the condiment inside, you live or die by the selling power of that colour.
The light and creamy, yet still rather acidic-looking green of the Jalapeño and Lime shows both vibrance and delicacy, while the rich and earthy, red-browns of the Smoky Chipotle, dappled with large shreds of herb, imply a sophisticated indulgeance. None of which comes across in the off-yellow or near-turquoise that Bonnie, themselves use.
In fact, they’re quite unappetising and I’d like to stop looking at them. So, Bonnie Sauce Co., if you’re reading this, your labels are great but please, hire a photographer!
The sauces on your site, at the time of writing, do not do the real things justice and your products look so much more pleasing in person. Both in the bottle and out.
Up close on my spoons, we can see a few more of their hidden details and it’s plain to see that there is oil in both. Albeit dotted throughout the chipotle sauce, rather than properly blended in, like we see with the jalapeño. Which will be where its creamy appearance and texture come from.
Combine those with its thin consistency and the Jalapeño and Lime reminds me of salad dressing, while its Smoky Chipotle counterpart is a good deal thicker but only textured very lightly by its herbs. Which look, from their cloven leaves, to be shreds of coriander.
An interesting detail, since the only mention of the herb is inside of their custom adobo spice mix. Which would normally use the seeds.
So, instead of that lightly woody, toasted seed note, to complement the deep, rich, dry and smoky base flavour of the chipotle, we get equally toasted herbs that add a hint of greenery, to offset it. And more than a hint of vegetable to the product’s aroma.
The difference in taste between the two parts of the plant has completely changed the direction of this sauce but I don’t think that it’s any worse for it. And the almost cajun quality that all of its greenery brings makes the Smoky Chipotle far more unique.
I like it a lot.
As for the Jalapeño and Lime, though, that’s far closer to what I expected, in taste. Full of sharp, citrus tang to counterpoint its creaminess, as well as picking up grassy undertones from its green chilli.
However, as predictable as its flavour may be, the way in which the lime highlights its
mid-mouth heat and gives it an earthy, almost wasabi-like quality takes me entirely by surprise.
This is not the mild dressing that I was anticipating and, while you could easily thin it out into one, I reckon that this sauce is going to go great over fish and chicken, as is. Especially in the form of sushi.
In both heat and flavour, the Jalapeño and Lime actually comes across a little more intensely that its
back of the mouth partner, which is unusual, but I’m enjoying both and I’m really going to get a lot of use out of the Smoky Chipotle, in particular. Slathering it over casseroles, burgers, toad in the hole, roast dinners or even just chips.
So, while I’d happily recommend either, I’d definitely recommend The Bonnie Sauce Co.’s Smoky Chipotle first.
Water, Lemon Juice, Rapeseed Oil, Adobo (Smoked Paprika (4%), Garlic Powder, Chilli Powder, Cumin, Black Pepper, Smoked Jalapeno Powder (1%), Corriander Leaf), Chipotle (8.5%), Onion, Lime Juice, Spirit Vinegar, Sugar, Citrus Fibre, Salt.
While the Jalapeño and Lime was made from:
Jalapeno (46%), Lime Juice (28%), Rapeseed Oil, Water, Spirit Vinegar, Citric Acid, Citrus Fibre, Salt.