A Black Gem

Hello again, everyone, and happy tuesday!

Just last weekend, we revisited an old friend of the site and had some fun with one of my favourites. But, today, I’m hoping to enjoy something new and special from another former feature.

This is “Blackman Eddy’s”, from Opal Sunshine. A company who I’ve not seen or heard from since she sent me her main line-up. But, when her fourth sauce appeared on my social media, I just knew that I had give it a go. Because it’s completely different from the pepper and carrot-forward blends that I’ve previously seen from belizean cuisine.

This is a black garlic sauce, with dates, tamarind and avocado oil, for flavour. And, while it does pack the hottest chilli of any of Opal’s products, it’s far from the first thing on her ingredients list.

So I’m really curious to see how such a unique and not so chilli-forward, belizean-style sauce will taste.

This one contains:

Avocado Oil, Distilled White Vinegar, Lime Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, Red Onion, Raisins, Dates, Black Garlic, Roasted Garlic, Habanero Peppers, Trinidad Scorpion Peppers, Tamarind Paste, Salt, Black Pepper.

And its packaging is a little different from what we saw before, with the woman that I can only assume represents Opal, herself, now filling the entire front of the label. The company name cut from her basket, which we can now see contains some rather fiery, fresh peppers, indeed.

No more are the plain fonts and dull shades. Now she is dressed in black and red, starkly contrasting what was once a white circle but has since expanded to act as background for all but the bottom centimetre. And the golden brown text of the sauce’s name and description stands out just as well against her.

Opal’s branding has improved massively, since we saw her last, and its focus on the black of her outfit definitely reflects the dark, brown sauce within.

Blackman Eddy’s is a little on the thick side but not nearly as much so as I was expecting, with a rich, yet tangy aroma that’s anything but vinegar.

Given its ingredients list and the strong smell of dark fruit, I’m guessing that that tang is largely from the tamarind. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if a whole bunch of this sauce’s other ingredients fill a similar role, either. They certainly all seem to be getting in on the taste.

There the acidity of the sauce is rather more pronounced, yet it’s far from just the white vinegar taking the fore. The citrus is actually quite subtle but the sweet, tanin-heavy notes of the balsamic are anything but. Its syrupy nature tamed by the sour.

And, of course, there’s also plenty of tamarind in the mix. Though it’s hard to tell exactly how much with the equally rich and also quite balsamicky black garlic, the fruity tones of the raisins and dates and all of that vinegar and citrus contributing to a similarly dark, sweet and tangy taste.

Similarly, I’m not really sure how much of the grains that texture this sauce are the impossible to smoothly blend black garlic and how much are a mix of all of that dried fruit. Not that I’d say it matters much, either way. They contribute far less to the overall feel of the sauce than its high acidity, its easy flow and the gradual, slightly oniony,

that builds both in my throat and across the tip of my tongue. Clearly caused by the sauce’s two very different peppers.

I only get the slightest of hints of them, in its taste, but that’s what I expected from the start. This sauce may be very hot but it’s still light on the chillies and a lot heavier on its rich, dark, tangy fruit flavour.

There are plenty of other products out there, if you want the taste of habanero or trinidad scorpion and there are plenty which pack more extreme heat. But I’ve yet to see another one which packs the same level of black garlic and balsamic-enhanced, tamarind chutney-esque taste as today’s.

It was a lot more indian than I ever anticipated and lacked her usual, nutty belizean spice blend but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing another review of Opal Sunshine‘s sauce, all the same, and I’m definitely going to keep on enjoying her Blackman Eddy’s. Especially over tuna melts or with a deep, red curry or con carne.

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