Fresh Hell

And just like that, folks, we have a theme. Not one that I ever intended, mind you. I didn’t mean to go on a binge, revisiting a bunch of old favourites.

My second shot at the EEC‘s 🔥chance🔥 just so happened to coincide with a new release from Opal Sunshine that may or may not end up being limited edition. So I had to get that review out quickly and I’m having to do the same with today’s pair, too. If only because one of them might not last, otherwise.

I’m talking about the two most recent additions to Haskhell’s line-up – Their Piquante and their Horseradish:

One made with ghost pepper, for some serious heat, and the other chock full of one of my favourite mild chillies – The sweet and succulent malawi picanté. More commonly known by its brand name, Peppadew.

They’re clad in a rather larger version of the company’s previous labels, using the same logo but scaling it up to make the text more legible. And, where once the background was white, it’s now in block colour to more easily distinguish this pair. The Piquante being bright red and the Horseradish a pale, pinkish beige.

In addition to this, though, there are also little black flame silhouettes along the bottom left, providing a easy way to gauge their heat and tell which one contains the ghost pepper. Though I only know that four flames is the current cap because I’ve seen the rest of their range. Not because there’s any indication of an end point to the scale.

Today’s strongest is the Horseradish and, outside of the bottle, it looks a little something like so:

Pale and creamy, glistening with olive oil and all colours of ultra fine flecks.

The initial pour is quite a struggle, due to the sauce’s thickness, but it flows easily enough, once you’ve got it started, and it carries a pleasant aroma of creaminess and tang. Albeit subtle on both counts.

The earthy root doesn’t come across much in this sauce’s scent, at all, but it’s there on my tongue almost instantly. Its gentle bitterness and the touch of lemon both contrasting nicely with that smooth and creamy base.

Yet, despite how obvious the horseradish may seem, it takes a very long time for this sauce to grow to its peak heat – A high

burn – which is most uncharacteristic of the ingredient. The root usually hits almost instantaneously and disappears just as fast, due to its volatile heat compounds. But this is unmistakeably horseradish, all the same.

It still has the same sharp feel to it and it still hits the upper back of my mouth, like horseradish should. It’s just that it’s piggybacking on Haskhell’s ghost pepper for its slow and prolonged flame. Perhaps because all of that creaminess from the olive oil is holding back its initial hit.

Much as it’s unexpected, though, I don’t hate it. In fact, quite the contrary, I find it rather satisfying and appreciate the time that it buys me, in which to savour the flavour unhindered. To pick up on the subtle hints of the ghost and chipotle, within that creamy base.

I like this one a lot. But how about the Piquante?

It pours far more easily, since it’s not sticking to the sides of the bottle, yet its thickness is about the same. Albeit made up of juices and large grains or fine chunks, rather than being one smooth purée, like the Horseradish.

This texture and the light red, slightly orangey colour of the sauce make its higher chilli content instantly apparent. But its smell is, too, and that tells a very different story.

On the nose, I’m not getting any of the picanté chillies, nor the bell peppers. Instead, I’m getting strong wafts of paprika, onion and cumin. Deep, rich and also a little bit earthy, in its own way, with something of a spanish feel to it.

It’s quite the enticing spicing and the Piquante sauce definitely delivers on that promise, when it comes to taste.

There’s a tartness to it, from the vinegar and lime, as well as a bit of an oniony zing, but both are balanced out by the natural sweetness and freshness of the malawi picanté. Which, alongside the red bell peppers, forms an excellent base for the paprika-heavy spice blend. And that blend’s earthiness, in turn, plays into the ground coriander seed, used to highlight the chilli’s own fresher, greener elements. Bringing the whole thing full circle for a deliciously chilli-forward and well-spiced, yet still only

sauce, which definitely lives up to that initial impression of being spanish.

It’s also surprisingly tomato-like, for something which doesn’t contain the fruit, making it an excellent fit for most mediterranean soups, stews and pasta dishes. As well as almost any mexican main.

So you know that I’ll be running out of it next taco night, if not before, and that it gets a massive recommendation from me and the rest of my family. Even if it is a bit light on the heat, for many of you.

It contains:

Peppadew Piquanté Peppers (36%), Bell Peppers, Cider Vinegar, Onion, Lime, Garlic, Cumin, Onion Sea Salt, Ground Coriander, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika

And you can find more about its malawi picanté peppers on their enclopedia page.

Whereas, for those readers who are after something hotter, Haskhell’s Horseradish definitely isn’t a substitute but it may well be what you’re looking for. And it certainly works wonders over roast meats, mixed into tatziki or used in the cream of your potato dauphinoise, to name just a few uses.

Its ingredients are:

Olive Oil, Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Dried Horseradish, Horseradish Powder, Bhut Jolokia (3%) Chipotle Sea Salt, Garlic, Mustard Powder, Black Pepper, Chilli Powder.

And I can’t provide a dedicated page for that generic chilli at the end but I sure can link you to more info on the ghost and chipotle.

So check those pages out, if you’re interested in the peppers which make these great sauces and head on over to Haskhell’s to grab the sauces, themselves. You won’t be disappointed!

3 thoughts on “Fresh Hell

  1. glempsto November 30, 2021 / 7:04 am

    The Piquante is gorgeous! Though I would place it more in North Africa than Spain by its taste, it definitely comes from where the two meet. The best tomato sauce that contains no tomato that I’ve ever tasted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spicefreak November 30, 2021 / 1:58 pm

      Thanks, I appreciate your feedback and I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that while writing. I definitely agree that it sits in the middle, between the two.


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