Hello again everyone and welcome to another of my weekly reviews. Today, I’m looking at a freebie from our friends at Chilli of the Valley and it’s their korean one. Their KBBQ-style Soseu.
A huge departure from the Black Death that they sent me last time, in heat if not in colour, because this one is actually one of their mildest products. Made for intense flavour, rather than that reaper fire, and only given the extreme heat in an alternate, extract version.
If any of you want to see that, let me know and I’ll bring Chilli of the Valley back again for this year’s birthday review. But, in the mean time, I’m looking to unwind after a rough few days with something rather gentler.
Let’s give the Soseu a go!
Its label as dark as the sauce inside, today’s feature is clad in what just might be the weirdest product art I’ve ever seen. At least in the chilli world.
Three faces, all painted pure white like a japanese noble and merging together into a single woman, take centre stage. Her hair, neck and shoulders adorned with gold jewlery, pressure gauges and what I can only describe as eighteen little fake eyes. All as that same colour snakes out into the background, half-natural looking, half like wires.
I don’t understand it in the slightest. I see the asian influence but I grasp nothing more. And I’m left unsure if I was even meant to.
Perhaps there’s some reference to korean culture or folklore that I’m simply unaware of but, in my case at least, it’s the font that tips me off.
The stylisation of the letters, with those roofs over the vowels and lines beneath is a dead giveaway. And I suppose that one detail is all it takes for this label to get its point across.
Still, I feel as if there’s far more going on here than I’m able to accurately comment on. So I’ll refrain from judging the whole but I do want to at least acknowledge that the woman’s dark blue hair, appearing black under artificial lighting, gets somewhat lost in the background. Before I move on to the contents.
The sauce is pure, midnight black on my spoon but leaves a reddish-brown residue around the neck of its bottle. Flakes clinging to the sides and hiding just beneath the surface of the liquid.
And it is quite oddly liquid, for a barbecue sauce, but its aroma quickly clues me in to why. Rich, dark and as savoury as it is sweet, this is a classic, soy-filled KBBQ. One which uses all of the molasses that you’d expect from its american counterpart but thins it out with that more asian flavour.
It might not cling to meats quite as well as a typical barbecue but, given how intense its taste is, I don’t think it needs to. And I really enjoy the contrast between the sweet molasses and the salty, savoury and umami-laden soy.
Yet all of that is normal for KBBQ. What sets the Soseu apart it far more subtle.
The tiny touch of tomato, the zing of the onion and the warmth of the ginger all come together, beneath the intense body of the sauce and add a great deal of depth to not just the flavour but also the mild,
Which spikes the moment that the sweetness fades away and lingers all over my mouth thereafter. At least as much ginger and allium as it is chilli.
Which is interesting because I’m sure that I feel some chilli in there. Even if its ingredients only list “spices”:
Molasses, White Distilled Vinegar, Soy Sauce (Water, SOY BEANS (29%), salt, WHEAT FLOUR, Preservative (E202)), Onion, Tomato Concentrate, Ginger, Garlic, Spices
Still, it might be mild but, even if it doesn’t contain a single pepper flake, it definitely belongs on this blog. Because, as much as chilli is my focus, I’m a huge fan of all things fiery food and the Soseu offers both a wonderful, long lasting warmth and a very different flavour to anything else on this site.
I’m very happy to have it and I’m sure that you all will be, too. Especially over things like burgers, stir-fry, tofu and chicken wings, where it will be right at home.