A Floral Focus

Hey folks, it’s the week after my birthday so it’s time to cool things down a tad. And, while I’m not expecting this week’s sauce to be mild, exactly, I’m definitely hoping for a focus on flavour. Because this one sounds weird, even to me!

This is “Where The Wild Roses Grow”, from Balefire, and its label looks just like their previous product. Yet the sauce inside glows a peachy shade of orange and really shows off the blend of rose water and red habanero within. A pairing which I’ve never even heard of, outside of my own gulab jamun recipe.

“Wild” is right for this crazy take on a sweet chilli but, as I discovered when I was researching for that recipe, there’s science to support today’s flavour combination. So the question is less about the concept and more about Balefire’s execution.

Can the company pull off this one of a kind creation successfully?

Having already seen the same packaging on an earlier sauce, I waste no time addressing this one’s labelling. Instead sitting straight down and twisting the top off, right away.

The scent that wafts up is sharp and tangy, with a rich undertone of roasted garlic, yet the sweet, floral hints of rose petal are unmistakeable. Making for a most interesting mix of aromas that walk a fine line between sweet and savoury, with feet firmly on both sides. Both highly distinctive and neither willing to budge an inch.

It’s hard to tell, from just the smell, whether they’ll clash or play nicely. So I load up my typical tasting spoon and notice something very interesting: The consistency.

This sauce pours easily, yet leaves the bottle in runny blobs. Each well and truly jellied, yet separating from the whole without issue. I have never seen anything like it in a sauce before but I can tell you where I have seen it: Lily’s Chillies’ Jam.

Specifically after warming it up slightly, in order to spread over the base of my 💀smoked chilli cheesecake💀.

It’s the texture of a very lightly set jam or jelly but, despite how it looks on the way into my spoon, it’s almost perfectly smooth as it leaves it. Coating my tongue first with an almost turkish delight taste, from the rose water and sugar, then brightening up considerably as its fresh lime and prickly,

habanero heat burst through.

The garlic and MSG adding a subtle richness and umami depth the whole way through, without ever coming to the fore or ruining that sweet, refreshing mix of citrus and rose. The more floral side of today’s sauce clearly winning out in its taste. Which makes some of the company’s recommended uses utterly baffling to me.

I would not put turkish delight on my pizza or pasta and this sauce fills those roles no better than the sweets which it resembles. Yet throw it over my favourite indian dessert – Gulab Jamun – and it works just as well as in my own recipe. With the more peppery notes of the red habanero standing out far more against those milky dumplings. And you just know that it’ll make delicious baklava, too.

So, while its savoury uses may be a tad limited, Balefire’s Where The Wild Roses Grow is not just utterly unique but thoroughly enjoyable, as well. Worthy of some serious attention from anyone who enjoys more floral flavours.

It was made from:

Sugar, Vinegar (Contains Gluten), Rose Water, Red Peppers, Fresh Lime, Garlic, Fermented Habanero, Pectin, Monosodium Glutamate, Salt.

And , as for whether or not it successfully blended rose and red chilli, I’d say that the answer’s a resounding “yes”!

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