The Szechuan Sauce

Alright everyone, it’s time to get schwifty, so pull down your pants and-

Okay, no. I’m not finishing that reference. Rick and Morty really isn’t the highbrow, adult comedy that its fans would like you to think and that level of toilet humour is just gross. Even for a chilli reviewer, like myself, who inevitably has to hear a tonne of it.

But, the show’s supposed intelligence aside, there is something else that it’s known for. Which is the absolute ridiculousness of the szechuan sauce debacle, caused by the start of its third season. The raids on McDonald’s stores, across the US, all in search of a long-discontinued tie-in to the original Mulan film.

Frankly, I’ve no idea why people cared so much about a simple szechuan sauce – Especially one with such an uninspired list of ingredients – but that absurd uproar did have some interesting knock-on effects. Including inspiring a whole host of more authentic chinese flavours in the american hot sauce market. As well as a few further afield and even one or two here, in the UK.

Today, I want to look at one example, in particular, which comes to us from Balefire, in durham:

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Dark and Saucy

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!

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Dark and Dry

Hey folks, I said that we were going to be seeing some more from Alkemio Kitchen soon. So, what better time and way to start than today, with a sauce that I’ve already shown you but couldn’t previously go into depth about?

This is Fergus’ Black Garlic, Chipotle, Tamarind, Chocolate and that last titular ingredient makes it a perfect fit for my first post after World Chocolate Day. But it’s not the only such festive item that I have for you, this year.

I’d also like to showcase a little something in the same vein – Featuring the same blend of chipotle and chocolate – from a less familiar company:

The Chipotle Chocolate Stout, from Hop’t. Which, as their name implies, is heavily focussed on the use of hops. Albeit in a very different setting from any that we’ve seen such herbs in before.

In fact, it isn’t even the same sort of hops as any of those past products. But you’ll have to read on if you want to see what sets them apart.

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Sweet & Savoury Sriracha Nuts

Hey folks, happy sunday! Today, I’d like to share with you all a new recipe from my buddy, PixelTea. But, unlike his last, it is in no way themed around the Super Smash Bros. Series.

This sweet and savoury, sriracha-candied cashew recipe comes to us courtesy of his community discord server. And, more specifically, his “quarantine cooking” section, meant for sharing simple, lockdown-friendly creations featuring readily available and long life ingredients.

Which is probably why today’s deliciously dark nuts focus so heavily on their fermented, asian flavour.

A flavour which doesn’t let slip their simplicity in the slightest and is simply too good not to pass on to you readers.

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Two from Tom

Hey folks, it’s tuesday again and, being the 30th, you might think that we’d be through with my birthday content. But you’d be wrong.

People have been generous, this year, and Tom’s Curious Sauces is no exception, having sent me this pair specially.

TomsPair

The chipotle being Tom’s mildest, yet also my favourite flavour from his range.

But what’s that to the side of it? Something new. Something hot. And something very, very ghost pepper.

It’s the final version of a product that I’ve been helping him taste test. Though it looks rather different from the Honey Ghost that you may have seen, behind me, in recent videos.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s changed, as well as having another crack at his wonderful chipotle blend, so let’s give them both a go, shall we?

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Midnight Red

Greetings, fiery food fans, and welcome to the first of my ECCC sample reviews.

Today’s offering from the East Coast Chilli Company is probably their most unique item – A rich, black, honey-based sauce that matches wonderfully with the equally dark label that adorns its bottle.

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It is, of course, as its elegant red text tells us, their Midnight 21.

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Smoky, Sweet and Smooth

Greetings everyone. This week, I think it’s time I took another look at the products I got from Grim Reaper Foods.

I’m not talking about the last piece of their thai gift box, though. That’s going to have to wait a little longer because today’s item is something I actually bought from them. Their Wraith:

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A black and bronze version of their Vengeance oil’s stunning bottle that contains what could be a very controversial sauce.

Why? Because, like their Vengeance, this sauce contains extract instead of actual chilli. Here it is on the ingredients list:

Oak Smoked Cold-Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Apple Balsamic Vinegar (Cyder Vinegar, Concentrated Apple Juice, Colour: caramel E150d), Honey, Golden Syrup, Tamari Soy Sauce (Water, Soya Beans, Sea Salt, Koji (aspergilus oryzae)), Onion Powder, Chilli Extract, Mustard Powder, Garlic Extract.

Right near the bottom, greater in quantity than only the sauce’s garlic extract and its emulsifier.

It’s so low down that its presence isn’t going to affect the taste of the sauce and it probably won’t hit above the Vengeance’s three out of ten heat, either.

I did find the lack of pepper flavour in that oil quite disappointing but, fortunately for me, this isn’t another infused oil. It’s a barbecue sauce, which means it should have plenty going on without it.

After all, barbecue sauces are made to be sweet, sticky, smoky and molasses-heavy, not to focus on their chilli content. For the most part, chipōtle is only ever added for its smokiness and mild heat.

So, sacrilegious as it may seem from a fiery food fanatic like myself, I didn’t care about the chilli content when I opened up this item. I went in with an open mind and high hopes.

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Red Jalapeño

Another Mahi Fine Foods sauce this month, everyone, and it isn’t really listed as mild, medium or hot. Instead, this one gets a number for its heat, a rather hard to interpret “2”.

Yet its name implies it’ll at least put a little more focus on its peppers.

Jalapeños that have ripened fully to red. Could the “Red Jala” really use anything else?

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