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Posted December 22, 2007 by HSB Reviewing Team in Reviews
 
 

Review: Blind Hot Sauce Review #101 Mild


Blind Hot Sauce Review #101

Warning: This is a fairly long review – if you can’t wait until the end to find out what the sauce is, just skip to the end here.

First Impression:
Reviewer #1: First of all, I’m Brendan, and I was reviewer 1 for the review of sauce #102. “Hi Brendan!” I decided to come forward with my story to end the speculation, end the constant personal torment I’ve been living with over this, and help others who have also struggled with anonymous hot sauce reviewing to reclaim our lives. The hot sauce community can and must heal together over the deep wounds that anonymous reviewing has inflicted. Or we can continue doing anonymous reviews; that would be funny too.

Appearance:
Reviewer #1: This sauce is a little darker than brick red, with a pretty smooth texture that holds together soundly. Once thinned out on a plate, small chunks reveal themselves. Then there are microscopic dots of matter that are a slightly darker color than the sauce itself. It runs slowly, like, like a- oh I don’t know, a slow dog. Are you bored yet? Okay, fine, I thinned it out even more and thought it would make an interesting wall paper design, and now I’m thinking that some lucky entrepreneur who is reading this is going to steal my idea and come out with an entire line of hot sauce-inspired paints and wallpapers.

Reviewer #2: Brick red, presumably a tomato base, with visible flecks of dried red chile, some spices (maybe cayenne and others), and seeds. Has somewhat of a “gritty” look to it. 8/10

Reviewer #3: Deep, crimson red spotted with pieces of red chile (looks like the skins), and what looks like garlic powder or small rehydrated pieces. Actually, a very nice sauce to look at, but nothing that suggests the wheel has been reinvented. 8 out of 10.

Blind Hot Sauce Review #101

Consistency:
Reviewer #2: More thin than thick. Would coat something. Meant to be splashed on your food. “Pleasantly gritty”. You can actually bite into some of the spices and ground chiles. 8/10

Reviewer #3: Like ketchup was blended with vinegar-thick enough to control from the woozy bottle mouth, but not too thick to cover the target food. 8/10

Smell:
Reviewer #1: Well, first, I’ll tell you about a peculiar thing I heard when I opened the bottle. It was ever so faint at first, but when I put my ear up to the opening, I’ll be damned if there wasn’t an entire mariachi band in there! Seriously, is Taco Bell bottling their Fire Sauce now? This sauce is Mexican to max! Or perhaps Mexican-American. Or maybe just what one American associates with Mexican food. I’m assuming that that very distinct smell that reminds me of tacos is chili powder, although part of me wants to say curry is in there too. Or maybe chili powder is kind of like the Mexican culinary equivalent to curry. It smells and looks a lot like Tapatio, which I have right here as well.

Reviewer #2: Initial nose of vinegar and hints of a blend of spices common to “chili powder”, i.e. cayenne, cumin. Maybe a hint of smoke, suggestive of Ancho or Chipotle in the batch. 7/10

Reviewer #3: Vinegar, garlic, onion, and some cayenne-type chile. Nothing in itself over-powering nor exciting. Reminds me of a Taco Bell sauce. 4/10

Taste:
Reviewer #1: Once again, I’m going with “solid taco accoutrement”. Or any Mexican-type food, for that matter. It’s sweet, with some tang after a few seconds. The chili powder or curry (whatever that is) is clearly if the defining ingredient of this sauce, although I’m going to say some garlic is in there as well, and allow for the possibility of a fruit of some sort, pineapple maybe. Real Taco Bell Fire Sauce is on my good side, especially now with those wise-cracking little packets, and this sauce does taste a lot like it in my opinion. However, I think this sauce tastes fresher, and magnifies the distinguishing flavors more effectively. Although I’m sure one could probably find some other things to do with it, I may just have to bite the bullet and call this a “specific application sauce” for Mexican dishes, with the caveat that almost all hot sauces work well on pizza and eggs. But you all know that.

Reviewer #2: Tasting by itself, an expert balance of vinegar, sweet, salt and heat, followed by a slightly smoky aftertaste. Poured on top of my chili-mac, it was the perfect complement. Even with all I have going on in my chili recipe, this sauce added another dimension. Somehow it made it taste richer. 9/10

Reviewer #3: By itself this sauce was vinegar and garlic with an almost chemical flavor to it, kind of like they went overboard on the preservatives. But on food, for example flank steak tacos (I was inspired) the rest of the flavors came out, and the heat was more “there”. Garlic developed more with the heat of the target foods it was applied too (especially eggs, scrambled or fried). 5/10

Heat:
Reviewer #1: Yeah, mild. A very dull, middle of the tongue sensation that never gets out of hand, never even comes close. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mild, and on tacos, for some reason I don’t usually want it crazy hot. In fact, the only issue I ever had with Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce (I swear this is the last time I mention them) is that they call it “Fire Sauce,” when there is really no heat to scream about.

Reviewer #2: Initially burns the roof of the mouth, then all around the mouth. In sufficient quantity, it produces a good sweat on the skull and forehead, and a runny nose. This was labeled mild, but I peg it more medium ““ a 6/10 on the HSB scale. In some ways, behaves like cayenne, but in other ways, has a quicker effect like some other pepper is predominant.

Reviewer #3: Initially there wasn’t detectable heat, but the more and more I had right out of the bottle the more the heat was actually building. On food the heat was also more pronounced, and, strangely, lingered. Again, it reminded me of Taco Bell.

Blind Review #101
Chipotle Tacos

Blind Review #101
Chili Mac

Blind Review #101
Skirt Steak Tacos

Overall:
Reviewer #1: Good. It will definitely be my go-to sauce for Mexican food, as friendly as the sombrero-ed Tapatio man appears (watch this is Tapatio). I don’t really know what they could change. The sauce has a very clear vision, Mexico, and I think it accomplished what it had set out to do. I bought some Chipotle to put it on for dinner, and it was very good, not to mention classier and tastier than Taco Bell (oops, I did it again). Chipotle (the restaurant chain) is actually a relatively new thing here in New York, and everyone is pretty crazy about it. I think it’s overpriced, but clean and well-managed. However, this is neither here nor there. Enjoy your food, and if it’s Mexican, enjoy this sauce on it.

Reviewer #2: I would buy this by the gallon to add tang, spice and a richer flavor to chili, soups, stews, bloodys, scrambled eggs, you name it. 8.5/10

Reviewer #3: This is not a sauce I would buy. It’s not a terrible sauce, don’t get me wrong. It’s just too much like a sauce you would find at a fast food place, like Taco Bell or Wendy’s: Hot for the Non-hot Crowd, but nothing really to offer the rest of us. 5.2/10.

Curious to know what sauce it is? Information on the sauce is available below the fold

HSB Blind Review #101: CaJohn’s Oaxacan Hot Sauce
CaJohn's Oaxacan Hot Sauce

Ingredients: Vinegar, Chile Peppers, Brown Sugar, Garlic, Salt, Onion & Cumin

CaJohns Fiery Foods
2040 Oakland Park Avenue
PO Box 24010
Columbus, Ohio 43224


HSB Reviewing Team