I used to teach high school history, so when I was walking by this bottle in the grocery store I just stopped: Here was a sauce that’s been made since 1869, a piece of Americana, so I just had to grab it. I’ll admit I was more drawn to the deep red color of it, and the handy convenience of a “drip free” valve (a genius innovation whose time is way over due). But I have to tell you, after so much anticipation and getting this sauce home, I was more than a little disappointed.
When I got home, I took out me trusty tasting spoon and just poured it on. This sauce is thick, thick like mustard, and it held well to the spoon. The first whiff I got when I smelled it was a combination of sugar and vinegar. Skeptical, I poured on, taking advantage of the Stay Clean Cap/Drip Free Valve. Now here was a shining light: You can use this cap to write messages, or draw funny faces to entertain your kids. But the real beauty of this cap is that with the right amount of pressure you can send streams of this sauce up to eight feet long. Which is what I found out after I tasted this stuff.
Now I understand that some producers are out there making milder sauces for the hot sauce newbies, but this is a step beyond ridiculous. Granted, this did taste ok on French fries, and pretty good on onion rings, but I had to add other hot sauces to this just to get a meager kick from it. What are they trying to push here? I don’t know, but my kids put this stuff on just about everything, and my wife says it tastes pretty good on hash browns. I guess each their own (but that doesn’t always make them right). So on to my Five Point Scale.
Appearance: 4-Certainly a good looking sauce in a nice, very squeezy plastic bottle. Again, with the right amount of pressure you can get streams of up to (but not limited to when using a Ford Taurus) eight feet. I also like the blood red color.
Aroma: 3-Almost like tomatoes, except I smell a lot of sweetness also. There is lingering vinegar when I sniff really hard. Oh wait, scratch that one. We just had our kitchen cleaned (tomato stains).
Taste: 3- If it wasn’t for the ingredients list, I’d swear I was tasting just tomatoes and sugar. Albeit red ripe tomatoes-look at the color again-but a little too sweet for my veteran palate.
Heat: 0-I try took look for an upside in everything, even the Police Academy movies, but I’m sorry, this sauce sucked for heat. My two year old daughter often enjoys a little taste or two of hot sauces, but this one she just ate up like it was nothing. What does that tell you? I’d get more heat if I were to lick an ice cube.
Overall: 3.3- For a sauce that’s been around since 1869, you would think these people had a clue as to what they were doing. But they don’t. It’s a decent sauce, for what it’s worth ($1.89 for 20 ounces), and you can buy it anywhere. I guess this would be the ultimate sauce for newbies. And contrary to popular belief, the “57” that adorns this bottle is not the 57th attempt at making it. No, the truth in the matter was in 1870 Heinz founder H. J. Heinz predicted that there would someday be 57 states in America that his sauce would be sold and bought in. Little piece of trivia for ya. So until next time, treat every meal like it was your last!
H.J. Heinz Co., L.P.
Pittsburgh, PA. 15222