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Posted September 11, 2007 by Nick Lindauer in Reviews
 
 

Review: Batten Island Mild Gourmet Sauce


Batten Island Gourmet Sauce

Is “FLSauce” the company who makes this? Or is Batten Island the company?

Ingredients: Raisins and/or dates & prunes, vinegar, apple, (one or more of the following: pears, papaya, mango), Habanero & Cayenne pepper, tomato paste, brown sugar, garlic, onion, salt, and other exotic herbs & spices.

After learning my lesson from a certain fruit-based hot sauce not to judge a sauce by its ingredient list, I went ahead and tore the cape off of this one. It was disgusting. Not only was the bottle mucked up (which in all fairness does happen sometimes), the smell emanating from it was just, frankly, putrid. So I read the ingredients list again. Now, at the store, any time I see “and/or”, or worse “one or more of the following” I put that product right down (I have kids, so reading labels is a force of habit). “And/or”? “One or more of the following”?

Question #1 before I continue: Why couldn’t someone decide what the hell was going into this?

Question #2 before I continue: How much longer will I go on before this review turns into a mad rant?

Batten Island Gourmet Sauce

But I digress. I poured the sauce onto a plate, well, really I shook the heck out of it, and it fell out in a big “glop”. I thought to myself how this wasn’t going well already, and walked away. A couple minutes later my six year old stepson asked me (I swear to God I’m not making this up) “Why is there cat poop on the counter?”. To make matters worse, I eventually got the courage to actually try the stuff, and”¦I have no idea what it was I was tasting. Was it raisins and/or dates? Or was it one or more of the pears, papaya or mango? It sure wasn’t habanero or cayenne (my two year old daughter licked my trusty tasting spoon clean). Or was it “other exotic herbs and spices? And by the way, what if I’m allergic to those “other” exotic herbs and spices? All I could taste was a pasty, some kind of fruit mix (like a fruit roll). Mild sauce? Gourmet sauce??

Batten Island Gourmet Sauce

Ok, here comes the rant. This was labeled as a “mild” sauce. Doesn’t there have to be some kind, any kind, of heat source? The ingredients list clearly says there’s habanero and cayenne. Where? I should point out that the ingredients list is printed in the smallest font on the whole label, and on the side of the bottle, in bold black letters, it reads “MIGHT AS WELL HAVE THE BEST” Well honey, it ain’t coming from this bottle. I really have no idea what these people were thinking when they constructed this sauce. At first I thought maybe I got a tainted bottle (it happens), but after tasting it multiple times, I knew this is what they were going for (and yes, I have consumed tainted hot sauces).

You know, I’m all for a free economy, where anyone can sell anything. But has the hot sauce industry come to a point where anyone can just pump something out without market testing it first? And what was the consumer market this bottle was targeted at?

So here I am, making the call out to all of the producers that give a rat’s ass about hot sauce, that actually take the patient time and care required to produce a quality product. Italy and France have laws (laws!) about what can or cannot be labeled as a quality wine, and cheese. The California olive oil industry has very strict codes as far as quality in labels, also. Shouldn’t we, in our industry, recognize that hot sauce is not just “sauce”, but its own viable ingredient, a food itself? I sell my own brand (Old Skool Pyrate) around Wisconsin, a pure habanero blend, and the first question I’m asked is-you guessed it-“Is it hot?”. You all have been asked that question, how many times? No, I am not implying that we need to educate the public about quality sauces, I’m saying that its because of “gourmet” sauces like this one that people don’t know what quality is. There needs to be something, dare I say a governing body, that regulates what is good sauce, and what is really great sauce, decided on by ingredients, handling, and production. Maybe there already is something like the D.O.C.G., or the A.O.C. (Italy and France), or the California Olive Oil Council. I don’t know. I’m just tired of seeing slop like this on the market.

So here’s my Five Points Scale:
Appearance: 0. Read again what my step son asked.
Smell: 0. I have no idea what I was supposed to be smelling in the first place. Raisins and/or what?
Taste: 0. Again, I don’t know what I was supposed to be tasting, since I don’t know what the hell is in this.
Heat:0. Do I really need to go on?

I always end by saying to treat every meal like it was your last. Don’t do it with this sauce.

Batten Island Gourmet Sauce
10418 New Berlin Road Suite 224
Jacksonville, Fl 32226
1-877-FLSauce


Nick Lindauer

 
The Original Hot Sauce Blog