Review: California Habanero Blends – Chipotle Hot Sauce
It seems only fitting that I review a California Blends Hot Sauce while in California. When this package first arrived I couldn’t be more excited, you see, California Blends comes out of Chico, CA – a town that I practically grew up in. My brother and I used to hit Chico for all sorts of mischievous activities, mostly hanging out in the Chico Mall or exploring Bidwell Park. So suffice to stay, the city of Chico is near and dear to my heart and I couldn’t be happier to review a hot sauce that hails from there.
The first in the California Blends product line up to bat was the Chipotle Sweet & Smoky Hot Sauce – and I’ll admit, I first tried this the day it arrived in NYC, I couldn’t wait until we got to California – but it did make the trip from NYC to LA with me.
Ingredients: Tomato puree, Sugar, Chipotle Peppers, Garlic, Spice, Habanero Peppers, Lime Juice, Molasses, Honey, Maple syrup, Vinegar, Salt & Liquid Smoke
Description from the bottle: Spice up your meals with some fresh California flavor! Use our smoky Chipotle Habanero Blend at your next BBQ for a fiery flavor that’s sweet with honey. Also great in pasta, sandwiches, sauces and dips. Shake it on and enjoy!
First off, this sauce is thicker the molasses that is in it. Trying to get it out of the bottle the first time was nearly impossible – but well worth the wait. While in NYC, I tried the sauce out on a “Mexican pizza” – basically an inside out quesadilla with extra jalapenos. The sauce was good on tacos but would have been better on some BBQ.
The smoke flavor of the sauce, paired with the sweetness of the molasses and maple syrup makes this sauce perfect for BBQ. In fact, it should be bottled in the larger 12oz. bottles and marketed as such – the little 5oz. bottles won’t work when you’re dealing with large amounts of BBQ. But it does work on just about anything that you’re looking to have massive amounts of Chipotle flavor on.
Heat wise, the habanero peppers sneak up behind the chipotle flavor and back it up with a habanero punch. It’s not too hot for the likes of the wife nor the beginner chilehead but it does linger a bit longer then your average chipotle sauce.
If this sauce is any indication of the caliber of sauces coming out of the California Blends crew, then chileheads be prepared for some great tasting hot sauces. But remember, this sauce is definitely smoky – so when pairing it with food make sure you take note of that. The smoke flavor would overpower a light dish, such as seafood, but would go well on a chicken sandwich or a pulled pork dish. And I can tell you now that their Habanero Garlic Key Lime sauce is also excellent, with a more detailed review to follow on that one as well.
California Habanero Blends
PO Box 1134
Chico, Ca. 95927