Review: Carlsbad Gourmet- Strawberry Hot Sauce
Bottle Description: It’s the fresh pureed strawberries that give this strawberry hot sauce its truly unique taste. In fact, over 25% of the ingredients are strawberries. With the first bite you’ll taste the SWEET of the fresh strawberries and the then the HEAT from the fresh habaneros. Afterwards the heat simply fades and you are read for another.
Ingredients: Water, fresh strawberries, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, fresh habaneras, chiles, lemon juice, kosher salt, cornstarch, dried garlic and dried red pepper flakes.
Container: Simple small time company type graphics. That isn’t knocking it of course. It’s quaint.
Appearance: Looks like a puree with a kind of jam-like consistency.
Smell: From the smell of it you don’t really sense hot sauce at all. Strong strawberry scent with hints of garlic and pepper as a bit of an after note but not an after thought. Really unique smell that you don’t really get from most sauces.
Taste: I would reverse the bottle description. You really taste the hot sauce elements of the sauce first. A little rugged with some peppers and garlic but after getting to know it for a while it softens up and is almost as sweet as jam. This sauce REALLY tastes like strawberries. Usually the use of fruit is kind of gimmicky in the sauce but I think this stuff is the real deal. Delicious stuff. It will surprise you because it is such a sweet hot sauce but still has the charisma of a pure pepper sauce.
Heat: (6.4/10) Not hot at all but it’ll leave a little heat in the mouth.
Field Test: Delicious but a specific application sauce. I’d use this sauce like you’d use a cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, over slabs of lighter meats. I added this to a dish of salmon and rice and it was fantastic, it worked many times better than a regular pepper sauce. The sweetness really can’t be paired with everything but if you’re imaginative you’ll really find yourself reaching for it.
Final Word: I’ve used this sauce for three meals. The rest of the time I’ve been drinking it straight from the bottle. Nuff said.
Overall: 8.6/10. Delicious. I would also check out Scotty B’s Berries in Heat for addition sweet sauce goodness.