Review: Longbranch Trading Company – Longbranch Original
Longbranch Trading Company has had a few of their sauces reviewed in the past on hotsauceblog.com. Fortunately for me their Longbranch Original was not one of them and I happened to have a brand new bottle of it in my pantry. Having never tasted it before, I figured it was the best choice for my first ever hot sauce blog review. I was grilling New York steaks for dinner and after opening the bottle and taking a good smell and initial taste off of my finger, I decided that this would make an awesome grilling sauce. Awesome grilling sauceIn the meantime though I did have to try it a few more times off of my finger and then I busted out the tortilla chips. This stuff is good, real good, and I had to set enough to the side for the steaks in case I ended up eating all of it.
The Longbranch Original is a salsa picante three-pepper blend of De Arbol, Chipotle Morita and Habanero peppers. It has a nice smokiness and a pleasant heat that balance well with the flavors of the peppers, garlic, apple cider vinegar and the three different roasted seeds used in the recipe. Yes, I said three different seeds. Now using roasted seeds in hot sauces is not uncommon. In fact, in Mexico they are almost a staple. But typically you only see them used one at a time. In this case, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted sesame seeds and roasted pine nuts are all in the mix and they work beautifully together, creating a rich creamy texture and bold earthy taste.
The appearance of the sauce is a nice brown color. There are bits and pieces of seeds and skins from the peppers and the roasted pumpkin and sesame seeds and roasted pine nuts. It’s not the prettiest stuff I’ve ever seen, but the flavor makes up for that.
The aroma of the sauce was smokey and tangy and full of peppers with a hint of garlic. Interestingly enough, although this sauce uses Chipotle morita peppers, there is not an overwhelming amount of Chipotle flavor, just a hint so you know that it’s there, but just barely. This adds a nice finish on your palette and really rounds out the whole experience.
INGREDIENTS: Apple cider vinegar, water, de Arbol peppers*, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted sesame seeds, garlic, roasted pine nuts, sea salt, spices, Habanero peppers*, Chipotle morita peppers*, xanthan gum *Denotes dried pepper
Although apple cider vinegar and water are the two main ingredients, the sauce’s viscosity was just about perfect. Thin enough to easily pour from the bottle and thick enough not to run all over the place. It brushed nicely onto the steaks and created a wonderful aroma once it hit the flames. The apple cider vinegar did by no means overwhelm the sauce, but added a nice acidic balance to all of the other flavors.
I used the sauce as a quasi steak and grilling sauce for this review, but there are many many more uses for it. Tacos, nachos, chicken, pork, hamburgers, eggs and pasta are just the first few things that come to mind. It’s really versatile and can be applied to most anything.
The packing is quite simple and understated, especially for a sauce with this much flavor. The label consists only of simple western style text and a graphic of a garland of peppers. Not very interesting and certainly not a standout on a shelf in a retail setting. It comes in a small 5oz. bottle which was disappointing only because I think it deserves to be sold in a larger size, at least a 7 ouncer.
All in all, I really like this sauce and would suggest to anyone to give it a try. It will definitely become a staple in my kitchen.
Longbranch Trading Company
6285 East Spring Street, #319
Long Beach, CA 90808-4000