Posted February 20, 2006 by clint in Makers

CaJohn’s Select Jalapeno, Cayenne, Habanero Purees

PSHHHH I don’t need three reviews just for these three [tag]hot sauces[/tag]. BLAMMO. One big review to cover them all.

These were previously reviewed but I didn’t read them to stay objective.


Bottle Description: CaJohn selects only the finest chiles for his signature line of purees. Ground fresh from the fields, they are blended with distilled vinegar. Citric acid and Vitamin C are added to preserve color, then bottled immediately. The results it minimum 80% chile solids, more than four times the content of most hot sauces. These purees are wonderful for inclusion in your culinary creations, or you can use them to create sauces of your own design. Their use is limited only by your imagination! From CaJohn’s kitchen to your. ENJOY!

Introduction: 80%!!! Wow that’s a whole lot of chile. This is something I’ve never encountered. How novel! How original! But how does it taste? And is it worth it to buy a puree when you can easily hit up your local bodega and or carneceria for all these peppers? Let me pontificate upon these mild queries.

Ingredients:CaJohn's Jalapeno Pepper Puree
Select Habanero Puree:
[tag]Habanero[/tag] Chiles, Distilled Vinegar, Citric Acid & Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), to Preserve Color.
Select Jalapeno Puree: [tag]Jalapeno[/tag] Chiles, Distilled Vinegar, Citric Acid & Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), to Preserve Color.
Select Cayenne Puree: [tag]Cayenne[/tag] Chiles, Distilled Vinegar, Citric Acid & Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), to Preserve Color.

Container: Love em. Respectively just pictures of a jalapeno, a cayenne pepper and a habanero. With CaJohn’s back to basics direction with these purees, the bottle really fit the overall feel of the sauces.

Jalapeno: This sauce is the color of the pickled vinegared jalapenos that you get in most restaurants. Light green, totally different from the hue of the original jalapeno. There are chunks of seeds and skin in here. Color aside, this looks tasty.

Cayenne: This color is right. Deep red and chunky. Deliciously beckoning to lie across my tongue.

Habanero: This is a little more disturbing than the jalapeno. Looks weird doesn’t it? Light orange. Looks like Chinese mustard. Whatever, as we know its taste and smell that matters.
CaJohn's Cayenne Pepper PureeSmell:
Jalapeno: A rather warm smell. The peppers really come through but it all ends with a nasal stab of vinegar. If you read my Chedville’s review you know how I feel about vinegar in my sauce (pssst – not so good). Overall not bad.

Cayenne: Holy crap in a hat! The cayenne-ness is all there. The vinegar? Not an issue. I’m not sure but I think I have some kind of previous happy childhood memory of cayennes or something because this smell is damn near euphoric.

Habanero: This is more along the lines of the Jalapeno puree. Good pepper aroma but the vinegar tagging along is a bit annoying. The kind of annoying where you go hrmmm.

All: Good. It can slow pour if you want. It can FOOD DESTROY fast pour if you want too. If you want to sip it out of the bottle like a fine wine, hey that’s totally possible to. How do I know? Yup, I did.

CaJohns Habanero Pepper PureeTaste: (dun dun dun)
Jalapeno: The jalapeno is there. That’s about the end of the good news. I never thought jalapeno tasted good unless it was a raw pepper and I stand by that still. The jalapenos you get from Mexican restaurants? Yeah exactly like that. A bit sour and bitter.

Cayenne: The smell was great. The taste? It’s a lot better than the jalapeno puree. A bit sweet, a lot of cayenne flavor and book ended with some vinegar. Definitely good.

Habanero: So far I’ve been panning our good friends habanero, the champion of almost every sauce I love. Fear not readers because the habanero puree is the best among the bunch. The habanero taste bitch slaps the vinegar into submission. It taste almost like pure hab.

Jalapeno: Hee hee. That tickles…barely. (2.8/10)

Cayenne: My friend Matt ate some of this and he could eat this and not faint like a Southern belle you’ll be fine. (6.2/10)

Habanero: I was talking to my buddy Daniel on the phone and I took a big spoon of this when I first got it in the mail. What harm could it do? It wasn’t Blair’s or Dave’s etc. Klacka BAM! I was not expecting this amount of heat. It’s really not too hot but when it catches you off guard it’s searing. (7.9/10)

Field Test: (eaten on Mexican food)
Gah. So distracting. I think it detracts from my overall food experience. It’s like watching your favorite comedy and having your friend who laughs WAY too loud with you.

Cayenne: The sweetness is a bit untamed but otherwise go ahead and douse all you eat in this stuff. It’s all pepper flavor.

Habanero: It’s like biting into a habanero then eating your food. Habanero in liquid form. So pure!

Final Word:
If you want to go basic (pure) pepper flavor, any of these sauces are worth picking up.

Jalapeno: Definitely not my favorite of the three. It squeaks by as decent at best. I would rather hit up my local Albertson’s etc and just buy some real peppers. It’s like a dollar a pound at most.

Cayenne: Great stuff. This one has gone the fastest. I’m pretty much done with the bottle now. It’s cayenne but dare I say I think the vinegar helps in the overall flavor. This is your dousing sauce. Bury everything in it.

Habanero: If you need a habanero sauce then this is it. Hot as hell and delicious.


Cayenne: 8.4/10

Habanero: 8.5/10

CaJohns Fiery Foods
2040 Oakland Park Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43224
Toll Free: 888-703-FIRE
Phone: (614)-418-0808
Fax: (614)-418-0800