Posted May 16, 2006 by John in Reviews

Review: Capitol Punishment’s Must Have Mango

After an agonizingly long wait for the UPS store that held my shipment of Capitol Punishment [taghot sauces[/tag] hostage for far too long, I finally got a chance to try Chef Gordon’s creations, starting with Must-Have-Mango. You can check them out for yourself at the Capitol Punishment Foods Website.

On First Taste
The first flavor that comes through is the orange habaneros, followed by some spices and herbs, and a bit of garlic. After the first bit of flavor, the heat kicks in with a plentiful burn, and gets followed quickly by an over washing tropical fruit taste. The mango is perfectly balanced with the heat; not too sweet but extremely flavorful. On subsequent tastes, the heat builds nicely and the mango comes to the front, but it never comes on too strong. This is by no means a candy sauce, but more like something you’d find fresh made by the cook in a small Latin restaurant, and then only shared after begging and pleading for the best and hottest the chef had to offer. Like a trapeze artist holding the crowd’s attention with stunt after stunt, this sauce gets more complex with each bite but always manges to stay perfectly on plane.

On Food
On Chef Gordon’s advice, I decided to try using Must-Have-Mango as a brush on sauce. I chose to go minimalist: salt and pepper seasoning on a chicken breast, with a liberal dose of Must-Have Mango. Grill for 20 minutes, flip and re-brush, and finish off with 10 more minutes.

I served it with a side of steamed broccoli lightly spritzed with lemon juice for a touch of acidity, and a fresh orange on the side to enhance the sweetness of the sauce. Served it with a chilled Pinot Grigio, crisp and clean with high acidity but understated fruit tones so that the chicken would carry the meal.

The chicken was spectacular. This is the sort of sauce I truly love – it’s fresh tasting and vibrant; it really brings the meal to life with very little effort. Truthfully, the sauce was better than attempts I’ve made with fresh mango and habanero. It’s virtual magic for the chef looking to save time without sacrificing flavor of quality. And the heat is perfect – enough so that I built up a nice forehead mist, but not so much that the heat is the focus.

The only complaint I have about Must-Have-Mango is the consistency. It’s a bit too thin to be perfect. It works well as a brushed sauce, and it’d be great as a marinade, but using it on a sandwich would be too messy. All things considered, though, it’s a very minor complaint.

In Conclusion: I was thrilled by the flavor of Must-Have-Mango, and I surprised by the heat that it brought. It is the best sort of burn – delighting the taste buds while inflaming the tongue. If you’ve been turned off by the over the top sweetness of mango sauces before, this is your elixir. It’s a truly gourmet sauce that tastes fresh out of a superb kitchen, and adds a high quality of flavor with a few shakes of the bottle.

Overall Rating: 9.1 out of 10