Posted November 30, 2006 by Ron Levi in Reviews

Review: Csigi Chili Sauce – Capsaicin Carnivale

Capsaicin Carnivale Hot SauceOK well let’s just jump right in with my second review for Hot Sauce Blog. I am a little perplexed by this sauce. Everything about it screams HUH? If you have set out to confuse the masses I think you have a winner here. I did a little research, very little, and noticed that this [tag]hot sauce[/tag] has recently won a second place Scovie in the habanero hot sauce division. I have high expectations when there is an award attached to a product.

Initial Impression: Like I said my first impression was confusion. I don’t really get the label and I don’t understand what the two headed screaming bulldog in the pool of blood is all about. I tried to find some clues on the web but had no luck. I did think that putting the chemical formula of [tag]capsaicin[/tag] on the side panel was cool. Only an Uber-Chile-head would get that.

Ingredients: Vinegar, Orange Habanero Chilies, Roasted Yellow Peppers, Roma Tomatoes, Garlic, Extra Course Sea Salt, Turbinado Sugar, Hemp Protein (0.00% THC), Spices, Arrowroot.

Typically sauces that have vinegar as their first ingredient tend to twang the taste buds more than I like. I guess we’ll see. Hemp protein is a strange ingredient to add to a hot sauce the only other hot sauce I’ve ever seen with a hemp by product is Blair’s Smokin’ Hot Pot sauce. It had some hemp seed oil in it. You want a real carnivale leave the THC in it next time!

Csigi Capsaicin Carnivale Hot Sauce

Appearance: THICK! This sauce is so thick that it is almost not a sauce. When I took off the cap to have a sniff I noticed that there was a plug of sauce blocking the opening. Even putting the lid back on and shaking would not remove it. It was as if the sauce had created some sort of a mucus plug like self preservation system so as not to be consumed by whatever being had enough dexterity to remove the cap. With a few good slams on the table I was able to dislodge its protective device and gain access to the sauce beneath it. I recapped and shook a few more time to ensure that the sauce was properly blended. This sauce pours out very slowly and practically piles up on the plate or whatever you are putting it on. If you like it thick, again, a winner!

Csigi Capsaicin Carnivale Hot Sauce

Aroma: A big sniff of this sauce will have you twitching a bit at first. The initial aroma is defiantly vinegary. If you give it another chance once you get used to the vinegar twang you will notice that there is a very distinctive fresh habanero aroma. This sauce is sweet to smell, like a sweet pickle relish or ripe melon perhaps. I enjoyed the fragrant complexity, it made my mouth water.

Taste: When I first put this sauce in my mouth it has an almost cooling effect. There is a sharp bitterness initially but it quickly dissipates and the sweetness flows in. it’s not for about 10 seconds until the heat starts to build. The heat builds slowly and peaks at about a 6/10. On second taste I find there is not a lot of flavor. After the initial twang of vinegar which was followed by some sweetness and finally the build up of a little heat I was kind of feeling like it had not peaked. It reminded of a good movie with a weak ending.

Csigi Capsaicin Carnivale Hot Sauce

The Food Test: Braised Calypso Pork was tonight’s repast. This was some pork shoulder country style ribs with cabbage and carrots. It was seasoned with Creole spice and seared in a pan. The whole deal goes in a covered pan to be braised with some Caribbean Calypso Marinade. This meal was screaming for some heat. I doused my plate with a healthy slathering of this brownish viscous condiment. While it did add some heat it did not seem to go well with the dish. I thought the Caribbean nature of this dish would happily marry with this habanero sauce. Perhaps it would be better suited to eggs; I’ll try again in the morning.

Conclusion: Capsaicin Carnivale is definitely like no sauce I have ever tasted before. The flavor is unique but once the vinegar tang runs out it, unfortunately, falls a little flat. If you like super thick sauces that have a nice aroma and medium heat, this might be the one for you. Overall I found the whole package to be somewhat confusing. But maybe I am overanalyzing?

Packaging 3/10 ““ I don’t get it?
Aroma 7/10 ““ Fresh, Tangy & Sweet
Appearance 5/10 ““ Very Thick & Brownish in Color
Taste 4/10 ““ Somewhat Flat
Heat 6/10 ““ Habanero.

Overall 5/10

Csigi Chili Sauce
569 Blue Mountain Lake
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301

Ron Levi