Posted August 4, 2007 by Nick Lindauer in Reviews

Review: El Yucateco Salsa Kutbil-ik de Chile Habanero Hot Sauce

El Yucateco Salsa Hot Sauce

I’ll start right off the bat as admitting I am not a huge fan of mass-produced sauces. They tend to have an overly processed taste (or lack of) with poor consistency and no discernable aroma. But every now and then I buy a sauce I know is mass-produced (I live in Wisconsin-the Bland Hole of the Flavor Universe) and WHOA! Surprise, surprise, surprise. This sauce is just that case.

Salsa Kutbil-ik de Chile Habanero is El Yucateco’s hottest in their garden of habanero sauces. The first thing I do with every new sauce I try is pour it on a spoon, right out of the bottle, and taste it. A good habanero sauce will have three characteristics:
1-A clean, citrus-y, almost smoky-earthy aroma.
2-Flavor that tastes like fresh habanero, not vinegar.
3-Heat that starts at the tip of the tongue, and slowly flows all the way to the back of the throat. This sauce hits two out of three.

Salsa Kutbil-ik smells like I just picked a habbie right out of my garden. Fresh, very fresh. Doesn’t smell like a mass-produced sauce. Doesn’t pour like one, either; very smooth and constant.

The flavor of the sauce right out of the bottle took me right to the Yucatan-very fresh, very full, and it just coats the tongue with the flavor of a just-picked habbie. If it weren’t for the salt and “spices” it would taste like a slice of the real thing.

The heat? Here’s where I was taken back to reality. The heat hits you right away, and then”¦completely disappears. I mean, it completely disappeared. This is a habanero sauce?

El Yucateco Salsa Chile Habanero Hot Sauce

Any good hot sauce can be applied to any type of cuisine. I decided to use this sauce with something obviously non-Mexican, pepperoni pizza. I made the pizza at my job (I work at a bar/restaurant), brought it home, threw the sauce on, and then reheated it. Remember what I said about the aroma and flavor about this sauce? It wasn’t there anymore. But here’s the thing: the heat was. So I took some left over pizza, reheated it, and then put the sauce on. Result: flavor’s back, aroma’s back, and the heat again stood out (if only for a couple of minutes). Acceptable, considering the cost of this four ounce bottle. This is a finishing sauce, not a cooking sauce.

El Yucateco Salsa Chile Habanero Hot Sauce

Overall, this is a good, middle of the road kind of sauce. If I had a friend that was just wandering in to the Wonderful World of Habanero, this just fits the bill. Not too hot, not too dull, and enough flavor to keep around the house.

My Five Star Scales:
Aroma: 4 ½. Literal garden fresh smell with a hint of vinegar.
Flavor: 4. It’s almost all there, but still missing something.
Heat: 2. That’s stretching it, too. For hardened habbie-heads, this sauce is child’s play.
Verdict: 3. I’d buy this sauce again, not only for its flavor, but also for its affordability. If this sauce was a car, it would be a Cadillac.

Until next time, treat every meal like it’s your last, and make it a full one!

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog