Posted August 13, 2007 by Nick Lindauer in Reviews

Review: Maui Pepper Co. Mango Meltdown Hot Sauce

Maui Pepper Co. Mango Meltdown Hot Sauce

Ingredients: Vinegar, Mango, Sugar, Apple juice, Honey, Habanero, sea salt, natural spices. “The sweet heat with a tropical tingle” (their words).

Well. A mango habanero “hot sauce”.
Let me start this again: when I received this bottle from Nick, my initial thought was “Damn. A mango hot sauce?”. You see, I’m a savory hot sauce kinda a guy, not some fruity-tooty skirt wearin’ MANGO sauce guy. Let me be thy example of just why we do not judge a book by its cover, nor by its ingredients list.

I tore the cap off and poured a sample into my trusty tasting spoon. This bottle has a wider top than most 5 ouncers, and for a liquid sauce like this, it helps. With vinegar being the first ingredient, it flowed freely. Off the tasting spoon I could smell a great bouquet of honey and habanero. Did I say “bouquet”? You bet I did, b’cause this stuff smelled great, like I was walking through a florists shop. After smelling it, and looking over this golden concoction (sprinkled with bits of habanero), I finally tasted it.

Maui Pepper Co. Mango Meltdown Hot Sauce

At first all I tasted was the mango and apple juice, which quickly went away. Then I was taken aback by the impressive heat this thing packs, with a nice finish from the sea salt. I couldn’t believe it, so I took another spoonful. Same thing: sweet flavor quickly taken over by spicy/salty finish.

Damn! What a mango hot sauce!

I was excited to try this one out now. So I took a couple more spoonfuls right out of the bottle. Oh yeah, I gotta try this on food, too (damn!). First up: margaritas. It was my youngest daughter’s first birthday, so to show how grateful I was to my wife I whipped up a couple a ‘ritas, one with a healthy dose of Mango Meltdown, the other with a weaker dose. The obvious happened: my margarita (healthy) rocked, whereas my wife’s (weaker) was ok (so I put more booze in it).

Maui Pepper Co. Mango Meltdown Hot Sauce

Next up I took the traditional Italian salad of buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Instead of the traditional dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, I used this sauce. I didn’t realize I had just created (sit down as you read this) perhaps the best darn snack food my house will ever see or taste, ever! The tomatoes, heirlooms from our garden, could not have worked better with this sauce, it was perfection. The buffalo mozzarella, with its high fat content, cooled the heat but really, really complimented the mango, honey, and sea salt. The basil just added a fourth dimension to it all. This was near perfect summer food. This sauce will stand up to hardy vegetables, lighter meats, and milder cheeses. Oh, and of course other fruit dishes.

Let me end with this: Do you remember that friend you had in high school, kind of dorky, kind of weird, and you were kind of embarrassed to be seen in public with him? And then, when no one else was around, you two were near about the best of friends? I don’t either (I was kind to all), and that’s what this sauce reminds me of. Great stuff, but if you’re a hardened habbie head, kind of reluctant to admit it.

The Five Points Scale:
Appearance: 4 Smooth and golden, flecked with bits of habanero and seeds.
Aroma: 4. Floral with undertones of apple and vinegar.
Heat: 2. I’m guessing around the 5,000 SHU range.
Flavor: 5, and a worthy 5-this stuff is addictive.
Overall: 4.7. This is really good stuff to have if the $8.00 price tag doesn’t scare you.

Go get a bottle of this, and until next time, treat every meal like it was you’re last!
Louie (ChileLouie).

Tahiti Joe
The Kahuna of Hot Sauces
4310 State Drive
Fax: 561-965-4909
Toll Free: 1-88-Tahitijo

Our thoughts & prayers are with you Tahiti…

CHARLOTTE C. FINOCHIO TURNER Age 68 of West Palm Beach, FL; formerly of Flushing, NY, succumbed Friday, August 3, 2007 following a brief, courageous battle with cancer. She was employed by Hertz Rent-a-Car for 19 years and then retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2004. She and her husband Joe started and operate a successful business, Tahiti Joe’s Hot Sauces, in West Palm Beach in 1996. She is survived by her beloved husband whom she married 16 years ago in Bora Bora, Tahiti, Joseph K. Turner Jr. and his family; both her caring mother Kathryn Finochio of Queens Village, NY and her mother-in-law, Floe Tress of Tequesta FL; two loving brothers, Frank and Steve Finochio and their families of NY; one adoring daughter, Karen Duva and her husband Richard; two cherished grandchildren, Krystina and Nicholas; and a host of valued family and friends. At her request, no services are to be conducted, but a ‘Celebration of Life’ for her will be announced at a later date. Those who wish may contribute to the Charlotte C. Turner Foundation, a soon to be established non-profit organization, that will provide financial assistance for natural and holistic healing at Hipocrates in West Palm Beach. Donations or contributions may be directed through Joseph Turner

To express condolences and/or make donations Visit

Published in The Palm Beach Post on 8/6/2007.

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog