Posted June 10, 2006 by Jim in Reviews

Review: Spice It Up! Sampler Pack Volume 1

Not long ago, our wonderful Nick was kind enough to send me a sampler pack of six sauces from Spice It Up! to review for you, loyal readers. The time has come, my friends, to line ’em up and knock ’em down!

Our soldiers, prepared for battle!Included in the pack are Spice It Up!’s Gourmet Sauce, Garlic Lover’s Sauce, Gourmet [tag]Hot Sauce[/tag], Mean Green Seafood Sauce, Tropical Storm Gourmet Sauce, and Flaming Fiesta Grilling Sauce. Each of the bottles is 1.6oz (that’s 56g for you metric types!) Because of the number of sauces, I thought we might break these up into two reviews.

Each sauce was first tested on a saltine cracker for flavor, then on a bite of grilled chicken for consistency and strength. And so, without further ado, let’s get started!

Spice It Up! Gourmet Sauce
Ingredients: Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Onions, Anaheim Peppers, Jalapenos, Garlic Salt, Crushed Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Sugar, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.

Spice It Up! Gourmet Sauce

Label: This is the Original Gourmet Sauce with the slow spicy kick. Great for grilling and marinating all types of meat. Try Spice It Up! Gourmet Sauce today, and add a little spice to your life.

Appearance: A nice, chunky sauce with big pieces of tomato and pepper flakes standing out.

Smell: Honestly, it smells like a mild salsa. The green peppers and Anaheims add to the fresh smell.

Taste: Again, salsa. The tomato is the first thing you taste, followed closely by onion and garlic. After a second or two, the heat begins to build at the back of the throat. Not a harsh burn, though… it’s as if the peppers have sent you an email to let you know they care!

Nice sauce, though for daily use I generally prefer a little bit more heat. A great, fresh flavor!

4.4 out of 5

Spice It Up! Garlic Lover’s Gourmet Sauce
Tomatoes, Serrano Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Salt, Garlic, Spice, Sugar, Ginger.

Spice It Up! Garlic Lover's Gourmet Sauce

Label: Spice It Up! Garlic Lover’s sauce is made with fresh garlic. Blended with fresh serrano chilies, jalapenos, and a touch of ginger. This is the perfect balance of heat and flavor to an exceptional sauce. Perfect with any dish.

Appearance: Again, a nice, thick sauce! This one took a few shakes to get out of the 1.6oz sampler bottle, but it was worth the work! It’s a bit darker in color than the Gourmet Sauce, with a little bit rougher texture.

Smell: Nice garlic/pepper smell. The garlic is definitely in the lead here, but it’s not overpowering, and the ginger adds a nice, fruity afternote.

Taste: The garlic hits first in this sauce, with the serranos not standing on circumstance – they jump right up and greet ya! The burn here is a bit stronger than the Gourmet Sauce, but it’s still not very strong. It may tend to fade out quickly with strong-flavored dishes. This would probably be best served with a lighter meat, such as braised pork chops or a nice tender fish fillet. Not a beef sauce, in my opinion.

Conclusion: A well-rounded sauce! The ginger adds as certain fruitiness, which complements the serrano and jalapeno nicely.

4.5 out of 5

Spice It Up! Gourmet Hot Sauce
Habanero Peppers, Vinegar, Water, Garlic Powder, Salt, Mustard Powder, Black Pepper, Sugar, Crushed Red Pepper, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.

Spice It Up! Gourmet Hot Sauce

Label: Fresh Habanero peppers (the world’s hottest) and an imported spice from Japan make this one of the hottest sauces this side of Asia. Recommended only for the brave at heart!

Appearance: I feel like I’ve hit the sauce jackpot! All of these sauces have been think enough to stand up on their own! If there’s one thing I really dislike, it’s a runny sauce! This sauce is wonderfully chunky, though not quite so much as the Garlic Lover’s.

Smell: Hello, Habanero! The hab in this sauce sure jumps out at you. Is it just me, or does anyone else wish they’d make a hab-scented car air freshener? You’d probably have to worry less about your ride being swiped! What a great-smelling sauce. And the vinegar never really comes to the forefront – it’s nice and subdued.

Taste: Hab, hab, hab, HAB!! An immediate rush of heat is followed closely by hiccups, and they both linger for quite a while, maybe about 10 minutes or so. This sauce is not a noob-sauce, though if you’re used to an extract sauce, the heat might be a little muted. The vinegar doesn’t play a part in the flavor at all, but you pick up hints of the black pepper and the mustard powder. What a great, clean flavor! On another note, though, I’m still trying to figure out what the “imported spice from Japan” is. Maybe the mustard powder?

Conclusion: This sauce is pretty close to tasting pure, unadulterated hab, but with a bit more flavor. The burn is immediate and lasting. This would be a great addition to that early-morning breakfast burrito – screw the coffee, pass the hab!

4.8 out of 5

Spice It Up!
PO Box 2382
Oxford, NC 27565
phone: (919) 603-1084
fax: (919) 693-0158
email: sales