Posted November 11, 2007 by Brendan in Reviews

Review: Surfguy’s Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

Surfguy's Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

First Impressions: A couple mango-habanero couples are lounging quietly on a pristine tropical beach. And then some spike-haired, jittery little freak with a surfboard comes along and”¦ohhh, that’s just Surfguy”¦OH NO, it’s Surfguy, he’s gonna make a sauce out of you! Run! Run for your lives!!! Needless to say, they didn’t listen, but here we have a unique little sauce on our hands. The bottle informs us that the sauce is “As sweet as your first girlfriend, as mean as poodle.” Now, I don’t think a hot sauce review is the appropriate place to air romantic grievances, but I have heard poodles are mean”¦but I also can’t really say I’ve ever encountered a poodle in real life. If they are mean, I don’t blame them”¦you’d be mean too if someone sculpted your butt hair into beacon orbs of wuss-dom! Who was the first person to think, “Man, this is a great a breed we’ve developed here, but you know what would make it even better? If we stapled Kooshballs to its ass!” I’ve heard dalmatians are nasty as well; if anyone has any poodle or dalmatian horror stories, please enlighten us. Maybe all they need is some hot sauce”¦ I think I want to market an excruciatingly hot hot sauce designed for unruly dogs and call it “Obedience School.” And there could be heat levels of “Sit,” “Lie Down,” and “Play Dead,” and I guess you just mix it in with their food or something.

Surfguy's Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

Back to task. I was initially a little worried about the short list of ingredients, but I like the idea of mixing tropical fruit with peppers. Mango seems like a good idea for such a venture, as I find the fruit itself sweet and tasty, but also mild-mannered (I think that sounds nicer than bland) enough to let other flavors shine. And if you’ve ever suffered through a hot curry dish, you know that the mango lassi is an effective fire-extinguisher. That probably has a lot more to do with the yogurt, but still, I have that association of mango with comfort”¦regardless of whatever heat they throw at you, mango is your Bob Marley, assurance that every little thing is gonna be alright.

Ingredients: Mango, habanero, vinegar, spices, garlic, and salt

Appearance: [slightly runnier] McDonald’s Sweet and Sour Sauce. Done.

Smell: It smells tangy, it smells real tangy. Some vinegar, but nothing offensive. I want to say onion, but unless onion powder is under the umbrella of “spices” then my olfactory intuition is just a little off tonight. Some garlic, and a warm, inviting sweetness.

Taste: It does have a real sweet and sour feel to it, with moderate heat to boot. Tangy. The two headlining ingredients have a well-balanced relationship, whereby the habanero has a good zing-a-fying effect on the mango, which I have always found to be a refreshing, but rather dull fruit, and the mango tames any attempts at crazy heat put forth by the habanero. I find it hard to believe that there are no additional sweetening agents in this sauce (unless they too count as spices), because I think ultimately the sweetness of the mango is the gem that brings this sauce over the threshold from so-so to quite pleasant in an unpredictable way. This one isn’t gonna come at you with a whole lot of complexity as far as flavor is concerned, but the taste is cohesive and agreeable.

Heat: In an exemplary gesture of heat-gauging, Surfguy has labeled this sauce MED. I couldn’t agree more. It’s lip smacking hot; it’s not run to the fridge for liquid relief hot, or find yourself breathing all weird hot, but still, it’s got some oomph. It’s never out of control, but I can definitely see more casual hot sauce users being taken off guard by the intensity. For more weathered chileheads, any initial burn very quickly subsides. Again, I have no poodle standard by which to corroborate the claims on the bottle, but if poodles are the terrors that they would have us believe, I would say that this poodle is safe to take for a walk, as long as you fit it with a muzzle.

Overall: Like it. No big qualms. One might find it a bit limiting in its applications, but that being said, the exotic nature of the mango-habanero combo lends itself to even more creative serving ideas. For some reason I got the idea to use it as a condiment on a hot dog. I think I’ve seen this before. There is a chain of restaurants and rip-off restaurants with a similar name to “Papaya Dog” around here; I’m not sure if they really put tropical fruit on their food because I’ve never eaten there, but I feel like I’ve seen it somewhere. And I always get mangos and papayas confused. (Papaya=those gooey black seeds, and bigger) Oh, maybe it was all that poodle talk that got me thinking about dogs. Regardless, I actually bought sweet turkey sausage”¦get some more of that Thanksgiving spirit going. And I got a mango.

Surfguy's Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

Dice mango. Fry sausage and mango in mixture of olive oil and Surfguy Mango-Habanero. Once sausage is all cooked and mango looks soft (this is also good if you get unripe mango because it seems to bring out the sweetness), put sausage in bun and mango on top. Drizzle more Surfguy on top of that. SO good, my favorite so far! The sweet and tangy mango flavor with a perfect amount of heat really made this sausage into a delightful meal.

Surfguy's Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

p.s. I have since learned that Papaya Dog restaurants and other like-minded Papaya-themed hot dog eateries do NOT, in fact, serve fruit on their hot dogs.

PO BOX 510633
Melbourne Beach, Florida 32951
Phone: (321) 956-3268
1-866-SURFGUY (787-3489)
Fax: (321) 728-3481