Posted March 24, 2007 by Gildo in Reviews

Review: Sweet Sunshine Chili Sauce – HOT

Sweet Sunshine Chili Sauce - HOT

The Sweet Sunshine Chili Sauce line ( is no stranger to the Their Atomic chili sauce, and more recently their Roasted Shallots and Garlic chili sauce, have both been reviewed and were both given respectable marks. So is it really necessary to review yet another of their products? Why not.

I have to admit that I am not a real big fan of sweet hot sauces. I tend to favor those that are more vinegar based and feel that sweet sauces are more along the lines of BBQ sauces and should be considered such. So when I received a couple of their products for review, I have to admit I wasn’t very excited, that is until I opened the bottle and took a big whiff. Wow! A deliciously smoky aroma of habanero peppers, tomatoes and vinegar with just a hint of mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

Sweet Sunshine Chili Sauce - HOT

I poured a bit into a ramekin and conducted the ultra-scientific finger taste test. Delicious. The sweetness of sugar and molasses is immediately followed up with the rich flavor of the red savina habaneros and tomatoes, a bit of onion, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, and then the habanero burn. This sauce is rated as hot and I whole heartedly agree with that assessment. Although it is not blow your head of hot, it does light you up a bit and give your face a bit of a glow. Awesome! Their motto is flavor before fire and they couldn’t be more dead on.

INGREDIENTS: Sugar, water, vinegar, mustard seed, tomato, ripe red savina habanero peppers, ancho peppers, corn syrup, cayenne peppers, habanero peppers, molasses, modified food starch, salt, Worcestershire sauce, natural flavors, citric acid, onion, spices, less than 1/10 of 1% sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate to preserve freshness.

Although the Sweet Sunshine sauces are classified as a chili sauce by their manufacturer, Gourmet Conveniences, they really aren’t a true chile sauce, or hot sauce, or even a barbeque sauce for that matter. It’s sort of the tasty bastard step child of all three. Nobody is really sure who the father is, and nobody cares. I ran into the owner of Gourmet Conveniences, Paul Sarris, at the 2007 Fiery Foods Show and had a nice talk with Paul and his sales guy Ed. I also tasted each of their products and found them all to be very good. Paul and Ed agreed that their sauces are very different in the fact that they are not 100% traditional and are some what of a unique hybrid. Well unique they are, and in this case, unique is a good thing.

Deciding what to try this sauce on, other than my finger, was a bit difficult because it would be good on most anything. I chose grilled chicken breasts and decided to use the Sweet Sunshine sauce towards the end of grilling, like a finishing sauce, mainly because of the amounts of sugar, molasses and corn syrup used in the recipe, and the chances of the sauce burning rather than caramelizing. Good choice. The heat and the sweet finished off the chicken perfectly with little spots of caramelized crispiness just along the edges. It was great.

The Sweet Sunshine Hot Chili sauce, like its sibling products, is definitely a standout in a retail setting. Its 5oz. multi-sided bottle is adorned with a bright, colorful, simple, and straight forward label, thus calling attention to the consumer and a potential purchase. I just hope they are also using rack cards to explain this stuff.

Bottom line, Sweet Sunshine Hot Chili Sauce is a winner. If your local retailer isn’t carrying it, demand that they do. In the meantime, order some from the Sweet Sunshine website, you’ll be glad you did.


Aroma: 10/10
Flavor: 10/10
Heat: 10/10
Appearance: 10/10
Viscosity: 10/10
Applications: 10/10
Packaging: 8/10

Overall: 10/10

Gourmet Conveniences LTD
Sweet Sunshine

P.O. Box 998
Litchfield, CT 06759
Phone: 860.567.3505