Posted October 26, 2012 by Brian Sellers in Bloggers

The Balanced Art of the Pepper 5/5 Gourmet Hot Sauce

In my other line of work, one of the biggest difficulties I face year after year is helping students see how they can write their thoughts in a clear and articulate manner. Some students come to me with a writing style that is far too terse; others were apparently teacher-pleasers in previous grades, and write in overblown language and wordy prose. I think the folks behind today’s hot sauce may have been the latter type of students, judging from the huge name attached to this sauce. All kidding aside, though, The Balanced Art of the Pepper 5/5 Gourmet Hot Sauce (hereafter referred to as 5/5 Sauce, for the sake of brevity) promises to be the perfect “compliment” [sic] to a huge variety of dishes (well, even the really wordy students can’t always spell properly). Testimonies on the site tout this as a unique hot sauce, so hopefully 5/5 Sauce lives up to that idea.


Chilli Peppers (Bhut Jolokia, Habanero, Thai, Pequin, Japones peppers), Curry, Organic Dry Mustard, Organic Cumin, Mango (canned mango packed in water, and sugar), Kiiwi fruit, Balsamic Vinegar, and Black Pepper

Well, that’s certainly an interesting list. We get five different types of peppers, including some pretty notably hot ones, and a couple of different fruits. Mango and kiwi (yes, I know it says “kiiwi” up there) are delicious foods, and would ideally combine with the peppers to make some sort of spicy, citrusy sauce.


This stuff is dark brown and a little sticky, though not nearly as thick as I would have imagined. That’s not necessarily a problem, since it is not ridiculously thin, either, but it’s worth noting. The cling on this one should allow it to stick to your meat pretty well, though.

Smell and Taste:

When I first opened this, I passed it to my wife to get a second opinion on the smell. We came to the same conclusion independently: for some reason, this stuff smells kind of like bread, in the same sense that Guinness smells like bread. Well, I guess it’s more like spicy bread. I can’t pick out any particular pepper scent, and I certainly don’t get the mango and kiwi notes either. The scent is honestly very confusing. Fortunately, it doesn’t taste like bread. There’s a non-distinct citrus flavor that comes through, but nothing overtly mango- or kiwi-flavored. Otherwise, it’s just spicy. I will say this, though: I can’t really think of a hot sauce that tastes quite like this one.




I will definitely say that 5/5 Sauce is hot. The quintet of peppers in the bottle easily pushes it into the Mean rating. Actually, it’s pretty cool how the peppers work together, since the combination of the habaneros and bhut jolokias especially ensures that the heat is both immediate and long-lasting. Flavor-wise, this sauce isn’t quite as impressive. In an effort to incorporate all of these different ingredients and be unique, it winds up with an odd flavor that is really hard to pin down. It’s not bad, though, but it’s so hard to define by comparison. I’ll give it a Nominal, and say that I would still willingly eat it on my food.

Suggested Uses:

The bottle’s label has a few ideas for what you should do with this sauce, but I want to hone in on one in particular. I bet this sauce would make a fantastic flavor for a Chinese-style dish. Chicken, beef, rice, noodles, whatever – just pour this stuff on top. While I can’t quite put my finger on the flavor, I can say that it would probably work quite well in that capacity.

Final Word:

Art of the Pepper, I mean this with all due respect, but please do some copy editing on your bottle. Maybe it’s just because my nine-weeks grades are due on Monday, but the many typos on your label make me cringe a little. That in no way takes away from your sauce, which is decent, but good editing goes a long way towards creating a respectable brand.

Brian Sellers