Much of Europe is melting in extreme heat, but here at home we can bring the burn with these Tracklement Hot Sauces
I once heard someone in a restaurant complain that he couldn’t taste his food because there wasn’t enough chilli in it. If I had been Larry David I’d have leant over and asked him if maybe his love of chilli was the reason he couldn’t taste anything? It probably wouldn’t have ended well for me.
The fact is we Brits do love our chilli, a love affair that was unthinkable just forty or so years ago. Today you can choose from a massive range of chilli sauces, including the one that’s not so jokingly called ‘Millennial Ketchup’, Sriracha, that is now just everywhere.
I like a hot sauce in moderation, but it has to have not just heat but flavour. Breakfast fried eggs come to life with a splash, burgers buck up even if you’ve burned them. Add to a bowl of noodles, stir into mayo for a dip, shake some into your chilli con carne for more depth than you will ever get from chilli powder.
Tracklements, who know a bit about condiments, sent us three sauces to try. To avoid the food having too much influence, we tried each one on a plain cream cracker.
Smokin’ Chipotle Sauce
This uses bird’s eye and scotch bonnet chillies, as well as chipotles, the Mexican smoked chilli. We all at first agreed that it was a bit too thin and vinegary, and a look at the label confirmed that vinegar was the largest ingredient. However, someone then noticed it also said ‘shake well’, so we did and the sauce thickened up a lot. So the moral is, always read the instructions.
It was pretty hot, but not outrageously so, and the smokiness added some character along with a note of lime juice. I still felt it was a bit too vinegary, though.
Rocket Hot Sauce
This was similar to the Chipotle Sauce, but without the chipotle. I actually preferred it as the heat and flavours seemed more integrated and overall it was less vinegary. A powerful punch on the tongue that lingered longer and thick enough to cling to the food.
Sriracha Chilli Sauce
Apparently the original sauce first appeared in the 1940s in the town of Si Racha (or Sriracha), Thailand. Since then it has conquered the world. The secret may be the the copious amounts of garlic in it.
Also it’s on the mild side heat wise, a lot milder than, say, Tabasco. This particular one uses fermented fruity Fresno chilis and a fish sauce made from anchovies, and that for me makes it a lot more interesting than a plain hot sauce. I love fish sauce, which is so typically Thai.
Which one won?
All were good and you might not know which one to choose, but at £3.75 each why not get all three? They all keep well in the fridge once opened, and what could be cooler than offering guests a choice of hot sauces?
You can buy the sauces in delis and online at Tracklements