Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caribbean Style Hot Sauce Reviews: Blair's Original Death Sauce

Blair's Original Death Sauce
There is no one kind of Caribbean Hot Sauce -- some are fairly simple, though more complex than standard Loiusiana Hot Sauce, often adding Lime Juice, Garlic, Onion, and Carrot, and using Habanero, or its siblings Scotch Bonnet or Goat Pepper, and some get more complex. adding mustard, tropical fruit, such as papaya or mango, and herbs and spices.

Today I am going to start looking at some of the simpler sauces, which I find more useful in a range of foods.

Also distinguishing them from Loiusiana Style sauces is the fact that Vinegar is not the most important ingredient, that is, these are not principally Vinegar Sauces -- for most of them, you will see that Habanero Pepper is the first or second listed ingredient, with Vinegar well down the list, except for Blair's Original Death Sauce, which might be considered a hybrid sauce anyway.

Blair's Original Death (you gotta love these sauce names with each one trying to outdo the next in frat-level outrageousness) has been around a while, for one of the newer sauces, being Blair Lazar's first hot sauce and the start of what is now a considerable business of hot sauces and snacks under the ExtremeFood label.

BODS is a step towards more flavor and more heat and with its popularity brought more exotic hot sauce to the mainstream -- to this day it remains at the top level of well reviewed hot sauces.

Most of these Caribbean Sauces are orange-ish in color, and fairly thick, but BODS, no doubt due to its chipotle addition is darker with a reddish brown cast to it.

Now to the Blair's Original Death Sauce Review -- let's be clear -- it's NOT a death sauce, and only slightly hotter than, say Tabasco, for reference.

Blair's Original Death Sauce: red and orange habaneros, vinegar, fresh cayenne, smashed garlic, chipotle, lime juice, cilantro, fresh herbs and spices

Even though ingredients are listed in order highest proportion the Nose says smoky chipotle first with an underlying layer of lime and vinegar, and just a hint of garlic. It's a very pleasant smoky sweet smell and I can imagine it with many types of foods. Not much spiciness or heat to it.

The 1/4 teaspoon test straight to the tongue says sour lime and vinegar first, followed by smoky chipotle, not much garlic, and a nice smooth peppery finish that lasts a minute or so on the front of the tongue. I do not get much of the characteristic Habanero sweet fruitiness and I guess the Chipotle just overwhelms it. The chipotle and lime together give an almost Worcestershire sauce like tamarind flavor.

Texture is thick and has some pepper and pepper seed chunks. Heat is a 3 on a scale from 1 to 10.

This is not a delicate sauce and the principal pepper flavor is not that of fresh pepper but rather of smoky chipotle. A good sauce for more robust and meaty foods. The BODS bottle comes in a box that offers Suggested Uses including Chili, Bloody Marys, and Jambalaya, all of which I agree would be GREAT with it, and also, Clams, Oysters, and Crawfish, which I think might be overwhelmed.

I tried it on a bacon cheeseburger and in some beef short rib stew and was very happy.

I think of this as a transitional sauce, bridgeing Louisian Style Sauces and Caribbean Style with more Vinegar and Aged Pepper than most Caribbean Sauces, and less Vinegar and Salt than Louisiana Sauces. You can see from the Suggested Uses above that this sauce has its origins in the Louisiana style.

Fairly well balanced -- my preference would be for a little more fruity sweetness and heat and a little less vinegar, but, no matter -- this sauce is great with food.

Highly Recommended.

Three Caribbean Style Hot Sauces
Since this is not a supermarket sauce, and unless you have a hot sauce store close by, you will have to order it online -- I picked it up from The Carolina Sauce Company. which shipped the same day I placed the order. List is $7.95 -- I picked it up for $6.25 not incl. delivery.

Next time I'll take a look at Dave's Crazy Caribbean Hot Sauce and Melinda's Original Habanero Pepper Sauce.

Yours in heat and flavor,


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