Monday, February 15, 2010

Benito's Hot Sauces -- The Review

Benito's Hot Sauces
This review has been some time in coming, but I finally got hold of all 5 of Benito's Hot Sauces, which are:

Benito's White Hot
Ingdts: organic bhut jolokias (ghost peppers), organic orange habaneros, organic ginger, organic lime juice, fresh onions and garlic

Joes' #1 Jalapa
Ingdts: lime juice, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, cubanelle peppers, white onions, garlic, cilantro, extra virgin olive oil, white vinegar

Old Bricktucky Cayenne
Ingdts: lime juice, cinnamon, cayenne peppers, paprika, extra virgin olive oil, red bell peppers, white vinegar, roma tomatoes, white onions, garlic

Mango Habanero
Ingdts: yellow bell peppers, lime juice, vinegar, habanero peppers, mango nectar, extra virgin olive oil, onion


Naranja (that's Orange to you gringos)
Ingdts: orange bell peppers, lime juice, vinegar, habanero peppers, ginger, carrots, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onions

I've been interested in these sauces for a while because ... they are designed to be Fresh Tasting! And, Fresh is Good. Fresh is where intensity and brightness of flavor come from.

As you may know, I myself Make Fresh Hot Sauce, and Very Fresh It Is, Too.

So I have a personal stake in this type of sauce, which I think is definitely a step in the right direction.

Benito Maniscalco, the maker and owner, will be the first to admit, these are not Hot, as Hot Sauces go, and says he is interested in big, fresh flavor with just enough, but not too much heat, so the sauces will appeal to a broad audience.

Let's see:

Now the White Hot states on the web site that it "packs extreme heat!" Given that it lists the 1 million Scoville Heat Unit Bhut Jolokia Pepper as its principal ingredient, one could imagine that would be true. Well, it's not. Thank Goodness.

This sauce has a bit of a fearsome look to it, thick and white with little floating flecks of something or other.

To the nose it has strong notes of lime/onion/garlic with a light peppery undertone.

On the tongue, and I had to do a full teaspoon test, instead of my usual 1/4 teaspoon test. because the sauce is not that hot, I tasted a nice fresh lime and mild habanero pepper needle-like heat, finishing with a fruity, slightly acid and fresh pepper finish. Very pleasant, very clean, about 1/2 the heat of say, Tabasco. Some slight ginger and garlic presence in the background. There is a slightly pulpy texture.

There is no Saltiness to the flavor -- none at all. You can see from the ingredients that there is no salt added to he sauce. It is an interesting choice on Benito's part, since to some degree, Salt Is Flavor. Oh, I know most of us like some saltiness in our food, but aside from that, Salt itself is necessary to bring out Taste.

Anyone who has made chicken stock knows that you can make the stock from the best ingredients, but unless you add some salt, it tastes like dishwater.

So whatever you add the White Hot to will and should have some salt in it. And it will need it. What should you add White Hot to?

Well this sauce, fruity and fresh as it is, should go very well with lighter fare, such as fish, chicken, and the like, as well as food that combines sweet and savory. And it does -- it's really good on a chicken sandwich with french bread with mayo and red onion.

Make no mistake, this is a very unusual Hot Sauce, and one with a lot of flavor going for it.

It is very different from most of the stuff in a 5 oz bottle however.

Make sure you add it to something with some salt in it -- it will need it!


Which brings me to an important point. All of these sauces are more similar than they are different.

They are all limey/fruity, a little pulpy, fresh-tasting, have a roughly similar amount of heat, and no saltiness and not much vinegar.

The Bricktucky is a nod in the direction of a Louisiana Style Cayenne Hot Sauce, with some cayenne flavor, but still the above described overall flavor profile applies

The Jalapa has the grassy herbiness of the jalapeno pepper; the Naranja has the carroty sweetness of a Carribean Hot Sauce; and the Mango Habanero has the mango flavor and the least heat.

So you can choose your Benito's pretty much on that basis.

I would add the Mango or the Naranja to a tropical Pico de Gallo, or to fish or lighter fare, and the Bricktucky or Jalapa to a burger or meat.

Some of the user reviews on Benito's website suggest use in eggs (can't see it, personally -- don't want any fruit in my eggs -- but that's just me), and I invite you to check it out. The comments are at the bottom of the main page.

Many of the labels cite organic ingredients as does Benito's website, although there is some inconsistency as to specific ingredients in each of the sauces, website vs labels.

I just love hot dogs, or kielbasa with any of the sauces, especially when you use a lot and add it to other condiments like ketchup, mustard, onions, kraut, and relish.

Like no other Hot Sauces.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...