Sorry for the title of this review. There’s not much I can do with the name Csigi Chili Sauce Spicey Fra Diavolo Pasta Sauce. But that doesn’t mean the sauce isn’t creative. In fact, it’s down right delicious!
Ingredients: Tomato Puree, organic crushed tomato, red onion, tomato paste, extra virgin olive oil, basil, minced garlic, orange Habanero (Fresh Whole Pods*), extra coarse sea salt, turbinado sugar, coarse black pepper, spices.
The one thing that I love about this sauce, besides the taste, is the label. Why do I like the label so much, you ask? Well, hold you horses. I was going to get to that point but you interrupted me with that question. Now, where was I? Oh yes, the label.
Besides that strange logo of “two peppers screaming” as company owner, Lars described it (I still say they are English Bull Dogs), is the color of the label. It’s white! 99% of the Pasta Sauces on the market have a red label because it matches the color of what the sauce is. Imagine your walking down the Pasta Sauce isle in the grocery store. Horribly tacky music playing over the loud speaker, occasionally interrupted by a request for a price check or a clean up. Screaming children demanding that their parental units purchase them candy. Row after row of red labels uniformly spaced. But wait, there’s a white label! It just jumps out at you because it doesn’t blend in. I must say, Lars will get a lot of attention with this label.
You might have noticed that Lars put an asterisk in the ingredients list next to orange Habanero. That is in reference to the line stating, “*not every jar will contain a habanero pod. This is due to the canning process”. A slight disappointment fell over me when I read that because if you are marketing a “hot pepper product” you should be able to guarantee a pod in every jar. Instead of a whole pod, perhaps chopping it up and mixing it in would guarantee a pod. Luckily, there was a pod in my jar. It tasted a little different than most Habaneros I’ve had, though. It was extra fruity and all the ingredients, especially the tomato, had been absorbed into the pepper. I quite enjoyed that mix of flavors.
This is definitely a pasta sauce. I know, I know, it says so right on the label. There you go again, interrupting my review with obvious statements. What I mean to say is that it has the standard taste qualities as all the other pasta sauces on the market with a few differences. The tomato, onion, and basil are the major dominating flavors. There is a slight “slick” taste that coats your tongue. This is the standard occurrence when olive oil is used as an ingredient.
The fruity flavor of the Habanero is definitely detectable but it’s heat has been squashed. There is some back of the throat heat there that lingers for a bit, but it is not enough to scare people away. Coming in at the background is a little dash of black pepper and a smidgen of sugar, which complements the tomato quite nicely. It’s also nice to see that Lars didn’t use any vinegar or preservatives. While it does shorten the shelf life of the product, it allows you to really get the flavor of the sauce without that nasty distraction of vinegar.
Overall, what a top notch sauce. Everything used tastes extremely fresh, as if I had my imaginary Italian grandmother just cook it for me. That paired with the size of the jar and label makes this a perfect sauce for any type of pasta. Also be sure to make some casadias with it (just be sure to throw in a few more Habaneros to kick up the heat)!
Taste: 10, Heat: 2