While I’m jazzed about quite a number of hot sauces made within the confines of North America, I just couldn’t pass up a chance to try out some hot sauces from the continent “down under.” We had gotten an email a few months ago from Haggis (of Horrible Haggis’ hot sauces), who was eagerly interested at getting to know a little more about this humble blog. Haggis is himself an Aussie who has a company named Redback Chilli Co., and produces a variety of hot sauces, chutneys, BBQ sauce, and pickled veggies. We were fortunate enough
to obtain a few bottles of his hot sauce (we found three of them at Jungle Jim’s and got some others from Kato’s Productions), and chose the Redback Pleasure & Pain Chilli Sauce as our first foray into Australian hot sauce. The last purely Australian product I had tried was vegemite (which wasn’t all that good), so I wanted to try something hot and spicy so I could purge my memory banks of that experience and replace it with something better.
The label has cartoonish female sadists with whips on it…and who doesn’t love that? I got the impression that the maker of this sauce fancies it as pretty hot, since the heat scale on the bottle boldly says “10/10.” The website description adds a little more:
A Very Hot sauce, voted Australia’s hottest sauce peoples choice 1999 & Judged 2nd for Best Habanero the same day. Also won 1st Place Peoples choice 2002 Houston Hot Sauce Festival. 3Rd place Houston Hot Sauce 2004 Hot Wing Sauce. Still classed as one of the HOTTEST natural sauces available.
Ingredients: habanero chilli, tomato, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, and spices
The ingredient list doesn’t scream “fiendishly hot” or anything. In fact, it looks a little mundane compared to some of the ultra-hot sauces here on the market. However, one whiff of the sauce might convince you otherwise. This one’s aroma just comes across as potent, being mostly habanero and a bit of vinegar. Certainly, it inspires me to try it sooner rather than later. Even the woosy itself is also a little different, and has a super-wide bottle mouth that really allows you to pour this sauce out in voluminous amounts. I kinda like that, as I have bemoaned those sauce makers who feel the need to put those plastic bottle nipples on that only let you milk out a drop of hot sauce at a time. As for the consistency, it’s awesome! It’s a little less thick than catsup, but the spice-laden sauce pours easily from the bottle and has wonderful “cling” factor with food.
Taste: The initial straight taste is a little deceiving. My first impression was that it was a little bit sweet. Sugar’s one of the ingredients, sure, but not so much as expected to make it taste a little bit sweet. However, that initial hint of sucre quickly gives way to a very familiar habanero-ish hot sauce. While not horribly complex in its taste profile, it offers habanero in all its glory…and lots of it. It doesn’t have a very heavy vinegar presence to it, and the tomato seems fairly noticeable, but it has a lingering heat that simply made me smile. On my personal heat scale, I’d give it a 8/10 for starters and builds to a nice boil at 9/10 which lingers for a while on the palate after you’re done eating.
A little potent for many for direct pourage on food, I loved it in my chili and mixed into my marinara sauce to make it extra spicy good. If you’re really bold, pour out a large dollop and use it like steak sauce. Don’t say I failed to warn you that your steak might bite back a little.
Overall recommendation: G’day, mate! Don’t think that this sauce is only good for your shrimp on the barbie, this sauce from Down Under is every bit as habanero-ey good as your fave sauce from your local hot sauce source. Tasty and pretty damn hot, this sauce is just different enough to inspire you to keep a bottle of it open when you have the chance. Whether you use a little or a lot, just use it. Even my co-workers who aren’t the heat-seekers in regard to hot sauce that I am had good things to say about the taste of this sauce. Try it for yourself, and you may say the same. Enjoy!