Anyone who’s company motto is “eat like a freak” is going to get our attention, and in this case we’re certainly glad that the Cajun Heat company let this review happen. Ever since my heady days of youth at Tulane University (where my liver got its “seasoning”), I have had a soft spot for not just Cajun food but any sort of Louisiana-style or Louisiana-based hot sauce products. So, even though the products are manufactured in Virginia (according to the containers), I’ll at least give them the credit of the doubt until they prove
This is a 2-for-1 review, as I will be reviewing the Cajun Heat Liquid Napalm and the Cajun Heat Voodoo Ash. The Liquid Napalm sauce was a 1st place winner in the 2009 Scovie Awards for Hot Sauce – Unique and 2nd place for Hot Sauce – Louisiana-Style. The Voodoo Ash was a 1st place winner in the Cook-it-up Meat Required – Dry Seasoning category at the 2009 Scovie Awards as well. So, these products both have a winning pedigree in terms of critical acclaim thus far. Does this translate to love from the blogs? Well, you can see reviews of these products at:
The Hot Pepper review of Liquid Napalm
Ingredients: spices, cayenne pepper
Review: Nice cartoonish label (and I mean that) on a three-ounce plastic container. Three ounces may not seem like much, but it’s a fair amount for a dry spice. I used it for a few weeks straight and put a serious dent in the container’s contents to be sure. Spice mixes are usually pretty mundane in that they are simple enough to not try to reinvent the wheel and that there are a finite number of combinations of stuff you can put in to a given mix. That said, this mix is pretty accessible to the masses. While being ostensibly a cayenne pepper mix, it’s the other unnamed “spices” in it that makes it more than that. I don’t know what the extra stuff is, but I tried this side-by-side with plain ol’ cayenne pepper and this mix was far tastier by a long stretch. The overall heat is close to cayenne level, and that makes it a good heat level to add to food.
As for what I tried it with, it would be easier for me to describe what food I didn’t sprinkle it upon or mix it into…and that’s saying something. Most interesting usage? Try mixing into fried matzo and see how spicy it makes this relatively bland Passover treat. Also used in egg salad and if you’re even more hell-bent on using it with eggs…substitute this spice mix for paprika for deviled eggs. Every soup is better with this, so I did a lot with those as well. Use early and often.
The bottom line: Not a complicated or fancy-shmancy mix of spices, but damn it tastes good with food. Great use of cayenne heat and flavor.
Ingredients: habanero peppers, vinegar, Cajun spices
Review: Yet another label featuring a cartoon that has fire emanating from one of its orifices. This sauce doesn’t quite bear the heat level to make you do that (I’d call it 7/10 at most), but it has a nice simmering fire that’s like a stovetop burner on medium-high heat. Where this sauce truly excels is with flavor. Again, it’s the mystical “spices” that must make this deliciously good or it would be tough to separate this from other sauces that were just habanero peppers and vinegar. Another thing that I like is the viscosity of the sauce. It doesn’t make a puddle when you pour it out, but neither do you have to beat the snot out of the bottle to get a glob of it on your plate, either. It has good “cling factor” with food, and you can almost coat anything with a nice layer of it for effect.
Is it boring enough or just perfect enough to have great utility with food? You’ll have to be the judge. My most common usage with it was with veggies, as a sandwich condiment, and spread of grilled meats like fish and chicken. Oh, it absolutely ROCKS over grilled fish, by the way. Another reviewer wrote they thought this hot sauce was satisfying, and I like that word for it. It just adds a lot to food. A modicum amount of heat and a lot of flavor…not too shabby for a new sauce on the market. I’d buy it if I saw on my store shelves.
The bottom line: It’s not the best habanero sauce out there, but much more like a Louisiana-style habanero sauce that will make you want to forget all those vinegar-based crappy sauces that hail from the Bayou State. A good sauce that you’ll be sad about finishing.