It’s been a while since I have done one of these homemade reviews, but I tend to approach them with a sense of apprehension. With everyone having their own idea of what a hot sauce should be, I hate having to bring the hammer down on other’s carefully crafted creations. Not so with Pascale Troupin-Castania from Delray Beach, FL, whose Mango Hot Sauce will someday be featured at their future website at www.mangohouse.net.
Ingredients: mango, scotch bonnet peppers, lime juice, onion, garlic, distilled white vinegar, filtered water, garden herbs, spices
Pretty good list of ingredients for the most part, and I hope that Pascale continues to avoid any unhealthy fillers or preservatives if/when he chooses to make this sauce on a larger scale. The sauce was bottled in the standard five-ounce woosie bottle which seemed to be at least adequately sealed for shipping. The label is rudimentary, and would be the first thing needed to be fixed upon upgrading this sauce’s status.
My take: I really like the aroma on this sauce! All too often, vinegar-based hot sauces smell mostly like…uh….vinegar. One whiff of this gets you the full spectrum of the three dominant players in this sauce: mangoes, peppers, and vinegar. I was impressed by the consistency of this sauce. It is well-blended, doesn’t separate much on standing, and mildly thick. Less thick than catsup, it could use a tweak in that direction for viscosity but not a bad attempt for a homemade sauce.
The flavor is on the high side of good, bordering on really good. Making a fruit-based hot sauce is always a little dicey, as the balance needs to just right or you end up with something either too much like bland applesauce or devoid of fruit flavor and an unbalanced pepper-laden sauce. Happily, this sauce is neither of those. It is actually a delightfully-balanced hot sauce which really offers you a great offset of mango and scotch bonnet flavor. Heat-wise, it doesn’t totally spare your palate and I would give it a 6/10 for hotness which does build a touch with the more you use. I was really looking for some constructive criticism to give about the flavor, but I really can’t find anything other than possibly tweaking some of the dry spices within it to try and bring out different nuances of flavor. That said, it’s pretty decent as it is right now.
One thing this sauce needs, though, is the right food pairing. Much like a good wine, you can’t really just use it with anything for the best results. The delicate flavor gets a little lost just mixed into soups, stews, and other high-intensity flavors. I like it more as a traditional condiment or even a late-added glaze to baked chicken and fish. With as “light” as the flavor is, it does go well with lighter meats such as chicken, fish, and some pork dishes. My fave use for this was lightly brushed over some baked ahi tuna. Yum!
Overall, it’s an above-average homemade sauce. A few tweaks here & there and it will hold its own against other mango-based hot sauces currently on the open market. Enjoy!