This is another Red Savina hot sauce with the admonition on the label which says, “You have been warned! XX Hot!” I saw a similar warning on another of CaJohn’s hot sauces that I reviewed, so I knew to give this sauce its due respect when I tasted it. Hoo-hah!
First impression: While being vaguely red like ketchup, that’s where the similarity ends. There is the unmistakeable scent of habanero which emanates from the bottle which I thought was going to dissolve my nostril hairs. With the awesome fist-holding-a-chile label graphics, this sauces beckons to be eaten.
Taste: Ah, there’s nothing quite like the Red Savina (R) to get your attention when you take a big ol’ bite of it…like a big swig of habanero with afterburners on it. I did catch hints of some of the other ingredients, particularly the onion and garlic, but mostly it’s a whole lot of habanero. If that’s what you like, this is a real treat. The heat is at the upper limit of the scale, probably about a 9.6/10 or so.
What foods would it be best with? Alternate uses? I tried using this sauce for nearly two weeks, even taking it with me to work and daring my co-workers to try it. Trying it poured over foods was an experiment in endurance, but I kept trying! Since I eat a lot of salads, a dollop of this added to whatever salad dressing I was using made the salad a lot more tolerable. Using it in soups & stews (esp. chili) was a given, and I wolfed those down panting like a dog in 100-degree heat…loving it. Unsurprisingly, Mexican foods benefited the most during my tasting…particularly enchiladas and quesadillas. Depending on your heat tolerance, your mileage may vary with this sauce. As of the writing of this review, I was still looking for stuff to pour this on to make it taste better.
Ingredients: Red Savina (R) Habanero chiles, vinegar, onion, tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, garlic
Overall recommendation: I’ve been raving about CaJohn’s Ace to my friends for quite some time now, and this sauce is quite similar in taste, appearance, and heat. Usually, with the extremes in heat in hot sauce it’s really at the sacrifice of taste due to adding of extracts and other such ickiness, but this seems to preserve all of the taste…and it’s damn good. In fact, this sauce has rocketed up my faves list in terms of habanero sauce I’d take with me to a desert island. If you can tolerate the heat, pour it on everything you eat. See what happens! It’s an addicting flavor…but you didn’t need all those pesky extra tastebuds anyway, right?!