Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cheech's Hot Sauces

This is part 2 of my review of celebrity hot sauces. Last week I told you about the surprisingly good Boneyard Brew from Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.

This week we tried out the trio of sauces from comedian/actor, Cheech Marin, of Cheech & Chong fame.

Although the listed ingredients were all natural, each of the sauces had a sort of slimy consistency, almost like there was some type of emulsifier added.

Mojo Mango was incredibly sweet, with only a slight flicker of heat. It was almost more of a syrup than a hot sauce and would work well as a marinade or a mix-in for salad dressings. Among the ingredients were mangoes, carrots, sugar, cane vinegar, lemon juice, habaneros, onions and tomato paste.

Gnarly Garlic Habanero was slightly sweet with more than a hint of garlic. This sauce had the sparsest list of ingredients of the three, and I consider that a good thing. Sometimes less is more. Here you have carrots, habaneros, onions, vinegar, lime juice, garlic and salt. The spiciness of the habaneros took a back seat to the other flavors - particularly the garlic. I kept thinking that this sauce would be a good compliment to a nice salmon steak or other fish dishes.

Smokin' Chipotle Habanero was my favorite of the three. In addition to the signature smokiness of chipotle, it had a four-pepper combo that provided a decent, but not overpowering kick. In addition to the habaneros, there were jalapenos, tabascos and cayennes. Toss in some carrots and onions, then lots of sweet stuff (cane vinegar, molasses, lime juice, papaya, passion fruit juice and even a splash of rum) and a few other odds and ends and Cheech comes up with a serviceable topping. I added a few shakes to one of the pulled pork sandwiches I had over the weekend and was pleased with the result.

Would I buy them again? Ummm, I won't hesitate to finish off what I've got, but I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to replace them anytime soon. The chipotle sauce wasn't bad, but didn't offer anything that I couldn't find in more readily available sauces. All in all, I expected more from someone who glorified getting the munchies.


Chef JP said...

As far as the ingredients for a hot sauce, I agree that the old adage "Less is more" applies. The only problem I have with some of these celebrity hot sauces is that the celebrity usually doesn't have anything to do with creating the sauce, they're supplying their name and some wholewale hot sauce company bangs it out. One more thought on hot sauces---I think they should enhance the food you're eating rather than leave yer tastebuds unable to taste the food. Otherwise, why not just slug the stuff straight from the bottle?

sullicom said...

Well said.