Review by The Shepsters – Bottle kindly supplied by Fat Man Chilli.
Hertfordshire based Fat Man Chilli is a small company that makes its products using their own home-grown chillies, selling their range online and at a variety of farmers markets and independent outlets.
The collection includes jellies, salsa and ketchup as well as sauces, providing a little something for everyone in variety of products and heat ranging from mild to hot. The item we have for review at this time is their “Scorchio” scotch bonnet based sauce.
The sauce comes in a square, 100ml-sized bottle with labels identifying the product and its ingredients on the front and back, leaving plenty of the product inside visible. The labels appear home-made, and while that in itself isn’t a problem, the fact that the print easily rubs off the front label obscuring the white text is – especially for the producer as the consumer may not be able to read the small print of the web address if the details are obliterated.
Ingredients: Scotch bonnet peppers, mustard, onions, cider vinegar, water, salt, sugar, spices, lemon, tequila.
The sauce is a lovely mellow shade of orange, flecked with hints of red chilli and cracked black pepper. Texturally, the sauce is quite runny but not entirely liquid, having a little graininess from the seed, which would make it a little difficult to use as a condiment sauce without using a little dish to keep it from flooding the whole plate.
On tasting, there is an initial sweetness in the mouth which is swiftly countered by lemon juice and a definite bonnet / black pepper / mustard heat and flavour, though the sweetness did linger for a while afterwards. Sianne found it difficult to detect any hint of tequila, though John found the tequila added to the overall warmth of the sauce. What we like very much, however, is that there is no hint of vinegar harshness in the flavour notes at all.
The sauce does work as a condiment despite its lack of body, but really only with things that can cope with its underlying sweetness. Gammon and pineapple would be lovely with a touch of Scorchio to pep it up, it adds spice to a sausage or bacon sandwich very nicely, and would work very well as a marinade or finishing touch for baked chicken or white fish. We haven’t actually tried it, but feel that the sauce is less likely to pair as harmoniously with red meat simply because of that lingering background sweetness.
This is the hottest sauce in the Fatman Chilli range, which they describe as “Super hot but not without flavour … recommended for the experienced chilli aficionado who knows that they can take it!” Well… we’re not in the least super-hot, extract-based sauce users with ridiculous heat tolerance, but we would not really consider this to be a ‘super hot’ sauce. Yes, it would be hot to anyone who doesn’t use chilli regularly, but for the average chilli-head this would be no more challenging than any other mid- heat range product.
Overall, Scorchio is a fairly versatile every day sauce with decent flavour and a pleasant heat level that lingers for a few minutes after finishing the meal.
Scorchio is available direct from Fat Man Chilli priced at £3.50 for a 100ml bottle.