Tropical Heat, by Ed’s Roadhouse
Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting Devil’s Tongue Steak Sauce, a super-spicy sauce from the makers of some of the hottest jerky around. Devil’s Tongue is an old friend, though, so I did not go into the review cold. This time, though, I have another hot sauce from Ed’s Roadhouse, and it is one that I have never tried before. I’m excited, though, because Tropical Heat is a pineapple and habanero sauce, two great flavors that easily achieve Reese’s levels of synergy. The fairly basic label bills this sauce as a “‘Hott’ Dam Good Sauce,” and, odd spelling aside, that’s a great claim to see on a sauce. Now it is my turn to see whether Tropical Heat lives up to that claim.
Habanero Peppers, Pineapple, Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Vinegar, Xanthan Gum, Natural Spices
Few things are more disappointing in this business than seeing a label advertise certain high-profile ingredients, only to find them more than halfway down the list and barely notice them in the product. Tropical Heat does not have such a problem. The first two ingredients in the list are habaneros and pineapples, which is precisely the label’s promise. Even better is that vinegar is used only sparingly in this sauce, rather than being one of the primary ingredients. What does that mean for us? Well, ideally, that means Tropical Heat should be a fairly sweet, fruity sauce with some pretty potent heat, and shouldn’t have any of that vinegary aftertaste.
I’ve been reviewing a lot of orange sauces lately, and this is another one. Tropical Heat is a little thin, but not nearly as much as those cheap sauces that people who know nothing about the industry buy for their friends and family during the holidays. More importantly, this stuff is sticky and a little pulpy, which speaks to the presence of the pineapples in the mix.
Smell and Taste:
Habaneros really have a way of overpowering everything else in a product, and that’s the story here. I don’t get the pineapples in the scent, which is a little disappointing but not terribly surprising, since pineapples are fairly mellow fruits. I do get a bit of the garlic, though, which makes for a rather appetizing overall aroma. The flavor is a different situation, however. I do not taste much of the garlic, but I do get the sweetness of the pineapples. That sweetness is fleeting, though, and is immediately overcome by a habanero hurricane.
This is an impressive sauce. Though it doesn’t have me reaching for something to drink, I’d say that it sits at the upper reaches of the Mean rating. Habaneros are powerful little guys, even more so when they are given center stage in the sauce show. They also taste fantastic, and the sweetness of the pineapples lands this squarely in the Notable rating. As with this morning’s review, the fruity flavor in Tropical Heat is not terribly prevalent, but what is there does a fantastic job of complementing and enhancing the delicious pepper flavor.
Don’t be too put off by this sauce’s name. Despite the presence of pineapples, it isn’t all that fruity, which sort of just makes it a really delicious habanero sauce. So, if you like the flavor and heat of habaneros, then you can use this sauce for pretty much anything. Try it on some fish or chicken, especially when paired with a lemon pepper glaze or seasoning. Those of you who enjoy throwing hot sauce on your ice cream may want to give this one a try as well, as I bet the sweetness of the dessert would help to draw out the pineapple flavor.
This will probably be the last time I’ll pull double duty for a while, since the school year starts back up in a little over a week. It’s been fun, though, because I’ve been able to review a lot of quality products like this one.