For tonight’s Fiery Friday review, I’m taking a third trip to the Adoboloco brand of Hawaii-based sauces. This brand, if you recall from my reviews of their Jalapeno and Bangkok varieties, seeks to combine the traditional Adobo style with sheer honest simplicity, resulting in sauces that stay faithful to cultural recipes while staying away from unnecessary additives. Well, I do love simple ingredients lists, and I also I love it when a habanero-based hot sauce succeeds in highlighting the habs, so I’m hoping the all-natural Adoboloco sauce does the mighty orange pepper justice.
Distilled Apple Cider Vinegar, Habanero Peppers, Sea Salt, Garlic
This is the same list as the other two Adoboloco sauces I’ve reviewed, aside from the pepper swap. Regardless of my previous complaints regarding this sauce line’s liquidity, it’s cool to see a company stick to its guns and stand by its recipe on principle. Kudos, Adoboloco.
Yes, it’s thin. You won’t get any chunks of habanero peppers – or anything else, for that matter – in this sauce. At least, though, there’s little to get in the way of the orange habanero color here. The hue isn’t quite as vibrant as that of a ripe habanero, but at least there’s no question about what pepper is in this bottle.
Smell and Taste:
The vinegar sticks out the most, but I do get the habanero smell in the background. That’s no real surprise, as I said something similar about the other two Adoboloco sauces. Thankfully, the habaneros don’t hold back in the flavor department, leading to a sauce that is, in a sense, like consuming liquid habanero peppers.
I would be really disappointed if a habanero-based sauce couldn’t make it out of the bottom of our heat ratings. Luckily, that isn’t the case here. I’m still feeling the burn, particularly around my lips, from this sauce, so I’m going to give it a comfy Mean. I wish, though, that the sauce represented the fruitiness of the habaneros a bit better, something that is easier to do with a thicker sauce. Still, this one packs a surprisingly Nice flavor. I’m really quite pleased here.
So, when I got home from work today (we have half days on Fridays at my school), I immediately heated up some tamales with the intent of pouring this stuff on them. One of them was spicy beef, and the other was chicken with tomatillo. Anyway, the result was fantastic. The masa in the tamales really helps to soak up the thin sauce, allowing the food to absorb the flavor and minimize the mess. I highly recommend this approach.
After having such good experiences with the Bangkok and Habanero varieties of Adoboloco, I wanted to revisit the Jalapeno. After all, it’s possible that there were other factors influencing my assessment of the sauce, and I’m always willing to give someone a second chance. And the verdict is… No change. The Jalapeno version isn’t bad, but I don’t think it represents its base pepper nearly as well as its hotter siblings. Anyone looking for a simple vinegar-based sauce would do well to focus on the Bangkok and Habanero sauces.