Today I’m checking out Island Hopper, a tropically styled 7-pot sauce from High Octane Sauce Company. Around this time of year in Houston, it’s usually getting fairly warm, and spring, also jokingly known as early summer, is on its way. However, this time around, it’s still a bit nippy outside, and so I’m thinking I might drop some heat of the tropical variety out there and see if it will ward off the rainy cold days and start bringing in some sweet sun-kissed afternoons.
What is easily interpreted to be a sweet plus heat sort of sauce from the naming, the use of mango and pineapple suggest a subtle sweetness, and the ginger with two layers of chilies suggests a few warm waves will be had in this summer-themed sauce. Here’s what’s in this: Pineapple, Mango Nectar, Pineapple Juice, Thai Chili, Yellow 7-pot chili, lime juice, ginger, spices, sugar, and salt.
For what would seem to be a simply sweet and hot sauce, the aroma suggests that there are several layers of spices in this to experience, with the ginger standing out the most, and nearly no blatant push of sweet or spicy hot, but more so of a liquid spice rub to some degree. The color is a muted yellow with a high variety of varied of colors, most likely the spice components and flesh of the chili peppers and fruit. The sauce is fairly thick and takes on almost a thin applesauce type of consistency.
There is a quick presence of spices, noticeably the ginger, and what seems sort of like a pumpkin pie spice type of blend, and then comes the sweetness from the mango and pineapple, which seem a bit smokey, so I suspect one or both of the fruits might be grilled. The chili burn isn’t massive, and comes in two quick layers: one that is more mild on the top of the tongue, and one most present at the front, which is a more intense burn. This sauce, while tropically inspired, and usable on plenty of tropical dishes, specifically seafood, still gives me a bit of an autumn feel, possibly because of the spice blend, and I could really see using it all over a holiday ham or to perk up cranberry dressing, so it seems like it has a life beyond just the summer. The heat would be about a Medium level and the flavor level is a Nice. However, my biggest issue with this sauce, which is getting it knocked down to a Nominal rating is the texture in the mouth, it’s a bit too chewy for table sauce, containing a fair amount of hard and stringy pulp from the fruit, which may work a bit in cooking, since you could strain the sauce, but makes it displeasing for general use, and it would be more desirable if it had a smoother texture.