The generous folks over at Mandy's Mood Foods sent us a few of their sauces to try out and let them know what we think. Here are my thoughts on their Mild, Original, Blazing Nectar and Smoking Guns sauces.
I was initially hesitant about any hot sauce that lists peaches in heavy syrup as the first ingredient but these are actually very tasty sauces! The sweetness of the peaches and other ingredients help to offset the heat of the habanero peppers that are used. That does mean that serious pepper heads may be disappointed because these sauces are not “hot just for heat’s sake” sauces.
The Mild sauce does a wonderful job of balancing the heat of the peppers with a sweet note from peaches, molasses and honey. The heat level is just a small step above a bell pepper so the novice does not need to be afraid of this sauce. This provides a sauce that is excellent on eggs, breakfast tacos or any time you want to taste peppery sweet flavor. The flavor of the peppers is discernible but the heat is kept in check.
The Original sauce is another balancing act between keeping the heat of the habanero in check while letting the pepper’s flavor come through. This sauce is not intimidating, despite using the habanero. It has a nice bite to it but is not going to bring most people to tears and pepper sweats. There is a distinct sweet note but the capsaicin burn is there and will build a bit after the initial consumption. This would be a good sauce to use on a sweeter meat, say slow cooker pork with apple or ham with pineapple. Most people, even beginners, will find that this sauce is flavorful but not too hot.
The Blazing Nectar sauce is a step above the Original sauce, but is not extreme. The heat of the pepper will spread across your tongue even as the sweetness of the honey soothes. This sauce is really a step above the Original more because the heat lasts longer rather than being an inherently hotter sauce. There are still the sweet notes but this would be a good sauce to punch up your favorite barbeque sauce and to add flavor to your grilled chicken or fish.
The Smoking Guns sauce uses Ghost chilies instead of habaneros. This sauce is not sweet like the others in this review as it does not have peaches, honey or molasses in the list of ingredients. This sauce, while hotter than the others in this review, is still a flavorful sauce and not a “let’s see how hot we can go” type. It has a distinct smokiness on the first taste with some interesting seasoning going on, even if I cannot identify what seasonings were used. This sauce would be excellent on any grilled meat or vegetables. It would also work on any dish where you want to add smoky notes, especially if you live in those parts of the country where it is not reasonable to cook outdoors during significant portions of the year.
All told, I would recommend any or all of these sauces as a worthy addition to your cupboard if you like sweet sauces that are more about flavor than heat. If you want to try them out for yourself, you can order them online at www.mandysmoodfoods.com.