Monday, July 25, 2011

Hot Sauce Review - Flavors of Florida p1

This was the second time I have been sent some Southern hot sauce ... ( Just have to love the Southern hospitality :) Its very different from the standard one dimensional stuff we normally see around here.   In fact I had become so bored with the hot sauces , that I haven't used or purchased them in quite a while... that was until I started meeting some very cool Southerners,  that took their hot sauces very seriously .. with quality ingredients, no preservatives and some amazing flavor combinations.

So you can imagine how happy I was when the courier dropped off a little box FULL of flavorful hot sauces... 4 different ones :)

Here they are :) Just waiting to be tested !!  First impressions ... VERY colorful packaging, looks good!  
 I have to mention , when I read the ingredient list ... I was a little worried as me & cilantro are not the best of friends, and it was in 3 out of 4 sauces...  Uh oh ?!?!

Having never really done a review before .. I decided to start off simple, and just taste the sauces.  Nice and colorful, just like their packaging :) 

So I grabbed my favourite plain kettle crisps , and tasted them all .. in order of hotness. 





Two of them really stood out , for me,  the Clearwater & Daytona Beach !  I was having a hard time choosing between the two.  
Oh, and as for the cilantro worries.... it turned out to be just the right amount and didn't over power the sauce ..just right!!  As I actually do like cilantro , just in VERY small quantities.

I actually grabbed a note book for this one , and wrote down all my initial thoughts on the sauces.

Clearwater - Mild  Chili Citrus :  Very nice flavor up front, tangy and mild to start - with a some warmth creeping  a minute after - Very Nice !!  This one is a favorite. I should note that while it was marked mild, I personally thought it was hotter than the hot.  Which was just fine with me , I do like a little kick to it .

Keywest - Medium Jalapeno Key Lime :  Light and fruity up front, very different for me, with the fruitiness but nice!  With a  nice light burn afterwards. Im saving this one for a future post.

Daytona Beach - Hot Datil Mango Orange :  Sweet and well balanced of the start , with a nice heat level  ( Could be just a touch hotter :)) and with about a 2 minute burn time...Just right!   Very nice and tied with Clearwater as my personal favorite.  Again , for me having the sweet in there creates a very different but , very tasty flavour combination.

Southbeach - Extra Hot Limon Habanero :  Tangy to start , with the warmth building quicky , and a very nice warm afterglow. Spicy, but not overpowering .  Very nice. Im also saving this one for a 2nd posting.  

So the initial taste test is done ... now time to have a little fun with them and see what I can create :)

Clearwater was just crying out to be used as a marinade... so I tried it on some strips of steak.  Mixed well ,and into the fridge for a few hours.  

I used those chili steak strips to create this :)) A loaded steak, mushroom, onion and bacon jacket potato.   The hot sauce held up well , and the flavor came thru nicely . 

I decided to put my two favs to a head to head taste test ...  6 year old cheddar on toast , with some left over steak ( not the marinated one )    In this trial , Daytona won easily ,  as it seemed to pair with the cheese better .  Still, I wolfed both down  and was not disappointed .     

This is what I enjoyed after my initial taste test,  plain kettle crisps, prosciutto salami and 6 yr old cheddar.  Now, usually I would have had some Lea & Perrins with this snack . Turns out , my favourite snack is just as good with some flavorful hot sauces too!  

I do tend to have a lot of midnight snacks around here, and the Daytona Beach sure made it easy to have a quick tasty treat. In this case a simple pita wrap, with leftover roasted garlic pork, cheddar and mozzarella.  I'm not 100% sure why , but I really like this one with aged cheddar .  Seems to work really well. 

Good thing too!  As cheese plays a pretty descent role in my diet . With simple cheese on toast being a favourite of mine ... this time with a few peas from my garden . 

A couple of burgers got away from me and were a little crispy ... a few dashes of Clearwater Chili helped to solve that problem :))  Worked great as a burger topping !  

When I added some mozzarella to the cheddar ,  the chili sauce went much better .   Someday Ill figure out why exactly that is... for now .  I just know I like it!  

Thank you Flavors Of Florida for sending me these wonderful samples.  
I do hope you all have enjoyed my first review, please let me know what you thought , what was good, bad or ugly about it?   Or if you have any questions , please just leave a note below , or come find me on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rich-Fletchers-Good-Food-Revolution/118986254815432 )

Flavors of Florida, I was trying to link your website www.flavorsofflorida.com but it appears to be down for maintenance ... so here is the link to their Facebook page instead :))  http://www.facebook.com/FlavorsOfFlorida

Thanks everyone , have a wonderful day !!
Rich