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The Smoking Tongue

August 23, 2005

Day 36: Vigo Calypso Heat

Full title: "Vigo Flavorful Fire Calypso Heat Hot Sauce"

Antonino Alessi started his own importing business in 1947, creating the Vigo-Alessi company. They provide a wide variety of food items ranging from olives, spices, breads, etc, and specializing in Italian foods and Spanish foods. They also make 3 hot sauces.

"Although most hot sauces are celebrated for their fiery attributes, many are so hot that they conceal the flavor of the foods they are sprinkled on. Enthusiasts now realize that heat must be balanced with flavor. This is accomplished in all three of the Vigo Hot Sauces. The Calypso Heat Hot Sauce uses Habanero & Jalapeno Peppers and is tempered with the tropical tang of mango. Our hot sauces add an attention-grabbing level of heat, but at the same time, a bit of tropical flavor."

Nope, no you don't. I am always hearing hot sauce vendors bitch about heat, and then proclaim that "it's all about the flavor". Heat tempered with flavor. Heat balanced with flavor. We're the only ones.... Blah, blah, blah. That's great and everything, and variety makes the world go 'round. But don't tell me that you have an attention-grabbing level of heat, when in fact you forgot all about it. I rank it at about a drool-dripping snoring level of heat. If you want to make a sweet mango jelly, then call it a jelly. It's not much of a HOT sauce. And since when did jalapenos and habaneros not taste delicious?

While getting ready to take the final shot of the night, I couldn't help but see a bit of an artistic light show coming from the shot glass.


I used 3/4th of the bottle during lunch. Guess what I put it on? Mostaccioli & Meatballs. You'd think that a sweet hot sauce wouldn't go well in a dish like this. However, the sauce was such a non-issue it didn't change the flavor at all. Truly a ghost sauce.

Bottoms Up!
Sniffing this sauce will probably end up having your nose dunk into it. It smells great. To be honest, this sauce had all the markings of an organic vinegar sauce "genre", which is nasty. However, this had a pleasant smell of apple cider, mangos, or something too subtle to put my finger on. The flavor results in the same guessing game. Sweet & teasing. The vinegar in this sauce is not an issue, you can hardly tell it's there. Even though it tastes sweet and pleasant, it's too subdued. It's gone before it even started.


Two other sauces that Vigo makes:

Vigo Cinco De Mayo Hot Sauce
Vigo Tropical Hot Sauce


Tomorrow: CaJohn's Chipotle Sauce

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