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The Smoking Tongue

October 15, 2005

Day 89: Pure Habanero

I'm still sniffing this bottle, even while empty! The aroma that still lingers has a deep and complex odor that has me forgetting to breath back out.

Where was I? Oh yes, The taste! That's right. This sauce is bursting with flavor. The flavor is smooth, bitter, salty, and very tart at the same time. Very surprising since this is the ingredient list:
"Habaneros, Salt, & Vinegar"

That's it. Not much, huh? I guess that's why they call it "Pure Habanero".

It's a thick sauce that clings to the walls of the bottle. The consistency reminded me of liquid clay. That might not sound appetizing, but hey, that's what came to my mind.

It's quite hot, with a lingering heat in every bite. But to be honest, I'm surprised it wasn't hotter considering the ingredient list. If this was pure habaneros, they couldn't have used very hot ones. I wonder if it's possible to soak habaneros in something for a while to leach out the heat, and then use the pepper afterwards. Maybe it's like that episode in Seinfeld where Elaine starts a business that sells only the coveted top half of muffins, except in this case, the sauce is made from only the tips of the habaneros (where the heat is the weakest). I'm just grasping at straws here, but I've recently had hotter habanero sauces that were hotter than this one. And their ingredients list was 3 times longer.

The bottle itself is one of a kind. Or three of a kind if you count the other two they make. A custom shaped bottle. Some leather and metal decoration wrapped around the bottle. A very small label that brilliantly allows full view of their pure sauce inside. A ten dollar price tag (assholes). And a cork on the top, to impress us with its wine like vintage.

Unfortunately, I'm now convinced that the cork is a serious problem. I got to thinking after reading Nick's theories and comments about my comments on the metal flavor I experienced with the Pure Cayenne sauce. First, his discovery of the salty crustacean buildup around the cork after a week was very interesting. I've never experienced it, partly because I usually refrigerate my sauces once they're open, and also because the last bottle I bought was finished in one day, not giving it time to build up. Then he mentioned the sludge he had to scrape out of the neck of the bottle when he first removed the cork. I also had to do that with all the bottles. And if there's one thing different about these sauces than the rest of sauces in the world, it's the cork.

I think the cork is either reacting to the sauce, or simply letting air in. After all, you can't pull a cork out of a wine bottle just by yanking on it. You have to use a corkscrew. The corks on these hot sauces, however, are half in, half out. Even a small kid could pull it out. Hell, the only thing holding them there during shipment was a small plastic heat shrink (which is also not air tight at all due to the shape of the bottle's top)

Luckily, the metallic flavor wasn't present in the Habanero or Jalapeno sauces. Only the Cayenne. And only when eaten in large quantities. I don't think it's a fluke, I had it for the first time 3 years ago, and it was present there. Nick's last theory about slow moving inventory due to its ridiculous prices brings up a good point. They need to use fool proof bottling techniques.

Breakfast of Champions!
A veggie omelette simmering by a pile of hot sauce. Coffee in my Tabasco cup. Pure Habanero Hot sauce within reach. Name one restaurant that could provide that.
This is a great tasting sauce, and will put a nice fire in most people's mouths. However, it's almost too expensive to eat. It is worth experiencing once, though. Especially the Pure Jalapeno, which is still my favorite.

Tomorrow: Pain Is Good Jalapeno Wasabi

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  • I love habaneros and am currently looking for smoking recipes (chipotle style). Do you have favorite habanero cheese pairings?


    By Blogger Greg, at 6:25 PM, September 20, 2007  

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