I've tried an Encona chilli sauce before and it was hot. Not hot in the sense of "Oh, that's spicy!" Not hot in the sense of "My nose is starting to sweat!" This was hot enough to bring the fire extinguisher. It put a benchmark line firmly in the sand of hot sauces that I haven't dared cross since. I know I'm a wuss, but I know what I like and medium to hot spicy chilli sauces remain in play. So when Cinabar said she had a couple of Encona chilli sauces for me to blog about I admit I winced a little. "Don't worry, they're only quite mild to medium" she said...
Peruvian Amarillo Chilli Sauce
Amarillo is the fourteenth most populous city in the state of Texas (okay, so I just looked it up on Wikipedia). It's also the city named in the Tony Christie song which drove everyone crazy about ten years ago. There's nothing wrong with the song in my humble opinion, it's just once you've heard it you can't get it out of your head (although now I'm being assaulted by Kylie Monogue, although the chance would be a fine thing...). Having said all that this sauce is made from Peruvian Amarillo Chillies. The front label of the sauce bottle states "medium" chilli heat and the sauce is a mellow yellow colour with specks of chilli bobbing around expectantly. I can't quite remember what the last Encona sauce bottle's label stated. I don't think it said "red hot chilli death!" on it, but that's what happened. It was then that I noticed the Encona slogan of "Taste explorers", who I can only assume melted into goop on tasting the last sauce I had and ended up as compost for growing more "doom chillies". "Perfect for dipping" was underneath, which could be akin to poking an angry rattlesnake with a stick. So I decided to have this sauce with chips for that dipping experience. Although my tongue was preparing for a walk on hot coals. On opening this sauce there was a fiery sweetness smell from the yellow concoction. On dipping in my initial chip my first reaction was "Yowsers!" I think this sauce is possibly more than "medium" as the banana coloured sauce burnt through the top of my mouth. It had an almost fruity chilli taste with a sweetness, a hint of onion and it was very tasty indeed. A little hotter than I'm used to and it made my nose start to run, but I like it and I'll definitely savour this bottle.
Mexican Smokey Jalapeño Sauce
I do love Jalapeños. I have them pickled on sandwiches of most kinds (asides banana sandwiches, as I'm not pregnant although you would think it from the belly!). I like them on pizzas and salads also, or just eating plain with nachos. It stated "mild" on the label, which made me wonder a little as jalapeños can often be quite mild in chilli heat, but sometimes can catch me off guard like the "pink death coleslaw" I favour around this time of year. And so from this sauce I'm expecting smokiness, possibly sweetness as many barbecue sauces have that tangy sweetness, and I'm expecting a "mild" chilli burn. Let's see... On dipping in my first chip my first reaction was "Wow!". This sauce is so tasty! Overloaded with smokiness and there was the sweetness following. There is light fire from the jalapeño, but the "mild" marker is trueish here, maybe bordering on medium. Very good, very tasty... And yes perfect for dipping chips, as well as Mexican dishes and fajitas, but also smother your chicken strips, buffalo wings and pork ribs with this sauce. It tastes so good!