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Our Ass Kickin' Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce is sure to call out to all the hot sauce fanatics across the globe.
At over 1,000,000 heat units, these Ghost Peppers (Bhut Jolokia) are one of the hottest peppers in the world. EXTREMELY HOT!
I did my usual heat-test trick when I opened this little bottle: this gives me an idea of how much I can use before I add too much and spoil a dish. Experience has taught me to be cautious and hold my breath when I open any container of hot spices, especially if they are in liquid form, as the effect on the nose and the back of the throat when you inhale are much stronger than on the tongue. I am glad I followed my own advice as the droplet I tasted was enough to tell me that this was one of the hottest I have ever tried. And I had just the meal organised to test it out.
Really hot chilli goes wonderfully with egg dishes: it cuts through the richness, especially if you are using free range eggs, and adds that great tangy edge to them. I don't like my eggs too bland or too rich, and chilli addresses both of these issues. I had planned scrambled eggs (on toast of course!) with summer vegetables - a nice combination and quick to prepare. I added the sauce to the eggs after I had whisked them in the pan and before starting to cook them as that ensured that there would be no "hot spots". I tried four drops for each egg, although when I tasted the result I think I could have used five (or even six for a noticeably hotter effect). But the result was as expected, nicely spiced and tingly on the tongue.
The bottle is quite small but as a little goes a long way I can see it lasting for some time. I love the packaging: the double meaning of "ass kickin'" made me smile as the image of the little donkey and the full sun make it quite clear what the real message is! (Or does it?) The lid comes off easily once you have removed the plastic seal: an important design feature as some lids come off awkwardly, and the contents may spill. This is one item you do NOT want to land in your face or over your hands. I rubbed my eyes once after I had been handling a chilli product and certainly learned my lesson.
We had wraps for lunch later in the week - the main ingredient was chopped avocado which needed using up so I added some Greek yoghurt (plain), parsley, mild cheddar and a few drops of the hot sauce before rolling it up. The sauce was just what the other ingredients needed to add interest. The result was tasty, not too hot (although the heat is negotiable!), but with enough kick to transform a healthy but not very interesting snack into a delicious treat. This is one product which has earned a place in my larder.
As the working week was coming to an end, I noticed that my enthusiasm for cooking had well and truly dropped, so I ended up making some simple kumara chips. thinly sliced, and coated in cooking oil and rock salt, I baked and grilled them until that had the consistency of a deep fried french fry. For sauces, I had two tomato sauces, one unaltered, and the other mixed in with a generous helping of Ass Kickin' Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce.
As with the original variant, the plastic wrapping was very easy to remove, and the bottle has a wide opening, giving little control over the amount that you pour out each time. Similar thin consistency to the original, the sauce is more opaque (less translucent) and has a lower presence of seeds. The flavour is rather smoky, reminiscent of a tabasco or smoked paprika spice.
The sauce provides quite a more significant "burn" compared to the original, and the heat lingers a lot longer. Most of the heat focuses at the back of the palette; though it will give the taste buds on the tongue a good whallop, the heat definitely subsides a lot quicker than at the back of the throat. When I had a quick taste of the sauce alone (just a quick chug, I'm crazy like that) the sauce does give off some fumes, which can lead to a bit of coughing, so I'd definitely recommend ensuring it is properly mixed with food before consumption.
It would be nice if the bottles were slightly larger, as the product will only last a few uses for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by the level of heat this little sauce provides.
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