Harissa is a North African flavouring most commonly used as a condiment enjoyed with meat, vegetables or grains like cous cous. It is made with a base of tomatoes, capsicum added mild spices.
• Gluten free
• Made in New Zealand
• Keep refrigerated once opened
My hubby loves spicy food! Sauces, condiments, flavouring - they are all up his alley, and he likes to try new things out so he has a few choices up his sleeve. He was really pleased to see this arrive in the KIWIreviews box, and knew immediately it as for him, so decided that we were having something that night that he could use it with (turned out to be nachos). Now hubby has tried a lot of sauces in his time, and has not found the "perfect" one yet, so I hoped this might be, or even close to it! I also tried it as his and my idea of "not hot" are VERY different!!
I have to say that hubby was suitably impressed and stated that it was so close to being perfect, but he could not put his finger on what was missing. The intensity was good, the aftertaste was good, the colour was great, the packaging is easy to navigate, and it is a New Zealand made product also.
As is tradition from Barkers products, you know exactly who has made it by their distinctive logo and art work. These do a few sauces, so it is great to be able to distinguish them all apart. I love that the bottle is glass, as I pass these onto to friends that bottle their own sauces and chutneys, so as well as being recyclable, they are reusable - excellent that this is better for the environment.
I think it had a lot of different uses in our house, and would have more too - from a sauce on sausages, to adding it to the cottage pie portion my husband ate, to "spicy-ing" up our salsa, and even to being a base covering for our homemade pizzas. It is more of a tomatoey taste - but I do not see that as a bad thing, it makes it very versatile to use and have on hand in the cupboard.
Would I buy this sauce again? ABSOLUTELY!! I have already told a few people about it in fact and recommended they try it too!!
As a family, we are generally quite wimpy when it comes to chilli and hot spices. However, what we do love is flavour and aromatic spices, particularly when it comes to sauces. I was a little hesitant to request this sauce as previous forays into harissa sauces have left me rushing to get the milk out of the fridge. However, the description of this sauce said that it contained mild spices, so I thought that we should give it a go.
As with many other Barker's products, the bottle itself is glass- great as not only is it much better for the environment than the many plastic options out there, but I can also re-use it if I want to. The label has a handy 'heat scale' at the bottom and the arrow was pointing to mild- this gave me some reassurance that I had made the right decision! It was also really helpful to have the different use ideas for the product on the label.
On tasting the sauce I was both relieved and incredibly glad that I had requested it. It is delicious- tomatoey, flavoursome and ever so slightly smokey. There is the smallest kick of heat, but nothing to overpower the aromatic spices and sweet vegetables. I used it as a dip alongside some chips- this was out of this world, especially when I added a small blob of aioli on the top. It was also really great alongside a burger and onion relish in a bun for dinner. I have also experimented by adding some to bolognaise, as a marinade over lamb to add into pita breads with some salad, and as an alternative to a classic tomato ketchup (it works incredibly well over hot dogs). In each case it really has enhanced the dish, with the moroccan spices adding a warming note perfect for winter, without the spicy chilli hit which my family don't really like.
I really shouldn't have been so worried- we have really enjoyed using this sauce and have added it to enhance so many dishes. It is so versatile yet so simple that it can be enjoyed in many ways, and would be a great thing to have on-hand in the pantry. Overall we are huge fans- and we would definitely recommentpd trying it for yourself to see why!
I don't actively seek out anything with a bit of spice to it, my kids aren't into foods with a bit of a kick to them and I'm only just starting to enjoy it myself, but I thought I would take a step away from my usual and give this a good try. I really liked the overall layout of the label and the illustrations are lovely. I like that the 'heat' rating is so easy to spot and and nice and clear as to how hot you should expect it. It is also worth nothing that this is vegan, which is nice as so many sauces have little bits of animal product added when I'm sure they could do so easily without it.
Opening this up I could instantly smell the red capsicum, gave it a tentative taste and thought it wasn't too bad overall. My first time using this I put it on a wrap with a little cheese and spaghetti before popping it in the oven till the cheese melted. The sauce added a nice element to the dish changing it from something that was just for a quick dish to something a little more elevated for this tired out mumma. I have a favourite dish that I make, pasta, garlic (lots please), onion, mushroom and parmesan, having dealt out everyone a serving, I decided to put some of this on my dish to see if it tasted just as nice cold. I have to say that although I found it a little too hot for me, just a little was all that was needed and added a nice touch to the dish.
This is a nice sauce, and given that I don't want too much heat added to my dish, it will go a long way and get lots of use out of it. I'm still not sure if I will buy myself a bottle when it runs out, but for now I am enjoying the versatile sauce.
We are huge sauce fans in our family, and I have to admit I am slightly addicted to trying all the new sauces especially Barkers sauces as there are always new flavours to try, alongside our firm favourites. My fridge is pretty packed with a variety of Barkers sauces and dressings to keep everyone happy with a sauce they like with different meals. For me Harissa sauce is absolutely delicious and having tried a few I have to say I was very fond of this one by Barkers.
While a lot milder than Harissa sauces I have tried in the past that can definitely have a bit of a burn this still had all the flavour and tasted authentic and naturally made. As with other Barkers products you can literally see and taste the natural ingredients and know that there are quality products used to make the sauce. My youngest son who usually sticks to tomato sauce actually enjoyed this being mild enough for him to taste the tomato. He referred to it as a tomato chutney sauce and has put in a good effort to devour a lot of the bottle with various meals.
Harissa is a perfect pairing with lamb in my experience so we had this with some lamb steak cut into strips and made into wraps with salad and it was devine. Having a vegan sister having sauces that she can eat so I don't have to do to much modification to the menu when she visits is great so I was very appreciative to read that this was vegan friendly too.
I think this is the nicest harissa sauce I have ever tried. Eight of us tested it over several days and not one person made a negative comment. Although full of flavour, it is unusually mild for a harissa which meant it appealed even to the youngest child who normally stays well away from "hot" food. Although not a tomato sauce in the conventional sense (it is worlds apart from the sort of highly coloured "sauce" you get with fundraising sausage sizzles and which is often used rather too liberally by children), it is nonetheless firmly tomato-based. As such it has a wide range of applications, from pizza topping, to meat dishes, and even to bolognaise and seafood sauces.
We had the remains of a lamb roast so decided to try the harissa sauce out first on simple wraps. These were simple enough for the children to assemble so we gave them the ingredients and the adults watched on. The children added a layer of salad vegetables on a Farrah's wrap, then a layer of preheated chopped meat, and finally decorated the mixture with a liberal serving of harissa sauce. They then rolled each wrap into a cylinder and put them into a sandwich press to warm the wrap through. They made enough for two each, although not everybody could finish both as they were quite filling. This was voted a huge success.
After the wraps, we tried the sauce mixed with homemade mayonnaise to make a Thousand Island dressing. To this we added cooked prawns, chopped onion, and chopped celery. This was just as successful as the wraps, and something we will have again because it is easy to put together and looks incredible. One of the children topped the mixture with a sprig of parsley to make it look pretty (her words!)
The last dish we have made to date was an old-fashioned sausage sizzle - but made at home on our friends' barbecue, using the harissa sauce to top the sausage and onions in place of conventional tomato sauce. The sausages we chose were precooked so we had only to brown them and make sure they were heated through. Precooked sausages are often very bland, so the addition of the harissa sauce gave them plenty of zing. The children really went to town on these, eating three apiece (with the compulsory slice of white bread!) and the youngest even forgot that she does not usually like fried onions.
Will I buy this product again? I just might have to as we completely drained the review bottle and need to organise two replacement bottles as soon as possible. One for my friends, and another for myself when I am back at home!
Random listing from 'Food'...
All trademarks, images and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective companies.
KIWIreviews is an independent entity, part of the ePLURIBUS.nz Network. This is a free public forum presenting user opinions on selected products, and as such the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of KIWIreviews.co.nz and are protected under New Zealand law by the "Honest Opinion" clause of the Defamation Act of 1992. KIWIreviews accepts no liability for statements made on this site, under the assumption that they are the true and honest opinions of the individual posters. In most cases, prices and dates stated are approximate and should be considered as only guidelines.
"Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs."
Joan Didion (1934 - ), 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'