BBQ Mini-Series: Chili Garlic Sauce by Cholula
So, it’s officially the British summer and it’s that time when we fellas refuse to wear sun cream, go an offensive shade of puce and revert back to our Neanderthal instincts by making a fire to burn meat on.
I love BBQ season but living in the UK makes it tough to predict and event more difficult for retailers, producers and eateries to plan for. However each year the offering keeps on getting better and better and the categories that the BBQ occasion spans is ever increasing. We would now happily shop the meat aisles, bakery, salad section, spices, oils, condiments and, of course, the booze aisle. BBQ is much more than a category in retail; it’s an occasion, a mood, an ambience and something that the whole nation, nay the world, goes crazy for.
BBQ has increased in popularity over the last few years with the explosion of street food trucks and festivals that have shown the common household cook what is possible with a fire, a hotplate and a bit of food soul. If we get invited round to a friends for a Saturday afternoon Barbie it’s no longer acceptable to serve salmonella sausages or botulism burgers. Now we expect brioche buns, sliders, low and slow briskets, sliders, kofte, shawarmas and a fabulous infusion of world flavours and tastes all on an undersized paper plate.
Now, I’m good with a pair of tongs and a hotplate but I don’t profess to being an expert by any stretch so I’d recommend you check out the BBQ Geeks for some absolutely top tips and the perfect BBQ.
This mini-series explores some of the new and great products and recipes that I’ve foraged and found this year to make Britain’s BBQ season great. So, even if we need to turn to supplements rather than the sun for our vitamin D, we can always enjoy well-cooked, well-seasoned and well-complimented meat.
In my opinion the beauty of this product is in its packaging and the distinctive wooden cap. The label draws up connotations of fresh ingredients, traditional cooking and authenticity. I’m also a big fan of the inclusion of Spanish on the label to add to the product’s character.
£1.50– for a 150ml bottle this is very affordable and excellently positions it against other similar sauces (in profile not origin) such as Nando’s and Encona.
I really enjoyed this sauce. I was expecting it to blow my socks off, which it didn’t, but the flavour that emanates from the chili is outstanding. The first taste you get is the vinegar of the arbol and piquin peppers which gently give way to an intense garlic hit. Although I wouldn’t describe this sauce as a powerful heat it does leave a pleasant tingling sensation on the lips and peripheries of the mouth.
I opted to use this sauce as an adornment for some sweet potato chips and it worked superbly; however, I can see this sauce being versatile in its usage and occasions.
Verdict – in a word, authentic! It’s hard to find a truly authentic sauce that doesn’t taste synthetic but this is one. I’m a big fan of hot sauces but not the types of sauces that tear a strip off your taste buds; I want a sauce that adds a depth of flavour and this certainly does that. Señores bien hecho!
So all that leaves me is to ask: what’s your favourite BBQ recipe, tip or trick? Come on folks, leave me a comment below because sharing is caring.
Also, before you go take a look at my blog on a fantastic condiment I reviewed earlier in the year; it’s the perfect accompaniment to any pork dish.