Readers of my blog know that I use a myriad of spices (50+ in my kitchen counter spice rack alone) to cook and season food. Spices truly are the spice of life.
That being said, my husband Sean and I like spice, and MAYBE a little bit of a kick, but not SPICY. I was excited and a little scared to try out new African Dream Foods hot sauces, but I put my taste buds and poor acid reflux to the test!
First up, Ghost Peri-Peri.
Description: Our Ghost Peri-Peri sauce is a truly unique sauce with a well-balanced flavor profile that is gentle, but also delivers heat. Instead of hitting you fast, it creeps up slowly, delivering a warm feeling inside with notes of sweet, salty, and tangy. It is a thick, deep orange sauce which pours slowly out of the bottle. This is our go-to sauce and all hot sauce lovers should have this in their line-up as it’s great on everything including eggs, sandwiches, pizza, and even pasta!
My take: “Creeps up slowly” is so accurate it’s painful. At first I was thrilled by the full-bodied flavor of this sauce, and how it was barely spicy at all. Then…BAM! However, the kick really wasn’t unmanageable and I liked that I had the opportunity to save the heat-free flavor before the spice kicked in. A solid hot sauce.
Description: For those who are still building up their heat tolerances, The Lemon & Garlic Peri-Peri sauce might be for you as it just tips over to the mild side of the scale. It is not a typical hot sauce, and is a bit sweeter and more mild than the Ghost Per-Peri, but has a similar texture and profile. It is yellow-orange in color and uses a Thai Chili Pepper and other peppers instead of the African Ghost Pepper. This sauce is a crowd favorite and would be gone in an evening if you brought it to a dinner party.
My take: This sauce is absolutely delicious. I love anything with lemon and garlic, and both flavors really come through here. The spice is very mild, even for a white person like me, and so enjoyable. After testing, Sean chose this hot sauce to use on the rest of his “testing quesadilla.”
Description: Our African Ghost Pepper Sauce is incredibly spicy with heat that builds up and peaks after 30 to 60 seconds followed by a lingering burn lasting for about 10 minutes. If you crave super-hot peppers and LOVE the heat, this is a well-balanced blend of sweet and salty, deep dark sauce that ranges from dark orange to red in color depending on the mix of red or orange African Ghost peppers used to make the batch. Pair it with anything when you are craving that burning sensation in your mouth.
My take: The hot sauce experiment had to pause here for a bit because I died.
Description: We age Jalapeno peppers 6 to 12 months to create a sharp, tangy sauce with the mild heat of the Jalapeno Pepper. Expect a dark green, easy flowing fermented, umami-flavored, Tabasco-style sauce on the medium spectrum of spiciness. Our Jalanasco is vinegar forward, which means it works perfectly to cut through the richness of a dish and bring a much needed acidity to any food.
My take: This is by far my favorite hot sauce of the bunch, and I’m not usually a fan of jalapeños. I tend to think they’re tired and overplayed. Not this sauce though. This sauce tastes like something new and exotic, and the vinegary flavor profile and mild flavor makes It ideal to add to almost anything. Post-testing, I chose this hot sauce to use on the rest of my “testing burrito.”
Description: This sauce trends on the hotter side of our heat scale and if you like distinct tanginess of fermented sauces, this one’s for you. Our Habanero Peppers are aged in a brine to let ferment 6 to 12 months and comprise the main component of this all natural hot sauce with only three main ingredients. Think Tabasco, but on an expert level. It is sharp and tangy with a powerful lasting bite that will warms up the palate for a several minutes. So expect ‘Habanasco’ to be very spicy and yet so wonderful on an egg omelette, pizza, chicken or fish.
My take: Another solid hot sauce – I clearly tend to prefer the fermented line. The habanero flavor is excellent. However, I’d place this on the medium-high spectrum of spiciness, so a little too much for me to handle.
Description: If you are a hot sauce aficionado, you’ll recognize our Bird’s Eye Chilli Sauce is the same recipe as our super hot African Ghost Pepper Sauce, but the pepper used here is the African Bird’s Eye Chilli. The sauce comes with all of the seeds found in the small Bird’s Eye Chili Pepper, which is partly what gives this sauce its unique flavor and heat. It has quite a bite (at a 7/10 heat rating!) but it has a clean finish, so unlike our African Ghost Pepper Sauce the heat doesn’t linger. Use it to spice up pizza, chicken, meat, fish, chicken wings or just about anything.
My take: Just too spicy. In my opinion, the spice level was too high to really enjoy the flavors in the hot sauce. Probably ideal for someone with a little more spice tolerance, though!
Conclusion: Sean and I loved the Lemon & Garlic Peri-Peri and Jalanesco Jalapeno Fermented Sauces! We will definitely be ordering more. And the second-best part about that, after getting yummy hot sauce in the mail, of course, is that African Dream Foods donates a portion of every bottle sold directly to African conservation organizations. In addition, the sauces are produced using chilis grown on small farms in South Africa, and all of them are 100% Vegan, preservative-free and non-GMO.
Check out African Dream Foods for yourself HERE!
Disclosure: I received this hot sauce complimentary for review purposes. All opinions are my own.