Hot Sauce Guide Vol. 3: Cool Chile

First of all, a big thanks to Cool Chile Company for providing the product for this review! Their company provides the key components to Mexican food and cooking.

It seems unceremonious to start with my favourite, but I’m going by the order I tried them. I was actually surprised when this stuff actually tasted of ketchup. It sounds silly, but this is pretty much just an upgrade on the regular stuff. It doesn’t change the taste massively but instead adds a smoky tone (which has never failed to make something better), and then leaves you with the tiniest sting of heat. Ideal hot sauce for all you casuals or those who are completely bored with ketchup but in the midst of an addiction to the stuff.

Rating: 8/10

This was another strange one to try second since this stuff is pretty much the foundation to many of the sauces. You might use this in the same way you use a stockpot. It simply provides heat and that familiar smokiness from the chipotle chilli. I wouldn’t say it did wonders but it definitely improved what I mixed it in with. You could probably stir this into some chopped tomatoes and blag some praise from your in-laws; should you choose to wield it so disingenuously.

Rating: 7/10

Had this in a burrito, a wrap and then on toast just to isolate the taste. I noticed that in a burrito with several strong ingredients, I was able to pick up the taste of the salsa amongst it all, so last-minute bonus points there.

Generally, I enjoyed it, like most of these I’d say I preferred it to most I've had like it, but not a mind-blowing amount more. The traits are there for this in the same way they are for most of these. Fresh, tasty, but slightly mild on the chilli front.

Rating: 5.5/10

I can’t remember if I've said this in reviews before, but I've often said you can tell a lot about a hot sauce by the size of its nozzle. This one was left completely bare, and you were left to your discretion to absolutely decimate your meal, should you be distracted.

I've had a few habanero sauces, the depth of flavour isn't as much as with the chipotle, but it aligns more with the heat that certain people crave. I thought this was a fairly standard formula, which tasted slightly fresher and a bit better than par. Extra half mark for not featuring any weird ingredients like synthetic gum or anything odd like that.

Rating: 6.5/10

My folks liked this more than I did, and I liked it a bit. Much like the habanero, it more or less met my standards for a passata or something. I liked the slight heat, and again it tasted fresher than most. I would have liked something hotter but I’ll try not to let personal preference get in the way of an objective review.

I would have this again if I was comparing it to the alternatives I've had. But, I wouldn't say it’s a drastic difference.

So slightly above par.

Rating: 5.5/10

I left this one quite late because I was waiting for the ideal sandwich filling before I went in with oh-so-versatile mayonnaise. I liked this one, the spice and heat were palpable but completely bearable yet again. The heat for all of these sauces are universal, simply hints I’d say (possible exception of habanero). My personal feedback, which might be a pattern among these, is that I think there could be a stronger chipotle:mayonnaise ratio. The taste was there but it was subtle. Once again, this product was an upgrade on the standard but only a slight one. The fact it was vegan didn't cross my mind once which is always a kudos when it comes to these ventures.

Rating: 6.5/10

Overall, some nice standard improvements (6/10 means good where I’m from). If you want to start enjoying the ingredients in your food more, then for Mexican dishes Cool Chile offer some nicer and what looks like more natural alternatives.

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