Scott Roberts – Review of Benito’s Original Naranja Habanero Hot Sauce

Review –

Benito’s Naranja Organic Hot

Sauce

Scott Roberts December 30, 2008 at 7:01 pm food

Benito’s Naranja Organic Hot Sauce
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m a sucker for vegetable and carrot-based hot sauces. You give me a good one and I’ll keep coming back like a sad little puppy dog begging for more. Now up at bat is Benito’s Naranja Organic Hot Sauce, a tasty-looking concoction that uses fresh organic and all-natural ingredients.

Ingredients: Onions, Tomatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Vinegar, Lime Juice, Cayenne, Jalapeno, Habanero, Serrano, and Thai Peppers

Aroma: 4.5 out of 5. Very fresh and light. I sensed hints of vinegar and garlic, blending in with a pleasing vegetable aroma. I’m not joking; after a few sniffs of Naranja, my mouth started to water.

Texture and Appearance: 4 out of 5. Naranja is a bright orange (of course, naranja is Spanish for the color orange), probably due to the presence of carrots. The sauce in my bottle contained very, very few minuscule dark specs amongst the pure orange mix. It’s consistency is a ground-up, mashed fusion of veggies, peppers, and watery liquid. It’s simultaneously runny, clumpy, and pasty. My review bottled came with an optional plastic dropper piece to fit on the top of the bottle. I didn’t use it for my review, as I wanted to get a sizable dose of the sauce on my food; but for proceeding uses, the dropper was fine, for the sauce is thin enough to allow enough to be dispensed with each shake.

Taste Straight Up: 5 out of 5. I poured a small puddle of Naranja on my plate and fingered some into my mouth. Immediately there was a blast of some of the freshest, strongest, tangiest vegetable flavors I’d ever had the pleasure of placing on my tongue. If I hadn’t known any better, I could have sworn someone had just picked some produce straight from the garden and made a nice picante salsa.

I noticed there was a complete lack of a saltiness (I guess some sauce makers rely on the white stuff in their condiments that my mouth was expecting it) and it made Naranja taste relatively bland by comparison. A moment later, though, unexpected high notes slowly materialized: the tartness of the vinegar and lime juice, small peeks of onion and garlic, and the slight searing sting of peppers. It seemed bizarre that these flavors didn’t come out for the first few split-seconds of time. It’s akin to a gorgeous swimsuit model being in a darkened room. First, you would shine a flashlight on her wonderfully tanned and toned stomach. Attractive, but incomplete. Then, someone would turn up a dimmer switch for a ceiling light to full brightness to reveal of of the most beautiful sights your little eyes have ever seen. In Naranja’s case, it’s your taste buds drinking in all that delightfulness.

 

Taste With Food: I shook generous amounts of Naranja on a flatbread wrap with grilled chicken breast chunks and melted monterey jack cheese. Good God, was it good!

 

Ever since I acquired my bottle, I’ve been dousing this sauce on just about everything I’ve consumed, save for my morning coffee. I can’t get enough of it!

Serving Suggestions: I could think of a hundred great culinary applications for Benito’s Naranja Organic Hot Sauce, but why don’t you grab a bottle and see for yourself?

Heat: 2 out of 5. It’s got medium-level heat. I was expecting a bit more fire because of the habs and thai peppers, but since the sauce tastes so great it’s certainly not a letdown. The heat hit the front of my tongue and lingered for a while after eating.

Label: 2 out of 5. It shows a peaceful outdoor scene, and on the back a photo of a man (Benito?) lazily sitting by a river. For some reason, it really doesn’t represent contents of the bottle.

Overall: Like the label states, Benito’s Naranja Organic Hot Sauce is “A Delectable Addiction”.Benito has really hit on something special here. Again, I love carrot-based hot sauces – in particular, Tabasco’s Tabanero, but this may be the best of it’s kind I’ve ever eaten.

You can get the goods at http://www.benitoshotsauce.com/

Cayenne Peppers

      Cayenne peppers pack much more of a kick than jalapenos. They range from about 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville heat index. Cayenne peppers are usually sold in a dried or ground up form at the grocery store. They are bit harder to find at the supermarket in raw form. Cayenne peppers are quite hot when picked fresh off the vine. A solid chomp and subsequent chew will produce an endorphin rush similar to consuming lots of rich dark chocolate. Much like the jalapeno or any other hot pepper, the capsaicin in cayenne peppers is most efficiently released when they are roasted.

      The cayenne pepper originated in the city of Cayenne which is the capital of French Guiana. At Central Farms, we prefer a strain of Cayennes known as super twos because they are very resilient during the extremely hot and dank Watchung Valley summers. They are also quite resistant to dry rot (a pepper farmer’s worst nightmare).Also, this particular variety produces a very high yield. We have also tried the jumbo variety, the Carolina long slim, as well as various Indian varieties. It is best to pick cayenne peppers when they turn a full on fire engine red color. Usually, the rule is: the longer you wait for the peppers to mature, the hotter they will get. Cayennes have what is considered a medium length growing season.

      We use only homegrown, organic cayenne peppers in our Old Bricktucky Cayenne. Thesauce is a unique break from your traditional strict cayenne and vinegar concoctions. It is a distinct blend of organic cayenne peppers, cinnamon, paprika, and bell peppers. It is fantastic on pork chops or on a nice loaf of cornbread. But like all of our sauces, it is quite versatile in thatit goes well with pretty much anything.