Another tray of nuggets consumed. Time for another hot sauce review. Welcome back, everyone. Today, I’m taking a look at the last hot sauce (but not last item) that was sent to me last week by my good friends Kim and Kelly. I’ve already tried The General’s hot sauces that I also got from the care package. But also tucked away inside was this one, Wild Green’s Jalapeno Hot Table Sauce. Now, I don’t have a hot table. It’s just room temperature. But I figured I would give this sauce a try anyway. Let’s get to it.
I can’t say I’ve ever encountered Wild Green as a brand before. And that appears to be because they’re only maybe a year old. So, they’re brand new to this crazy game of hot sauces. Considering how it seems that they’ve really taken off in the past 3-5 years, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were dozens or maybe hundreds of sauce makers that have just showed up. I’m always up for healthy competition and choice. So, the more, the merrier, I say. And, spoilers, if these guys keep making sauces like this, they’ll do well.
Small note about the cap before I get too far. The vast grand majority of sauce caps I have encountered are simple twist-off affairs. This one actually has a flip-top with a little spout. Kinda nice. Less sauce getting on the threads of the cap that way.
Anyway, that’s the top of the bottle. Let’s dig a little deeper as to what’s inside.
Jalapeno Green has a lot more ingredients than The General’s sauces that I just finished with. But then again, 4 is a really low number for almost any hot sauce. But anyway, here, we have water, jalapeno puree (consisting of green jalapenos, salt, and citric acid), vinegar, garlic powder, lime juice, onion powder, green chili powder, whiskey barrel smoked black pepper, habanero pepper powder, and xanthan gum.
So, some regular items and some surprising new ones. Most sauces begin with vinegar right near the top. This one goes with water, which is interesting. Being the first ingredient, that it’s the most, by amount in there. After that, we have jalapeno pepper puree. Interesting that this doesn’t contain vinegar, either. Many “Pepper Mash” ingredients are peppers and vinegar. Here, however, it’s peppers, salt, and some citric acid. I’m a fan of the flavor of jalapenos, especially the green ones, as I mentioned in the Marine Green review a couple days ago. They’re not very hot, though, so I don’t expect a lot of heat… or maybe I should. Let’s continue.
Next up, we finally have the vinegar. Being down so relatively far, I’m hoping that this won’t have a strong sour/bitter vinegar bite or smell. Then, we get to what is essentially the “flavor pack” for the sauce. The jalapenos will be the main flavor, but what are they augmenting it with? We’ve got garlic powder, lime, onion powder, green chili powder (which I imagine will reinforce the flavor of the peppers above), and (and this is the first time I’ve ever even heard of this) whiskey barrel smoked black pepper.
The bulk of that are pretty standard sauce flavor additions, and I’m happy to see them there as they will make a nice depth of flavor. That last one… I had to go look that up. I found a version of it (I should note: I have no idea where Wild Green sources their pepper. So, I don’t know if they’re using this brand or not. It’s just the one that I found with a quick Google search) here.
It’s described as thus: These cracked peppercorns are slow smoked in-house at our warehouse in Denver, Colorado using wooden staves from whiskey for a pleasing, smoky aroma. Give our smoked pepper a try on your favorite proteins to add flavor when charcoal barbecuing or slow smoking is not an option. Great for adding a hint of smokiness when sprinkled over salads, soups, stews and more.
Sounds pretty special. Considering my love of black pepper (I am my father’s son), this intrigues me. I wish I had some of it just straight to try on some mashed potatoes or eggs or something. As-is, I’m worried that being so far down on the ingredients list, I might not actually be able to tell that it’s there, but we’ll see.
We close things out with two curve balls I wasn’t expecting. Skipping ahead, we get Xanthan Gum. No big deal. It’s a thickener. So, this sauce will be not as watery (so, counteracting some of the water from the start… Odd choice, but I’m not a professional sauce-maker. So, what do I know?). But tucked in there, we have Habanero Pepper Powder. Now, habaneros are much, much hotter than jalapenos. A year and change ago, I never would’ve tried to ever eat one. Thankfully, I’ve since learned better and habaneros have become one of my favorite types of pepper. But this sauce is going to be hotter (potentially) than just a regular green pepper sauce.
Putting the sauce on the nuggets, yeah, the xanthan gum is evident. Not to say that the sauce comes out as Jell-O or anything. But it definitely stays put as drops on the nuggets. There is a very mild texture to it, and there are flecks of something in there, though I’m not going to hazard a guess as to what, exactly. It doesn’t really soak in or run off. The sauce also doesn’t have a vinegar smell, which I, of course, appreciate.
Giving the sauce a try, I must say, it’s very good. It’s mostly like I was expecting. There’s the “grassy notes” of the green jalapenos. Then, the other spices come in and help make the sauce deeper and richer in flavor. I don’t know if I’d say that I very specifically taste those very special pepper corns, but I can say that there is a small bit of smokeyness to the sauce. Just a hint at the end. I’m enjoying this a lot, actually, having had some fingerfulls of it as I’ve been writing up this post.
As for the heat, it starts out pretty small, like a jalapeno sauce would. But there’s some creeping heat in there that definitely grows. I’ve found that I’ve been having more nuggets than I usually would with wings (one nugget’s worth of meat isn’t the same as a good-sized Publix wing) and I’m probably actually having more of the sauces now than I was with my old method. As such, the cumulative effect of so many nuggets and this sauce was quite warm on my palate at the end. It wasn’t super-hot, but there was definitely heat there. I’d say that this was a very effective heat-delivery sauce. You get a lot of good flavor up front and then the heat sensation that is part of the reason why we reach for hot sauces to begin with. Very well done.
As I say, I’m loving this sauce. Not that The General’s sauces were bad, but to my personal tastes, I definitely managed to save the best for last. At least, save what will be my favorite out of the group for last. That might make a future Go-To Sauces Post.
Suggested dishes: Like many sauces, this sauce has a wide array of things I think it would be good on. While there’s depth of flavor, it’s not super complex, letting it play well with many of the things a general pepper sauce would. As such, eggs, chicken wings (or nuggets). This would be excellent on tacos and burritos as well. Or you could dash the top of some chili for some contrast with many of the peppers that generally go in there.
If you’re looking to try this sauce out for yourself, you can find it on the Wild Green website here: http://box5476.temp.domains/~wildgre7/product/jalapeno-green/