Wednesday, July 13, 2011

product review Mama's tibet bbq sauce

When Lin( from the daring kitchen) asked me if I would be willing to do a product review on hot sauce I was excited.  We don’t mind heat in our household, but we like the heat to be more of a background to the flavor; we don’t just want our mouths left with a burn.

Mama’s Fire graciously sent me each of their products to review: Mama’s Fire Tibetan Hot Sauce and their Tibetan BBQ Sauce.  Mama’s Fire is making its way to some select stores but most of us will have to rely on their website for ordering.  Prices are reasonable if you exclude the price of shipping.  They do, however, offer a deal with shipping purchasing more than one item.
Hot sauce Product Info:                                                          
1 jar - 13.7 oz (388g)
$6.25 USD + $5.85 S & H
(Order two bottles and pay shipping for the price of one!)
BBQ Sauce Product Info:
1 jar - 13.7 oz (388g)
$6.25 USD + $5.85 S & H
(Order two bottles and pay shipping for the price of one!)

As I was unfamiliar with their product I went to their website to find out what I would (should) experience. To quote them “All ingredients are fresh and grown in the region. They are flash cooked in expeller-pressed Canola oil, bringing out the sweet, smoky flavors of the onion and garlic. The ginger provides an electric spice route fire that joins with the heat from the chilies to create a blissful and unique flavour that smoulders gently on the tongue.
     All batches of Mama's Fire are infused with the good wishes of the sauce's makers. Chanting incantations called mantra, the makers envoke the compassion of Padmasambhava, a legendary saint that brought Buddhism to Tibet.
     Mama's Fire is a cottage industry run and supported by the Sacred Works Project.”

I’m all for a product that gives back to the community so they had bonus points starting off from me! Still, the product has to taste good or else consumers just won’t buy it.

I invited family over to help give the BBQ sauce a try.  First taste, straight from the bottle, and we all had the same sense of tasting a sauce that had a slight resemblance to Arby’s sauce.  Surprisingly, it had very little heat to it.  In fact, some of the more heat thrill seekers I know felt that it had a zero heat factor.  We wanted to let the product shine on its own so we used it simply as a BBQ sauce for chicken wings.   My husband felt that the sauce lacked depth to it and was more liquid than sauce.  It gave the chicken some nice color but most of us were left wondering where the sauce was.  The product ended up with mixed reviews. Several people complained about its overall lack of flavor, while others thought it was a good mild sauce. 

My next challenge was to use the Tibetan Hot sauce.  It looks a lot like Tahini paste, with about the same consistency only it has red pepper flakes throughout it.  Sesame is one of the primary ingredients of their hot sauce so that explained the similarities.  With its strong nutty flavor I thought it would work great in a Thai peanut sauce but found the nut flavors to be too overwhelming and no one was pleased with the recipe.  I then used it straight from the bottle spread on to a tortilla wrap.  I filled the wrap with an Asian broccoli slaw and some grilled chicken.  This is where the Hot sauce truly shined! There was just the slight acidic taste of the slaw that blended well with the nuttiness of the hot sauce.  I still think it will be a wonderful addition to any Thai or Asian recipe but it will take a bit of experimentation.

In the end, I would have to give the BBQ Sauce a rating of average… nothing special, but nothing horrible either.  The Hot Sauce would get an “almost great” rating.  As I write this I’m thinking in my head that this sauce would likely make an amazing addition to hummus! If you like to use sesame oil and red chili peppers than I would say this would be an excellent addition to your kitchen.

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