Month 12: Born to Hula Habanero Ancho (June 2013)
Monday, 24th June, 2013
Hello Hot Sauce Lovers! This month we’re pouring on the delicious flavors of Born to Hula All Natural Hot Sauce – Habanero Ancho and Devon Allman’s Chipotle Blues are the two Born to Hula hot sauces that arrived this month.
Born to Hula create and ship their hot sauces from NAVESINK, NEW JERSEY.
Name: Habenaro Ancho
Origin: Navesink, NJ (Area: 576 acres)
Creator: Ed Bucholtz & Amy Shrewsbury
Pepper: Ancho Chili, Habanero Pepper & Red Bell Pepper
The entire line of Born to Hula small batch hot sauces are hand made with fresh, local ingredients. All of their peppers are hand picked and bought from local farmers’ markets in the Monmouth New Jersey area. With their aged pepper mash and exotic dried chilies, they are able to make a delicious hot sauce combinations for all of their fans.
Their idea with Born to Hula, was to take all those things in life that people enjoy, and pour that excitement into a 5 oz bottle. Born to Hula, in their interpretation, means to take your list of enjoyments, break down your own boundaries, and live it up! The Born to Hula motto; “It’s not just a Hot Sauce… It’s a way of life!”
Hot Sauce Review:
It was good to see that the flow control top you usually see on hot sauce bottles was not present when I opened up the bottle of Habanero Ancho. Habanero is probably one of our favorite peppers at Hotchil.li, so the flow-control top would have been popped anyway. It was a pretty sweet first taste from a richly colored and well blended combination of Habanero, Ancho chili and bell pepper. Ancho chllies are the sweetest of the dried chillies and it gives this sauce a sweet medium heat that appeals to a lot of people.
After a quick taste I started thinking about what I could smoother in this Habanero goodness, and after a quick perusal through the contents of the fridge I decided this is going to go on a deli-sh dish of sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon. I tell you, anyone that says they don’t like Brussels sprouts, I say, “You’re doing it wrong.”
What I am talking about here is far removed from the mushy green nuggets of your youth – You HAVE to sautée them. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it brings out a delicious nutty flavor that you probably never realized that Brussels sprouts even had. Plus the sprouts take on a lovely caramel hue that is, frankly, a lot more attractive than over-boiled grey-green. And if you still have some doubters in your midst, add bacon to the ‘pan-plan’ …because everything is better with bacon!
Ok, so that’s settled, except for one thing …I made ribs instead!
Mmmmmm …ribs. It wasn’t on purpose to pull in the ribs. You see, I planned to do the pan-fried Brussels sprouts for a dinner meal, but it was only early afternoon when I started prepping. So lunch was actually in order and I decided for a mid afternoon snack, or as an appetizer, I’d make some ribs. I was going to slow bake them for an hour or so, and then let them sit and cool. The problem is, I can’t help myself, so when I tried one, I had too try them all!
Enter Born to Hula All Natural Habanero Ancho hot sauce ..indeed, get on that rib. The Ancho chili is the sweetest of the dried chilies Ancho chilies are dried actually dried poblano peppers. Ancho provide mild to moderate heat , which is exactly what this sauce delivers. There is something about Habanero that just reminds me of comfort food – it could that be the hot wings I ate as a kid were smothered in a Habanero sauce, or it was in the chili con carne my mom made, I don’t know, it’s just delicious.
Did I mention this sauce is the Winner of the 2013 Fiery Food Challenge “Golden Chili”?
I tried the Habanero Ancho right out of the bottle and straight onto a tender rib, but is was apparent pretty fast that this is amateurish hot sauce application at best – I ended up just pouring it all over the plate and opting for the dip & drag method of hot sauce application. Whoot! Yeah, these ribs were gone in no time.
The sauce is rich and fresh tasting Habanero and mild garlic flavor. There is not too much sourness, or bitterness, from the distilled white vinegar. I find that if there is too much vinegar flavor in a hot sauce, it just kinda destroys it for me (How do you describe the taste of vinegar anyway?). Bottom line, this is good stuff …and it’s not too hot, so you can really pick up the individual flavors of the Habanero, Ancho chili, garlic, lime and vinegar.
The Devon Allman’s Chipotle Blues hot sauce that Born to Hula also sent is similar in freshness and bold flavor except for the fact the influencing taste comes from the Cayenne and Chipotle peppers! What hot sauce lover doesn’t love Cayenne and Chipotle!
In case you’re wondering, Devon Allman is a singer, songwriter and guitarist for Honeytribe and Royal Southern Brotherhood …and the son of Greg Allman of the Allman Brothers. Devon is also passionate about cooking and who, after an introduction through a mutual friend, teamed up with Born to Hula to put his name on a hot smoky sauce to call his own. You can read about other rockers getting into hot sauce creation in this article we found online and posted on our Facebook page.
You can check out the Born to Hula website to read a description of each sauce creation they offer.
Have a close look at the Habanero Ancho – it’s a great consistency that sticks to your ribs …wait, what?
Recap of Born to Hula ‘Habanero Ancho’ Hot Sauce Review:
Best pairings: Ribs, chicken wings, meatballs ..anything you wanna dip and smother!
Texture and Appearance: Blended and smooth but has a nice body and thickness.
Taste: Awesome Fresh Habanero and garlic flavor that is not too hot, bolf, fresh & very addicting.
Heat Scale : 4/10
Ingredients : Distilled white vinegar, red bell pepper, ancho chili, Habanero pepper, garlic, salt, onion powder, cumin, lime juice, xanthan gum
Graphics/Packaging: 5 oz glass bottle with a creative and professionally designed/printed label that is consistent with their branding across all the hot sauce creations they offer. You can read the nutritional facts on one side, get their mailing address or look up their website – all the information is there. There is also a QR code on one side – I didn’t scan it, so I’m not sure what it reveals. The branding carries over to their website very well. You know when someone is passionate about what they do when they take the time to make sure all of their branding is representing the same message across all media.
Final Thoughts: I’ve had this bottle of Born to Hula Habanero Ancho open for about 24hrs total, and it’s almost gone – I’ve been putting on just about everything. Sometimes I find myself looking through the fridge just for something to put a great sauce on. My wife thinks I have a problem if I just keep pouring it on a spoon ..or worse, just straight out of the bottle. I don’t know …is that weird?
Be sure to visit the Born to Hula Facebook page often to see what they are offering. Check out all the great photos they’ve posted, including some fine looking dishes they’ve made up for their hot sauces. (To try this hot sauce, and many more like it join the Club!)