Hot Stuff - Marysol
The realm of hot sauces is plastered with novelty brands that sacrifice flavour for the sake of hear. While the destruction of tastebuds might be an end in itself for some and can be fun to explore at times, if there is no flavour experience, the appeal wears off quickly. Then there are ones that deliver the heat yet in a manner that makes the condiment an attraction and integral part of any meal it contributes to.
Both South Korea and Mexico have a long-standing history of spiciness in their respective cuisines and the fact that Marysol’s founders head from those countries, piqued my interest in exploring what they have concocted after joining forces.
Devoid of preservatives, nasty additives, emulsifiers and based on a foundation of chillies from New South Wales and Queensland, vinegar from West of Byron and sea salt from the Great Australian Bite, Marysol currently channels its alchemy in three variations.
Marysol’s key Hot Sauce is their medium heat red habanero expression: Deeply red in colour, it has a wonderfully chunky texture enhanced by the still visible chili pieces and meanders between the coordinates of vinegar, cumin and chili robustly yet in a well-calibrated manner. With the heat hitting quickly and not building up, it is an ideal accompaniment to savoury dishes, e.g. eggs, burgers and smoked salmon.
My favourite of the day-to-day Marysol line-up is their Verde variant, which is a blend of Australian hot green chillies, white wine vinegar and spices. Compared to the red habanero one, this one is more on the citrussy and zesty end of the spectrum and adds a bit of bite, which I love my seafood to be enhanced with.
Now, no hot sauce brand would be complete without an extreme expression and in Marysol’s case, the extract of various Australia extreme chillies is channelled into The Phantom, to deliver an extra kick.
Extreme heat hot sauces can be tricky as that not only tend to sting upon entry but then dangerously build up, which is exactly the case here as the hotness reverberates on the way down the throat to the stomach.
Again, despite things being heated, Marysol manages to pepper in nuances, which in this case are reminiscent of Mango tropical fruits, black peppercorns and an excellent lingering smoky long aftertaste.
Aesthetically, Marysol’s triumvirate is housed in one of the better looking and pleasingly shaped glasses, which are adorned with artfully created labels paying homage to the founders’ Asian and North American heritage and make the experience a feast not only for the palate but also for the eye.
images from company website