Well, I can’t think of a better lineup of sauces to highlight for my re-entry in to the Fiery World blogosphere! I’ve been on this “rambo” style diet and dropped 100 pounds this year, and 90 of that since I first tasted Tom’s sauces at Peppers on the Beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in May. That put an almost instant hold on a lot of my hot sauce activity, especially tasting and cooking with great sauces, but I’m back in the saddle and can’t wait to share my feelings about Tom’s Roid Rippin’ Hot Sauce line of sauces.
There are six of them, to be exact: In no particular order we have the “Habanero Pepper”, “Tapestry”, “Jalapeno Pepper”, “Cayenne Pepper & Curry”, “Hot Cherry Pepper & Roasted Garlic”, and last but not least, “Ouch, My Roids Hurt Habanero Sauce”! I’m here to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, there is not a loser sauce in the batch! Without exception, and at the risk of you not reading past this sentence, Tom Slosser is a master flavor artist, with a level of sophistication seen more commonly in gourmet restaurants and serious foodie hangouts!
For purposes of readability without needing an intermission, I’ll give you the high level overview of three sauces: “Tapestry”, “Cayenne Pepper & Curry”, and “Hot Cherry Pepper & Roasted Garlic”! There are multiple reviews floating out and about on TRRS (I’m abbreviated to save typing! I know….lazy!), and not surprisingly, these three sauces keep coming up in reviews and Chilehead conversation! So I won’t go into the whole “3 Fiery Worlds for this, and 4 Fiery Worlds for that”, but instead, just tell you that every one of these sauces deserves a 4 to 4 1/2 Fiery Worlds in all categories but one…but more about that one exception later.
Tom Slosser must have been a heck of a cook prior to making his sauces, since his labels tell the story of his wife, Diane, giving him a hot sauce making kit as a gift, and that’s where it all began. No one has this much beginner’s luck without possessing seriously mad skills as a foodie’s foodie, master chef wannabe, flav’ o flav’ talented flavor artist, etc.!!
Tapestry is a very fitting name for a sauce with Anaheim’s, Sweet Reds, Hot Cherry, Jalapeno, Serrano, Cayenne, Habanero, and Thai Chili peppers. Yes, I typed correctly-that’s eight different types of peppers in this one sauce. And they are blended perfectly, with notes of sweetness from the molasses and apple cider vinegar (but just a little hint of vinegar for tang…no unsightly lip puckering vinegar moves here) and tomatos. The peppers, secret spices, and ingredients all just kinda work together, like a…..like a……(wait for it)……Tapestry!!!! I used this sauce regularly over chicken, fish, veggies, and anything else I could think of. Well, except carbs, since I haven’t had pasta or carbs since June. So I can’t wait to try it with pasta in a week or so, since my diet is transitioning back to all food groups!
Next up is the “Hot Cherry Pepper and Roasted Garlic” sauce. My how I’ve longed for a piece of pizza the last 5 months doused in this sauce! Don’t get me wrong – I’ve loved it on eggs, veggies, boca patties, chicken, fish, etc. But there really isn’t much of an etc.! What I just listed is pretty much all I’ve eaten since June, so not much variety. Why is that important, you ask? Okay, so you’re not asking, but I’ll tell you anyway…. When all you eat is low carb, high protein, limited vegetable fare for a prolonged timeframe, something with as much flavor as this sauce makes you put it on it’s own little pedestal, shining a spot light on it and touching it lovingly as you walk by (see photo!). With the obvious title ingredients coupled with the simple additions of salt, honey, tomato, lime juice, etc., you get a delicate, sophisticted flavor profile that could grace any Italian chef’s ingredient shelf!
And that brings us to what was my surprise star of the show, the Cayenne Pepper and Curry. If you like curry, even just a little, you’ll love this sauce. Coupled with the playful heat of the Cayenne peppers, with some Serrano’s and Habanero thrown in for heat balance, this sauce is a delight. Light, but bursting with a bold flavor. A soft, front end heat that teases your tongue and palate. And that unmistakeable uniqueness that only curry can bring to the party! Yes, this sauce also went on the sauce pedestal, paying it homage by transforming my boring, simplistic diet fare to new exotic flavor heights!! You gotta get you some of this….I’m just sayin’!
Okay, this is a review, so what’s the downside? Where’s the problem areas? It can’t be all rose colored glasses perfect, now can it? Well, as it relates to flavor and quality….yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!……and he does sometimes bring flavor gifts like Tom’s sauces. But if there’s one suggestion, one area I would do differently, it would have to be the company name and label. Not that it’s not graphically pleasing, catchy, cute, and well executed. It is. But the novelty genre name and label don’t do this line of sauces justice. While perfect for most hot sauce shops and souvenier type places, I think Tom could benefit from doing what other sauce makers do…bottle the same sauces with two sets of labels, one of which being high end with gourmet styling and appearance. I just bet he could sell them to Williams Sonoma, or any other high end “fru fru” cooking store or specialty shop that ordinarily wouldn’t take a “novelty label” sauce seriously. But that’s about my only constructive comment about his whole lineup of products.
Now the other three sauces I didn’t highlight are just as good, just as flavorful, just as noteworthy, and just as amazingly “foodie-esque” in their recipes and execution, so don’t leave them out of your introduction to Tom’s Roid Rippin Hot Sauce.
I am delighted to be back in the bloggin saddle. So stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for reading, and remember…….It’s a Fiery World!