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REVIEW: Hatari Hot Sauce

I hadn’t been to Par Market for ages but I was passing today and thought I’d see what was there now. I’ve always been fond of the idea of Par Market. For some reason Dad used to take us (my brother and I) as children - I think it was a part of the Sunday keep-the-children-out-the-way-of-Mum routine. We’d go for a drive, usually around clay country or out towards the Roseland, maybe wander around, and usually come back with a bunch of flowers for Mum, which we hid behind our backs to ‘surprise’ her.


The market has changed a bit outside, with a Churro wagon and Sam’s restaurant, but inside it doesn’t feel very different. Maybe slightly quieter. It was in Richard’s Fruit & veg that I found this hot sauce by Hatari.


The company’s based in Devon but they seem to be rooted in community projects across Africa, where they get their chillies. The name means danger and is apparently the word you’ll see ‘on electricity supply boxes, bottles of chemicals and wild animal pens’. They do three sauces, as far as I can tell, a ‘mild’, ‘hooch’ and ‘hot’. This is the hot.


The sauce is essentially only three ingredients - chilli mash, vinegar, salt - which is interesting because the taste is rich and tangy, almost as though spiced, which must be the result of the fermentation process of the mash. It’s a very thin sauce - almost as thin as Tabasco - and has a slightly annoying stopper so you have to shake it out like Tabasco too. I guess this makes sense, with the sauce being so loose, and it is hot enough that most folk don’t want it gushing out and ruining whatever it is they’re eating. A stinging heat on the tongue and lips comes from the Habaneros.


It’s an interesting one for me in my hot sauce quest. I haven’t really thought much about fermenting peppers, but this sauce, stripped back to the fermented Habaneros and vinegar, is loads more interesting than you might expect from so few flavours.


I’m not sure the company is still fully operating. They haven’t posted on Instagram for about a year, nor on Facebook for four years, and this sauce does not appear on their website anymore. But I think  the sauce making is just one branch of a bigger operation, so maybe it will come back.


So I recommend this one as an ethically interesting and tasty sauce if you’re passing through Par Market, but mostly it has inspired me to look into fermentation. I don’t understand the science of it just yet but hopefully I’ll have enough Habaneros to experiment.

£4.00 per 150ml / £26.67 per litre

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