For my brief, two-to-three minute audio sauce reviews for the Hot Sauce Weekly Podcast, I’ve been racking my brains trying to gather up a diverse array of products that I completely adore so that I can cover them. While I may eventually get around to recording a negative (or at least a less than glowing) review of a spicy food item, for the time being I want to give solid recommendations on sauces and salsas that I truly believe are some of the very best out there in fiery foods land.
One such product is Danny Cash’s Mean Streak Habanero Mango Hot Sauce, a sauce I fell in love with a couple of years ago. Danny Cash is already one of my favorite sauce manufacturers, and I think this would be the grand champion of what they produce. Out of all the hot sauces I’ve tasted, Mean Streak is easily in “all-time Top 10” territory. I’ve looked back in my blog’s hot sauce review archives and realized that I’ve never formally reviewed a single Danny Cash product, so here is this write-up to help rectify that problem.
Fresh Mango, Red Habanero, Chile Peppers, Vinegar, Sugar
3.5 out of 5. It’s quite well-entrenched in vinegar land in terms of smell. Nothing really overpowering here, but if sauces similar to Louisiana-style aren’t your bag than this may not be appealing. Minor hints of sweet fruitiness and pepperiness manage to sneak through with the right whiff. It is mostly vinegar, though. The good news is, this is the most negative aspect of Mean Streak, and the aroma soon gives way to the much-better taste.
Appearance and Texture:
4.5 out of 5. It’s still runny, although a touch less watery than Louisiana-style pepper sauces. I’m guessing it’s mostly due to the inclusion of mangoes that the liquid possesses a minute amount of creaminess. A restrictor cap is still necessary when shaking this sauce out of the bottle.
Mean Streak is dirty yellow-orange and has the odd red habanero shred floating in it. Condiments in this range of colors (in particular, mustards) can be on the unappetizing side of the tracks yet this remains a visually nice-looking concoction.
Taste Straight Up:
5 out of 5. It’s very, very tart and tangy with a fruity kick. This is one of those rare instances where a sauce performs an intricate balancing act that’s perfect; the amounts of vinegar bite, habanero singe and a brush of fruity sweetness all are in correct proportion to one another. I compared it to sauces such as Tabasco in my audio review of this, and I’m gonna compare it again; tone down the vinegar just a hair in a Tabasco or a Trappey’s, replace the salt with sugar and include a small, cool blast of mangoes and you have Mean Streak Habanero Mango Hot Sauce. I’m not sure that Danny Cash Hot Sauce were gunning for this type of taste, but the end result nonetheless was brilliant.
Taste on Food:
5 out of 5. Homemade Mexican pizza was on tonight’s menu and as delicious as the base ingredients were, the pizza was dying for a bit of a spice to push it over the edge into culinary heaven. Heavy splashes of Mean Streak were just what the food doctor ordered, and the blend of tartness, warm heat and sweetness were pairing magnificently with the refried beans, seasoned beef, cheddar cheese and the crispy oven-baked crust. This is the thing that you’ll want to consume so much of that you’ll get sick. And then eat some more an hour later.
You can use this on most everything. Love to splash on peppery goodness on eggs, popcorn, sandwiches, or pizza? Well, any staples of the chilehead world would be terrific with this sauce. Mean Streak is great on “white” meats, such as pork, chicken, fish or shrimp. Chinese or Asian food in general would benefit from Mean Streak. I almost always dislike salads – no rabbit food, please! But I could easily imagine a spicy, lip smackin’ salad dressing due to its sweet and sour characteristics.
2 out of 5. Not as much fire as one would expect from a habanero chile sauce. A lot of the bluster comes from the vinegar. Because of this slightly lower heat, chileheads may find it appealing during the times they don’t want to scorch their mouths, and it may also be an ideal candidate for an all-purpose, “go to” sauce.
5 out of 5. The labels are always one of Danny Cash and Co.’s strong suits. The CD clan are bikers and this style fits in with classic American motorcycle-riding imagery, with the diamond-plated steel background, flaming exhaust pipes, and fiery Ghost Rider-like bikes. I’ve always loved the “sideways V’s” that make up the “D” and the “C” in the company’s logo.
A must in any sauce connoisseur’s collection. It gets my highest recommendation.
This and many other fine products can be purchased from the Danny Cash website, or at a hot sauce or specialty store near you (hopefully). A 5 oz. bottle will run you around $5.95, plus shipping.