Holy Cow Himalayan Hot Garlic Sauce. I first bought this a couple of months ago whilst looking for something to spice up a stir-fry. Being a big chilli and garlic fan coupled with my recent adventures to Nepal it had to come home with me. A quick tip of the fork taste suggested a delicate approach was needed. I added some to a chicken stir-fry and wow it was a transformation I thought impossible from a sauce. The meat and veg was so tasty, yes there was garlic by the bucketful but also a depth to the heat, a real proper blend of tastes and spices that not only gave the meal some heat but also bought out the taste of the meat and added to the dish rather than just overpowered it. Since my first tentative taste I have become a complete fan adding larger and larger amounts to a variety of meals, I now marinade my meats, esp darker ones like lamb, with this before starting to cook, sometimes a full on soak, more usually a gentle pasting for 20minutes before cooking starts. I have discovered its better (well hotter....) if the meat is marinated and then minutes before serving more sauce is added to give real bite. Looking at their web site there are some very appetising looking recipes which I long to try out as well as a lot of info about its healthy ingredients and suitability for vegetarians. If you like your food with a little kick, a certain mouth tingling throat tickling something, pick up a bottle of Holy Cow, you won't be disappointed
Everyone has a dream, a secret wish, something that they'd really like to do but for one reason or another will never achieve. Last night I came a step closer to realising that dream.
Let me take you back in time to 1979 when aged 4 and clutching my fathers hand and a giant stick of incredibly sticky candy floss I sat in awe in a ringside seat at Billy Smarts circus and saw my first ever fire eater He juggled fiery brands and tossed them across the ring to his partner and then he unicycled round and round with giant jets of flame roaring into the air like a fire breathing dragon. I knew then that when I grew up I wanted to be a fire eater too.
I stuck with this dream all through infant school and into junior school and for my 16th birthday I received a unicycle. I was almost there and then at a circus convention I met a trainee fire eater and my dream collapsed on the spot. Here was a man who reeked of paraffin with no eyebrows or nostril hair. As unbecoming as a hairy schnoz is there's something a little concerning about the total lock of facial hair that appears to be a side effect of this particular activity.
The theory behind it is remarkably simple. Slap as much flame retardant cream on your face as you can manage (Vaseline was suggested providing you don't get it too hot as apparently that catches fire too eventually), gargle with a highly flammable liquid and light match. The simple act of closing your mouth retards the flame eventually extinguishing it completely. Apparently all is well unless you cough.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and although I was amply armed I never could quite bring myself to gargle with petrol or paraffin or any of the other foul tasting highly flammable substances that were suggested. I can see it coming in very handy at family barbeques but my curiosity was well and truly curtailed with the actual detail. Not that that's ever stopped me wondering what it would be like and after last night I have an inkling that its not for me.
Having digressed well and truly the whole point of this random waffle is to introduce you to Holy Cow! A brand of very strange sounding sauces which are available from Sainsburys. Tempting as it was to purchase them all because they did sound like they'd liven things up I eventually opted for the terracotta coloured Himalayan Hot Garlic sauce. I was expecting a fair old whiff of garlic when I unscrewed the black top having spied several hundred very large chunks suspended in the gelatinous liquid but nothing could have prepared me for the assault mounted on my nostrils. Even my eyeballs could sense it. Theres a distinct aroma of something spicy behind the garlic but I couldn't begin to guess what it was all my senses were on red alert. This was garlic overload.
The bottle does suggest that you use it as an alternative to ketchup. One generous splodge later life would never be the same again. On this particular occasion I was eating fish and chips although my tastebuds were not aware of this. In fact had you told them they were eating molten lava with a squishy centre they'd have responded in precisely the same manner. After the initial bite comes the desire to glug litres of ice cold water but that would only have exacerbated the sensation. Minutes later once full scale sensory overload had reduced to an amber alert I was aware of the taste of garlic, not the subtle hint that comes with garlic bread or a platter of snails but that which you'd associate with an anti-vampire convention. I would assume that this would be much the same taste as you'd get by eating raw garlic paste straight out off the jar or attacking a garlic bulb like you would an apple. It certainly livened up my meal.
The many serving suggestions on the jar include using it in a stir fry, as a marinade or even as a dip. It would take a braver person than I to immerse a carrot stick into this and put a huge quantity in their mouth in one go.
On a more positive note if you have the misfortune of being invited to dinner by someone who really can't cook then this would most definitely transform your meal into something else entirely. Weight watchers may also like to note that a 290g jar contains 223 calories, a dollop approx 10, with after effects much like those you gain from colonic irrigation.
Rather scarily Holy Cow! Rate this as 3/5 on their chilli scale. I'm not entirely sure I'm brave enough to tackle a 5 chilli product.
This particular Holy Cow! Sauce is free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives and is suitable for vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs in addition to being gluten free.