I’ve had a couple of Pain Is Good sauces in the past and always remember that they tasted really fresh and almost homemade, so I was really looking forward to this Jalapeno Harissa.
Pain Is Good Jalapeno Harissa comes in a hip-flask shaped bottle, with a pleasingly textured paper label. The sauce is quite thick, and a deep brown in colour. All of the harissas I’ve tried in the past have been a bright red colour, so there is obviously something different going on with this sauce.
Wow, this sauce does taste fresh – like it was made yesterday! A sharp zing of jalapeno hits the taste buds, which is then mellowed with garlic and strong herbs. An earthy flavour brings depth and body to the sauce, followed by a fresh mint flavour, and then finishes with a lingering heat and coriander flavour. The heat of the sauce is tame at first, but builds to a tongue-dancing burn as you eat more. Mild, but interesting heat. Sounds great eh?! Hmm I’m not sure.
Pain Is Good Jalapeno Harissa has a very dominating mint flavour, and I think the sauce is a little confused overall. The acidic jalapeno goes great with the garlic and coriander flavour, but the mint just seems to hold this sauce back and stops it from being something you want to go back to. Don’t get me wrong, the sauce is nice, but it’s not one that urges you to eat more or add to your food. I’ve tried this sauce with plenty of foods, and there wasn’t much that it went well with, however if anything it’s best paired with white chicken meat.
What really gets my goat here is that is called ‘Harissa’. Nope sorry, this is not harissa by any means and I think it’s been badly thought through as a whole.
It’s such as shame that Pain Is Good Jalapeno Harissa is flawed since you can tell it’s a well crafted product, and contains great quality ingredients. Perhaps if the mint was toned down, some citrus added, and then called something less misleading, this could be a a really great sauce.