Maui Pepper Co. Hot Sauces

Maui Pepper Co. hot sauces are another great line of products from Tahiti Joes. Like "Joes", these sauces feature unique pairings of fruit with a variety of scorching hot peppers. Each sauce is island inspired with tropical flavors and plenty of heat.

Thanks to Tahiti Joe, I've had a bit of experience with sweet, Polynesian hot sauces. However, I've never tasted anything like the flavor combinations that Maui Pepper Co. has put together. The sauces are the sweetest I've tasted. However, you don't get to enjoy that sweetness long because it's followed up by a wave of heat.

There are currently nine different offerings in the Maui Pepper line. The entire product line is intriguing, but I will focus on two particular sauces for this review. Strawberry Meltdown and Chipotle Raspberry sounded so strange (and delicious) that I had to try them immediately.

The base for nearly every hot sauce that I've encountered has been vinegar and peppers. Strawberry Meltdown completely bucks tradition by using sweetened strawberries as the primary ingredient. They even add honey and apple juice for additional sweetness. So far, it sounds like a dessert syrup that you'd drizzle over ice cream.

I was really surprised by the sauce's sweetness when I first tasted it. I'd never had a hot sauce that was quite so sweet. That initial surprise was followed by slow building burn. The sauce is hot, but not "super hot". Having never actually tasted a strawberry sauce before, I wasn't sure what to use it on. However, I found several potential applications. It's great on things like grilled fish or chicken. Strawberry Meltdown adds a nice bite to fresh salads. It can also be used to add heat to your favorite sweets.....even ice cream.

Chipotle Raspberry is another sweet offering from Maui Pepper Co. Though I didn't find it nearly as sweet as Strawberry Meltdown, it still had a distinct fruit flavor. This sauce uses vinegar, raspberries and mangoes for it's sweet and tangy base. It too, is great for chicken and seafood.

Maui Pepper Co. proves that hot sauces don't have follow a particular set of rules. With creative  and deliciously sweet flavor combinations, these sauces have carved their own niche in the market.

Check out the Maui Pepper and Tahiti Joes' product lines at

Strawberry Meltdown Rating: (4/5)
Chipotle Raspberry Rating: (3.5/5)

Kyvan Sweet BBQ Sauce

As tailgating grows in popularity, the relationship between football and BBQ becomes even more evident. These days, competition quality Q can be found smoking in stadium parking lots all across the country. Saturday and Sunday afternoons have become showcases for pit masters to both feed and entertain fans before and after the big game.

It's no surprise that football players sometimes get into BBQ as well. Ex Mississippi State standout and 13 year NFL pro, Reggie Kelly, is a prime example. After completing his football career, Reggie transitioned to the food business. Leaning on his Southern roots and love of cooking, Reggie Kelly started Kyvan Soul Food Selections (named after his children, Kyla and Kavan).

Kyvan's product line includes several sauces (BBQ / Wing), spice rubs, salsas and fruit spreads. Since we try to focus primarily on BBQ, Reggie was kind enough to send me some of his Sweet BBQ Sauce to review. Kyvan sauces are packaged in 16 oz. plastic bottles. The color scheme and design is very similar for all of their sauces. The Kyvan logo is featured prominently (front and center) on each bottle. The sauce is a rich, dark brown in the bottle. It's consistency is "syrup like" and pours pretty quickly from the bottle.

The label says "Sweet BBQ Sauce" and that's no lie. The tomato based sauce uses both brown and white sugar, along with HFCS, for a multi layered sweetness. Savory ingredients like onion and garlic are present, but don't quite balance the sweetness. There is also a significant smoke factor that was somewhat unexpected, but very enjoyable.

When tasting the sauce, I also felt like their was a slight Polynesian note to the flavor that I couldn't quite place. Whatever it was, it worked well with the smokiness. As I've said time after time, I'm a sucker for a sweet BBQ sauce. It doesn't get much sweeter than Kyvan's.

My family and I used Sweet BBQ Sauce a number of times as a dip and grilling glaze. It won rave reviews from everyone at the table. It was especially good on baby back ribs. The sauce brushed on smooth and glistened on the ribs as they finished grilling. All those sugars got even richer when heat was applied.

Kyvan's Sweet BBQ Sauce is an excellent compliment to ribs and chicken. It also works well as a dip for chicken fingers / nuggets. When using as a grilling glaze, it's important to be conscious of open flames because of the high sugar content. Sweet sauces will char in a hurry when near an open flame.

Kvan Soul Food Selections can be found in Walmarts and several independent grocers throughout the South East. You can also purchase Sweet BBQ Sauce directly from the source at .

Rating: (4/5)

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