Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Trader Joe's Amba Mango Sauce

It's been a while since it's been mentioned here...I get weird about packaging, and especially for condiments.

Namely, I hate squeeze bottles. Hate. That potentially uncontrollable plopping purge. That variable farty sound. The way when they're empty they only exude scented air and not only product. Ugh.

Jars and bottles are okay, and you'd think that'd cover most basics aside from individual packets (also not a huge fan, mostly cuz I either can't open them or rip them right in half)...but here comes, of all things, a pouch. With a spigot. Whaaaa?

Such as it is with the new Trader Joe's Amba Mango Sauce. Why a pouch? I'm clueless here. Sandy said they're more refrigerator friendly than a jar or bottle. I'm not sure if I buy that. I see no reason for this to be in a pouch, and alone made me somewhat hesitant to try. Fermented mango stuff is cool, pouches with spigots, not so much.

Man oh man, I'm glad I got over that.

Imagine a mild, slightly sweet curry sauce, without any milk or anything for that little extra creaminess, and that's almost exactly what we got here. I wasn't sure if it was gonna be more jelly/jam/chunky/salsa like - nope, just smooth, smooth sauce that comes running out of that faucet faster than a tornado or a house falling down, as my four year old would say. There's some serious flow.

Sandy and I poured some over some roasted chicken...and wow. It's unbelievable to me how mild it is. Mangoes can be strong and overpowering, and fermented stuff (which I love) can have that serious level of funk....but there's none of that here. Although fairly simple and somewhat unassuming, the amba sauce has a certain balanced smidge of complexity between the faintly sweet mango and the spices, with the slightest bit of ferment as the backdrop.

It's delicious. There's a part of me that wants a little more oomph, a little more bite, a little more spice, a little more something. But nah. The more I had, the more I appreciated it just as it is. It almost went better on our potatoes than our chicken, and man, I'd put this on almost anything.

I've never had the privilege of trying authentic real amba sauce, so how good of a comparison this is to the "real stuff," you're gonna have to tell me. And also the price, too...Sandy picked it up but misplaced receipt. First one to hit me up with a price gets a shoutout here. EDIT: thanks to loyal reader rh383, it's $3.49! Not a bad price at all!

I can see buying this again and again and again. Pork, roasted veggies, falafels...yes please. I can put down the hot sauce and sriracha for the amba any time. My kids don't like it, which is odd I think...oh well, more for Sandy and me. She ranks it as a perfect five, and well, it's been long enough since we've placed something on the Pantheon, so I'll go a little higher than I would (seriously, the pouch and spigot thing bug me way more than it should) to ensure the amba's place among the all time greats.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Amba Mango Sauce: 9.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

20 comments:

  1. I just bought some last night and dipped my Trader Joe's tempura cauliflower in it. It is excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where is this located in the store? Thanks for all your great reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "Perishable. Keep refrigerated." part on the packaging means it's probably located near the cleaning products.

      Delete
    2. So is it with the cheeses and lunch meats, the dairy, milk, cottage cheese etc., the meats, wraps and salads, or the vegetables and dressings?
      Thanks so much for your kind assistance herr schmidt.

      Delete
    3. It was by the hummus & fresh pasta at my local TJ'S!

      Delete
    4. Thank you very much, I will look for it in that area. I don't shop the whole store aisle by aisle, so this is a big time saver. I appreciate your help.

      Delete
  3. Aughhh! I was literally just at the store this afternoon and didn’t see this or know to look for it! I’m always looking for a new tasty sauce and thinking this could be great for otherwise basic pan fried tofu and veggies.
    I’m with you in the packaging- i mean does this actually take up less space? And can you recycle the package or it’s biodegradable...? Guess it’s better than plastic but with a jar I’m not at the mercy of a spigot
    Ttrockwood

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also curious if these pouches are any more environmentally friendly. I mean, they are still plastic. Even if it's recyclable, it would be difficult to clean out, and they won't take dirty items. In fact, I've read that any unclean items will cause an entire batch of recycling to be rerouted to the landfill. I often see my neighbors' dirty stuff in the bin and wash it out so my own work isn't for nothing! But most people don't care to learn how/what to recycle so it gets to feeling like it's all pointless.

      If the spout is bothersome, one could cut the package open and pour/scrape into a jar. Then it's easier to clean it out too!

      Delete
    2. A thin, flexible pouch (that even gets smaller as the contents are used) is obviously more space-efficient than a rigid container, especially round jars.

      Delete
  4. Silly question, but do you put it on before cooking the food (like a marinade) or after (like a dipping sauce)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is mostly used as dipping sauce But you can cook with it too!

      Similar way to how you use tahini sauce. You can google “Sabich sandwich “ for an example on how Amba can make amazing eggplant and boiled eggs meal

      Delete
  5. Amba is traditionally a condiment so definitely after :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. TJ’s Amba is authentic and tastes really good on a toast with Hummus, sliced tomatoes and hard boiled eggs.. delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. About to try it with roasted root vegetables. Heat the sauce or nah? (PS. Thanks for great review!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Be careful of how much you eat, because the spices scent sticks, and your sweat will smell of it. And that's from unfortunate personal experience

    ReplyDelete
  10. See Amba marinade https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pargiyot-three-ways-3416046

    ReplyDelete