Here we are with #2, Crazy Jerry’s Habanero Stuffed Olives. My initial thought is that these are going to be good. I like olives, particularly Spanish and Kalamata, and particularly in a really dirty (as in pour a quarter of the liquid from a jar) martini. The guys at Peppers rate these on the upper end of mild to the lower end of hot, so I’m thinking the heat won’t be an issue and I’ll be able to pop these little bad boys like skittles.
When I open the jar, there is a definite difference in the first whiff, different from the usual jar of Spanish olives that is. The smell of the olives is still there, but the habanero’s are instantly obvious as well. It’s actually an inviting smell, the mix of the pungent olives and the earthy peppers makes me want to dig right in. I am already thinking of ways to eat these up.
There’s no time like the present, so I’ve got a fork and I’m going in. As soon as it hits my mouth, the taste you would expect from a really good olive is definitely there. They are dripping with juice. As soon as I bite through, I brace for the pepper heat, but it waits for just a second or so. Then…
BLAM! HOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLY CRAP!
Ever see movies where the devil has little creatures all running around? Well, I’m pretty sure these things are their eggs. Wow, mild is not how I would describe these! I can see how these might be towards the lower level of hot for folks who eat this stuff everyday, but for me these little SOB’s are on fire! Milk, I need milk- fast!
Okay, the heat has subsided. Rather quickly actually. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that they are marinated for so long, the combination with the olives, or what, but the initial kick in the face does go away more quickly than the hotter sauces I’ve had. What’s left is a slight heat in the mouth and the after taste of olives- which is really good. It’s also interesting that the heat hits in the mouth and not all the way down the throat like some hot sauces do. Again, not sure if that’s the olives, marinade, or something else. At this point though, I am very appreciative of whatever it is- both for the quick departure of heat and the fact it’s isolated to my mouth.
I have some left over fresh Italian bread from last night (guess it’s not really “fresh” anymore), so I’m slicing that up and putting a thin slice of Havarti cheese on it and then one of Crazy Jerry’s Habanero Stuffed Olives. As a side note, if you haven’t ever tried Havarti cheese, you really need to. It’s amazing stuff and goes really well with spicy foods and hot sauces. The bread and cheese are really helping to tone down the heat just enough to allow me to eat more of these things. Although, the juices are getting soaked into the bread and that’s spreading the heat down my throat like one of those giant Q Tips used to clean out a cannon barrel. That heat also subsides pretty quick, but it is a deep burn.
I absolutely can’t let this one pass without a martini. Yes, it’s 10 am- don’t judge me. I’m sacrificing myself for knowledge, or something like that. I am going to cheat a little bit here though. I suspect that if I make my usual recipe, that is a ton of olive juice, I will create a drink that would make Chimera wimper into a corner like a dog that got caught in the fridge. Yes, my dog used to open the fridge. I’m going to mix some “regular” olive juice with the juice from these- something like 60% regular and 40% Crazy Jerry’s. Two whole olives should do it too.
Chilled, shaken, and ready to go. But… first I must share these red eyed demons with my wonderful wife. Not that I like to see her in pain or anything. So, “Hey sweety, you have to try on of these.” Once we get past the questions about why I’m making a martini at 10 am, she’s agreed to try one. That’s probably because I haven’t told her that the little red pimento is actually a habanero. he he.
Ooooooh, I wonder if I made that face too. That looks like it hurts. “Don’t worry babe, have a sip of Martini to cool it off.” For a moment, I can see the understanding for why I’ve made a martini at this hour. It goes away nearly instantly though and needless to say, she didn’t find that nearly as funny as I did. Pretty sure I set a record for making a lap while being chased around the inside of my house. Though, it wasn’t very hard since she had to keep stopping to say “Holy $#%^, you #^&@*&^.” Gentlemen, you can appreciate the very moment you see your significant others expression turn to rage. It’s an interesting moment.
After she cools off- literally and figuratively, she said that they were really good, but agrees that straight from the jar without anything else they are really, really, hot. She ate a few more with the bread and cheese and threw slices of pepperoni (organic of course) which was a great idea and tasty like you read about (like right now).
The martini was a good call. It was definitely a good move to mix the regular juice though. The vodka carries the heat to all corners of your mouth, throat, nasal passage, and even stomach. Any hotter and I would not enjoy it at all. I can’t see having more than one of these like this, but I will certainly do it again. A sip followed by some of the cheese, or vice versa, is really good. I can also see throwing some of these in a Bloody Mary, that sounds like it would be a winner.
Time for a rating. I am going to have to say these are a 7 on heat. They would probably rate higher on heat if the heat didn’t go away so quickly. Believe me, not complaining about that. If it did hang around longer, I don’t think I would enjoy eating these outside of a larger dish. Flavor is fantastic. I’m going to have to go with with an 8. That’s a really high rating as I am comparing them to the best olives I have ever had- which were as fresh as they get from an olive grove in Mexico.
The bottom line: 7 for heat/8 for flavor. Hot as *&^*, but it goes away fast. If you like olives and crazy heat, I think you’ll really like Crazy Jerry’s Habanero Stuffed Olives.