Brand UnawarenessSeptember 14, 2011
Chicaoji (chee-KOW-jee). What, it’s not a household name for you? Perhaps not yet. But if word catches on about this marvelous product, you may soon be seeing it in stores near you. Mrs. MHK happened to pick up a bottle of Chicaoji on a recent trip to Seattle, and then reaped the benefits during a dinner soon after her return. There are three main components to this marinade/dressing/sauce: chipotles, cacao (ka-KOW), and goji berries. If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and even if you’re not), you should be very familiar with chipotles. Cacao is the raw seed of the plant used to make chocolate, and goji berries are nourishing fruits, native to the China and Mongolia regions. Chicaoji is rounded out with cider vinegar, agave nectar, and salt. The combination is complex and very flavorful. I was not expecting as much heat as the sauce provides – it was actually a nice surprise. The sweetness of the goji berries helps balance out the heat, and the cacoa seed is utilized beautifully. The subtlety of the chocolate flavor is done to perfection, sort of like the use of chocolate in a good mole sauce – you can tell it’s there, but it’s slightly hidden within the other flavors. It adds depth and complexity to the sauce, and the vinegar and salt are measured out in just the right amounts.
There are many uses for this sauce – we chose to marinate some skirt steak in it for about 30 minutes, and made steak tacos. We then also used the Chicaoji as a sauce for topping the tacos. What was interesting was that the heat of the chipotles seemed to mellow out a lot during the cooking of the steak – eating the meat by itself was very flavorful, but not very spicy. But then adding the sauce to the taco provided that heat we were looking for. The tacos were fantastic – just steak, onions and cilantro, along with the sauce (very traditional street taco style).
Chicaoji is made on Lopez Island, Northwest of Seattle, part of the San Juan Islands. You can visit the Chicaoji web site and check out all the info for yourself; you can even order their product. Chicaoji gets the MHK’s Seal of Approval…whatever that’s worth. Enjoy!