Thembelani Mkhize and Garth Johnstone
When I saw the labels for Mazz chilli products and hot sauces, I immediately thought of my mother-in-law (says Garth).
Yes, like many mom-in-laws she’s got a fiery tongue, but it’s more about the food association than any hot barbs she throws my way.
My wife’s mom Marcelle has a Mauritian family connection and is an excellent cook, so I know all about Mazavaroo and its shisa-like tendencies.
The new labels for the “veld-fire” hot sauce (thank you Farmer’s Weekly) were designed by a media company with a Midlands partner, which wrote: “Food writer and editor Peter Marshall once said food is merely a platform for condiments. If his statement is anything to go by, I’d say Mazz chilli products should be given steak and chops for a stage.”
Red and green
The Mazz Mauritian Mazavaroo sauces, in red and green options, are described as “perfect for the Sunday braai or granny’s stir-fry Mazz; it has a variety of saucy tongue-taizing relishes”. I can imagine it firing up a tasty prego roll, chicken livers, calamari, oh mommy, stop me now!
“The green sauce has a somewhat milder effect on the pallet or taste buds. You still get the same exfoliating feeling where your pores open up and release a bit of moisture, but once they get hit by the breeze you feel a balance in your body followed by the urge to take another bite,” says Thembelani, rather poetically.
Often referred to as a pouring sauce, mazavaroo is traditionally a Mauritian hot sauce or paste made with green or red chillies. The Mazz range has always consisted of four products. A red relish, a red sauce, a green relish and a green sauce.
Delis and butcheries
It has been around for about nine years and was started by a Durban couple who managed to get the product into the Spar and Food Lover’s groups before selling it. The current owner Mandy Massey is very optimistic about the future.
“Mazz is well established in the Spar groups only, from the figures a very, very small market share,” she said. “I’m confident that there is great potential for Mazz to more than triple its volume of production and open new avenues to expose the product in coffee shops, delis, butcheries, etc. I intend to add new products, starting with the chutney.”
After some friends had a taste of the sauce, this is what they had to say.
Scott Smiley (Jasper’s Howick): “I had it once with some grilled meat. Now I have it with all my meals, I can’t stop using it.”
Lihle Thabede (Bandit Signs): “It was so good that I had to keep it hidden. Then someone found it, discovered how good it was and stole it from me.”
In future Mandy wants to start an online shop where people can purchase a whole range of Mazz products from the comfort of their own home. “I can’t compare Mazz to the cheaper sauces. The ingredients are expensive, I don’t skimp on quality. The ingredients and taste are far superior to any other product,” said a proud Mandy.