After making a conscious decision to turn the unmitigated disaster that is COVID-19 into an opportunity for creativity, a company known for its quirky jams is bringing a stinging but most epicurean sensation to the palate of the world, writes GOSEGO MOTSUMI.
While many businesses acquiesced in the face of COVID-19, native food company Maungo Craft saw it as a perfect opportunity to reach into its creativity. It used the time to recalibrate and experiment with flavour profiles, sample tasting and mixing different ingredients to create its first Morula Hot Sauce. “One of our clients had commented that they wished we had a sauce that we could give his customers,” said co-founder of Maungo Craft, Bonolo Monthe, in an interview.
“And if you know anything about us, we are a challenge accepting type of brand. However, the timing wasn’t right because we were occupied with other aspects of the business. Even so, we worked on items that had been sitting on the back burner for some time during lockdown. The next thing you know, our first-ever Morula Hot Sauce was born. It’s a roasted chilli, garlic and morula hot sauce.”
A well-made hot sauce should add flavour, heat and zing to a meal. It can elevate a boring dish to something to look forward to and even take a dish that’s teetering on the edge of greatness into stellar category. A hot sauce is a condiment that adds character, texture and layers to different dishes. Monthe says their Morula Hot Sauce is so versatile that it can be paired with potato chips, rice, pasta, vegetables, phaleche, beans, fish and lends itself easily for use as a marinade for meat dishes. Morula Hot Sauce is vegan-friendly, hence Monthe’s description of it as culture in a bottle fused with contemporary flavours.
“This sauce is unique on so many levels because it’s a fruit hot sauce that is based on an orphan crop that is found in our country, morula,” she says. “From our research, this is the first of its kind. It’s a novel sauce because it is a morula-based hot sauce. It’s tangy and spicy and you can’t put it down.”
Maungo Craft is well known for its handcrafted, quirky and healthy jams, which makes the hot sauce the first product outside their established course. Monthe says they wanted to be known for something (jams) before diversifying their product range. They now have a few more bubbling innovative products that will be launched soon.
“The response has been incredible,” she says, herself bubbly. “People are intrigued by the flavour profile and are quite surprised that morula, a fruit that they grew up on, can be a hot, spicy and tangy hot sauce. We had tasting sessions with customers to ensure that we hit the right notes. The hot sauce is already available at Square Mart at the Gaborone CBD and Health Generation at Airport Junction. People can also shop from the convenience of their homes online at Skymartbw. We are currently working on expanding our reach countrywide.”
As a growing business Maungo Craft has been hit hard by COVID-19 because
a large portion of this enterprise caters for the hospitality and tourism sector. Since the sector was among the worst affected, they were caught by the domino effect. But while most people looked at COVID-19 as a state of unmitigated disaster, Morula Craft turned the global pandemic into an opportunity to tap into its creativity.
“Thus this yummy hot sauce was born,” Monthe explains. “We took this time to pivot our business model and look towards increasing our retail and online presence. So we chose to make the most out of an uncertain time. We can therefore say with confidence that we will be ready when the tourism sector comes back on stream.”