Here comes trouble …

Dr Trouble
Dr Trouble

African sauce brand Dr Trouble has launched in the UK, with two initial artisan products aimed at health-conscious consumers looking for natural, vegan, gluten-free products with no additives or preservatives.

The sauces are hand made in small batches on an isolated Zimbabwean farm with local ingredients including fiery home-grown chilies – a blend of African bird’s eye, cayenne and serrano – and wild, naturally grown lemons supplied and harvested by Zimbabwe village chiefs and their communities.

Salt from the Makgadikgadi Salt Flats in Botswana is included to give earthy undertones and a lengthy 100-day fermentation process gives the sauce its unique flavour with the ingredients mellowing, deepening and infusing together over time, in custom-blown glass sun flagons.

The sauce is available in two varieties, both based on an authentic 125-year-old family recipe:

  • African Lemon Chilli – a medium hot sauce with a clean lemon flavour and notes of ginger, mango masala and a touch of garlic
  • Oak Smoked Chilli – a mild sauce with a full-bodied oak smoke, intended for red meats and other barbeque dishes.

“My great-grandfather created the original recipe 125 years ago and when I found it scrawled in the back of a book two decades ago, I knew this could be something special,” explains brand co-founder Rob Fletcher. “Even with slight modifications to the original recipe, the sauces’ ingredients are still completely wild and natural, showcasing the very best of Africa from that year.

“We create and bottle the sauce on my farm in the heart of the upper Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe, employing 30 locals at the height of production. We’re surrounded by thick bush, spectacular wildlife and several rural communities, who each possess a few lemon trees, and by purchasing under-used lemons and chilies locally, not only does it give us delicious, fresh ingredients – it benefits the communities who would otherwise struggle to survive.”

Co-founder Albert Oberholzer adds: “It’s very exciting to launch Dr Trouble in the UK – with British consumers becoming increasingly aware and conscious of the brands they buy, particularly around corporate social responsibility. We’re confident that the UK will love our authentic and natural recipe from the heart of the African bush.

“There is so much innovation in the UK sauce category at the moment as consumers demand something more exciting on the side of their plate, as a marinade or as a dipping experience. With novelty products vying for the spot of spiciest hot sauce, we spotted a gap in the market for a chilli sauce, that is well balanced, delicious, high quality and is produced ethically, supporting a whole community in Africa.”

When consumers buy Dr Trouble sauce, it benefits the Little Peppers Project which Fletcher runs to help provide school fees and essential supplies for 150 local village children.