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The five essential hot sauces


Fat Guy
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Consider this another vote for the El Yucateco habanero sauces. Both the red and the green are delicious, hot and unique.

El Yucateco website

Tabasco is in its own league, and I think it is a necessary staple.

Crystal is probably my most-frequently-used, all-purpose hot sauce.

I've had a lot of really good Caribbean-style sauces, of course I never remember the names once they're gone. The one currently residing in my fridge is called "Chesapeake Bay Old Style Sauce Company Traditional Caribbean Hot Sauce"/"Authentic West Indian Recipe". It is amazingly good.

---Guy

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Marie Sharp's habanero ... is that the one with carrot juice in it? I had a bottle of it years ago that I absolutely drained in no time. Great, great sauce.

I prefer Crystal or Texas Pete for a cheap, common Louisiana-style sauce. Something about original Tabasco that turns me off, but I really love their chipotle sauce.

El Yucateco makes a good Mexican habanero sauce, and I have one right now ($1.79) that is some "original Mayan recipe" variety with special seasonings in it.

Also when people are speaking of a good Chinese chili oil, is there a good commercial variety, or how do you make it properly? When I tried, using I think peanut oil, the dried chiles got way too burned (even though I did it very low) and the flavor was nasty.

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After cleaning out my cupboards last year--so that stuff no longer falls out onto the floor when I open them--I'm down to one essential hot sauce, and this is it: Grand Mountain Sriracha.

I don't like many hot sauces because I find them flat and metallic tasting, but I like this one. It's hot, sweet, and vinegary with an afterburn. Chef Kasma Loha-Unchit recommended it when I took her intensive Thai cooking course two years ago. I always use the "Strong" version of this sauce (as opposed to the "Medium").

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Crystal (aged peppers like Tabasco, but cheaper and less bitter)

Cholula (all in all a great table sauce with a strong vegetable presence)

Busha Browne’s Pukka (a scotch bonnet sauce - good for dishes where you do not want a pronounced vinegar presence)

Mama Sita’s Pure Labuyo (a Philippine sauce made from bird chiles that is like Tabasco on 11 in terms of flavor)

El Yucateco Salsa Kutbil-ik de Chile Habanero (from an “original Mayan recipe” this stuff combines melting heat with exceptional flavor - I like the red and the green from this maker, but this one hurts so good)

Texas Pete and Franks' Hot Sauce are fine in a pinch but a bit tame (TP is made in Winston Salem, NC for goodness sake)

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El Yucateco Salsa Kutbil-ik de Chile Habanero (from an “original Mayan recipe” this stuff combines melting heat with exceptional flavor - I like the red and the green from this maker, but this one hurts so good)

That's the stuff. I think it's flavored with some sort of herbs indigenous to Central America. Can't recall the name, but there's a famous Mayan soup down there. Maybe it's similar seasoning?

I really like this sauce, and I've been eating the other Yucatecos for years. Is this one new? I hadn't seen it before snagging it off the impressively well-stocked Latino product shelves of my local Food Lion.

Also agree with you about Crystal. Though on the Tabasco front, Dad had a gallon jug of the stuff that got all brown and funky looking but was still probably edible. I don't think it's possible for hot sauce to go bad.

What is kind of an "essential" pepper product for me, though not exactly a sauce, is this super-strong habanero mash/puree sold by a local guy at the farmer's market. A great pure habanero flavor for use in small quantities as an ingredient.

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Ok as a hot sauce junkie and chef I am so disapointed with the total genaric of the choices previously mentioned!

Theese are my MUST haves

1. Pain is good Jamaican Style- Its a medium to high heat Jerk sauce, slightly chunky, made my Original Juan. all their stuff is great I love it on corn, rice, grilled chicken even soup a total must have

2. Garlic Sniper made by Catch a fire here localy in Bradenton it is Quality! He has about 20+ choices of flavours 941 729 9888 should be the order #

3. Also another local brand, Purgatory they have a few choices all solid.

I like Jamaica me sweat and garlic they are always in my fridge. www.hotsauces.com

4. Raw heat vintage 69' - its an uncooked (raw) hot sauce also done by original Juan Chunky and serious heat!

5. Finally Frank and Teressa'a Original AnchorBar wing sauce I go with the suicidal recipe it reminds me of home. Its thin, sick hot, and goes with most everything www.buffalowings.com

Make the right choice, Go with local if you can and definately small batch or at least smaller than crystal or tobasco althought they are also in my fridge.

Kevin J. Adey

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I'm kind of vanilla so I only have two to list.

1. Louisiana Gold Red - Sort of a mix of Tabasco and Texas Pete style sauces. It has both red peppers and Tabasco peppers. Not readily available outside the South, I order it from Bruce Foods. Has much more (and better IMHO opinion) flavor than plain Texas Pete type sauces and not as hot as Tabasco.

2. Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally Habanero - Hotter than LA Gold but still with very good flavor.

I guess I'll also throw in the bright red sauce with the rooster on the bottle. That style has likely been mentioned supra, but I've no idea what it's called.

Thanks,

Kevin

DarkSide Member #005-03-07-06

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El Yucateco Salsa Kutbil-ik de Chile Habanero (from an “original Mayan recipe” this stuff combines melting heat with exceptional flavor - I like the red and the green from this maker, but this one hurts so good)

That's the stuff. I think it's flavored with some sort of herbs indigenous to Central America. Can't recall the name, but there's a famous Mayan soup down there. Maybe it's similar seasoning?

I really like this sauce, and I've been eating the other Yucatecos for years. Is this one new? I hadn't seen it before snagging it off the impressively well-stocked Latino product shelves of my local Food Lion.

Also agree with you about Crystal. Though on the Tabasco front, Dad had a gallon jug of the stuff that got all brown and funky looking but was still probably edible. I don't think it's possible for hot sauce to go bad.

What is kind of an "essential" pepper product for me, though not exactly a sauce, is this super-strong habanero mash/puree sold by a local guy at the farmer's market. A great pure habanero flavor for use in small quantities as an ingredient.

I found the stuff a year or so ago at a local Tienda where I eat on occasion (nice goat tacos).

I grew up on Tabasco and still like it on things like eggs. My parents have that same brown bottle. I have used it when home and it is still quite edible, although maybe less potent. Perhaps I will do an experiment while there in May.

I usually get a container of locally grown habaneros every summer, puree them in a food processor and then freeze. I scoop it out with a melon baller as needed.

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I usually get a container of locally grown habaneros every summer, puree them in a food processor and then freeze. I scoop it out with a melon baller as needed.

I prefer to make my own hot pepper puree, also, rather than buy something bottled or canned. I roast a heaping cup of jalapenos (7 or 8 jalapenos) until the skins are black, peel them, then puree them (seeds and all) with 1/4 cup oil, 2 tsp vinegar, and a generous amount of salt. I keep this mixture in a jar in the fridge. It stays good for a long time. I can't remember when I've had any spoil on me. I use it up before then.

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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1. Tobasco Original for its unique taste dervied from the aging process.

2. Crystal because it not as hot and adds just the right amount of heat for Cajun cusine. Commander's turned me on to it.

3. El Yuceteco XXX, unique habanero flavore with heat the can't be beat.

4. Cholula as a substitute for the another sauce they make but don't import any more.

5. Huy Fong Siracha, simply the best.

We have a shelf filled with hot sauces but found many many years ago that excessive heat is worthless except for bragging rights.

The above 5 are the ones we use the most.-Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
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1) tobasco-chipotle version

2) sriracha

3) crystal

4) frank's

5) thai sweet chili sauce (not too hot, but tasty)

6) alana's five red - using a base of ketchup, add sweet chili sauce plus three other hot sauces to your personal taste. this is my go to junk food dipping sauce!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So we were just cleaning out a cabinet and came across a whole mess of hot sauces from, I'm pretty sure, Honduras (Saba is in Honduras, right?). One is called Don Julio, and I'll have you know it's "100% Caliente!" Another is D'Olancho Anejo ("Mejor Sabor!"). Also, there's Dona Zene. Then there's one called Tremenndo, with two "n"s. Maybe that one is from El Salvador. Anyway, I'll have to do some tasting, but I imagine these cover at least the Latin end of the hot sauce spectrum. Hot sauces don't degrade too much over time, do they?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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every year we go to anguilla and i pick up a bottle of Rockfield pepper sauce. it is locally made and has the best combination of flavor and heat i have ever tasted. definitely better as a condiment than as an ingredient in cooked food, though.

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Help! We would like to order this hot sauce: Rasta Fire Hot Hot Hot Sauce but no company would ship it to us here in South Korea. Anyone willing to buy a couple of bottles for me and then ship it to my addy? I'll gladly sent payment in advance for all the charges (cost+shipping, etc.)

Please, it's for a dear friend who is seriously missing the sauce. :rolleyes:

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I think someone has already said this, but while it is a Louisiana hot sauce, original Tabasco is in a class by itself -- noticeably more vinegary than the typical Louisiana hot sauce, and with a more pronounced pepper flavor.

I always keep a bottle of both original Tabasco and their much milder chipotle variety on hand. The latter can indeed be used as a condiment sauce.

For Buffalo wings, there's no substitute for the more typical Louisiana and Louisiana-ish hot sauces. Texas Pete is my fave.

I also like to splash some Louisiana hot sauce on cottage cheese. Currently, I have Louisiana Brand sauce in my pantry; sounds like I should try Crystal.

I'm surprised it took more than 30 replies before someone mentioned Original Juan Pain Is Good sauces, the best thing to come out of Kansas City, Kansas, since Rosedale Barbecue opened. Pain Is Good Batch 112 Jamaican-Style Hot Sauce combines intense heat with a touch of citrus-y sweetness; I need to add this back to my collection.

Thanks to those who explained the intricacies of sriracha. I'm never without a bottle of Huy Fong sauce either.

And I too keep a bottle of El Yucateco on hand.

So I guess that makes me like just about everyone else here. However, I find it difficult to limit myself to five sauces. (They also tend to accumulate, as I use them up partway, then let them sit after running across some new find like Valentina, a rather mild, somewhat grainy Mexican sauce that has an ancho-ish flavor.)

The people who run Peppers -- who also owned a popular bar in Dewey Beach, next to which it was located before it moved up the road to an outlet mall in Rehoboth -- concocted a good hot sauce for Bloody Marys called "Another Bloody Day in Paradise." That lemon-lime-tinged sauce was one sauce that didn't sit in my pantry forever.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Very interesting thread. I have been interested in hot sauces for a while now. I have a MS Word file I have made up that discusses the different types of hot sauces, not by brand but by type. It's title is "A comparrison of chile sauces". Some of the types discussed are Louisiana-Style, Caribbean Style, Mexican/Southwestern Style, Asian Style etc. It's still a work in progress but if anyone is interested just send me an E-mail.

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Help! We would like to order this hot sauce:  :smile:Rasta Fire Hot Hot Hot Sauce but no company would ship it to us here in South Korea. Anyone willing to buy a couple of bottles for me and then ship it to my addy? I'll gladly sent payment in advance for all the charges (cost+shipping, etc.)

Please, it's for a dear friend who is seriously missing the sauce.  :rolleyes:

Perhaps?

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Petite - the link is not working. :sad: Plus, I have no credit card that's why I wanted to send the money through a bank transfer.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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  • 2 weeks later...

The sauces in my pantry are just five.

1. Tabasco (original) - My choice for Bloody Marys

2. Crystal - Scrabled eggs, wings etc.

3. Pickapeppa - for anything that seems to need a kick

and two new ones my wife brought back from Arizona

4. La Cuacamaya (Mexico) a good flavor and a slow developing burn.

5. Tapatio (should be an accent over the i) My current favorite. Not blazing hot, but a good flavor.

Chris

Cookbooks are full of stirring passages

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Australian's in general aren't too big on hot sauces. The only one widely sold is Tabasco and people don't use it for the flavour, just for the heat (which I never really understood... I love chilli but for the flavour).

Anyways, after my trip to the US where I was able to eat some authentic mexican food (not the "westernised" mexican food that is only available here), I got _TOTALLY_ hooked on Cholula hotsauce. It blew my mind!

I have since then followed some recommendations in this thread, but was disappointed by Franks and Crystal hotsauce (Crystal is better than Franks but I wouldn't consider it amazing). I found that Louisiana Chipotle hotsauce blew these both away. I also had tapatio when I was in the states but I liked Cholula better.

So here is my list:

1.) Cholula

2.) Louisiana Chipotle hotsauce (the plain one is pretty average) - http://www.brucefoods.com/mystOre/productc...3&idproduct=183

3.) Dragonfly brand Sweet chilli sauce

4.) Twin Anchovy Brand Nuoc Cham

5.) Rainforest Hot chilli sauce - a locally made sweet/hot chilli sauce made with habaneros and sultanas... hot, sweet, piquant - beautiful.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tabasco

Marie Sharp's Green Habanero Pepper Sauce

Marie Sharp's Belizean Heat (for when you really want to knock yourself on the floor)

Sriracha

Chinese chili oil

I will forever swear by Marie Sharp's green sauce. There is nothing like it on fajitas, tacos, etc. I've never seen it in a store, but I've seen it on many hot sauce online stores.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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