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The five essential hot sauces


Fat Guy
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I don't know if I have 5 that I will use in regular rotation, but I have somewhere close to 70 right now on my shelf. :blink:

I collect hot sauces, and my collections ranges from the <5000 scoville units range (most hot sauces, including tobasco), all the way up to 1,000,000 (which is sealed in a case, enrobed in wax, individually numbered, and not to be tasted).

In regular use:

1) Limelight made by Chili's Fire Pit, a small shop out of northeast Ohio, where I grew up. Has a great taste of lime and cilantro chilis. My hands down favorite hot sauce.

2) Dark Vader made by the same guy as the previous. This one is made with chocolate habaneros (not chocolate flavored, only colored), and it is delicious.

3) Tabasco - I enjoy the vinegary bite, and I've never found a sauce that tastes even close to this one

4) Tabasco Chipotle - suprisingly smoky mild version made from chipotle chiles. Still has the nice vinegary tang that the original has, but with a great smoky taste. Sometimes I will just cut myself a bunch of cheddar cheese, pour some on, and eat it like that

5) Probably an Asian style, because tabasco just doesn't taste right.

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I collect hot sauces, and my collections ranges from the <5000 scoville units range (most hot sauces, including tobasco), all the way up to 1,000,000 (which is sealed in a case, enrobed in wax, individually numbered, and not to be tasted).

(emphasis added)

Then why did they even bother making this? "Because we can, that's why"?

Any reports of this product actually being consumed by anyone?

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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I collect hot sauces, and my collections ranges from the <5000 scoville units range (most hot sauces, including tobasco), all the way up to 1,000,000 (which is sealed in a case, enrobed in wax, individually numbered, and not to be tasted).

(emphasis added)

Then why did they even bother making this? "Because we can, that's why"?

Any reports of this product actually being consumed by anyone?

They are deisgned as collectibles, sealed in wax, signed and numbered, never meant to be eaten, though they could be. They go all the way up to pure capsaicin crystals at a whopping 16 million scoville heat units, which is the end of the scale. You actually can't get any hotter.

The scovilles scale was originally based on how much sugar water it took before the hotness was no longer noticable. This method has been replaced by high performance liquid chromotography. Until recently, the hottest pepper in the world rated around 577,000, though there seems to be a recent upset with a pepper that is over the 1million mark.

If you had 1ml of pure capsaicin, it would take almost 4227 gallons of sugar water before the heat was undetectable! That is somewhere greater than 300 bathtubs full (nearest I can figure).

I read an article where a guy had actually opened one the the 16 million bottles (no small feat, they cost a pretty penny, so ripping one open tosses a lot of money down the drain and causes collectors everywhere to scream out in pain). He took a single crystal about the size of a grain of salt and added it to a pot of tomato soup. Even as a chilehead, it was too hot and he had to throw it out.

If I remember, when I get home I'll post a picture of mine. You could just search for "Blair's 6 am" or "Blair's 16 million reserve" for the general idea.

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  • 1 month later...

I am revising my top-five list slightly. Someone else's search for a replacement for Inner Beauty led me to try Rasta Fire Hot Sauce. It is touted as having the same recipe. Having never tried Inner Beauty, I can't make a comparison, but I like it a lot. Rasta is bumping Marie Sharp's from my list.

Amazon Hot Green Sauce - Tangy.

Dave's Gourmet Total Insanity Hot Sauce - Not their hottest, but hot enough to go a long way in cooking. The label says, "Not for people with heart/respiratory problems." Believe it. Trust me.

Marie Sharp's Hot Habañero Pepper Sauce

Rasta Fire Hot Sauce - Sweet and tangy. The curry and the cumin make it my new favorite with rice and beans.

Tabasco Red Pepper Sauce - Original Flavor - Ya gotta love what ya were raised on.

Túóng Ót Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce - Garlicky. They should put this out in pizza parlors.

-- Jeff

"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." -- Groucho Marx

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  • 3 weeks later...

Most of these have been said already, but I thought I'd add my two cents anyway....

1. Tabasco - Chipotle

2. Cholula

3. Sriracha

4. Mango Habenero Sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings (Great Blend of sweet & heat.

5. Frank's Red Hot

"In a perfect world, cooks who abuse fine cutlery would be locked in a pillory and pelted with McNuggets."

- Anthony Bourdain

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If you’re like me following this thread you are overwhelmed with the number of hot sauces mentioned so far. So I began to wonder which sauces were the most popular using “mentions” as the criteria. I went back through the lists and compiled a table by sauce name or type.

In first place with the most “mentions” is “Tabasco original”. That is closely followed by “Siracha”. In third place is “Crystal Hot Sauce”. There is a tie for the next most popular mentions, “Tabasco chipotle”, “Texas Pete Hot Sauce”, “Franks Red Hot” and Marie Sharps Original are all the same number of mentions. Next is “Cholula” and then “Matouks Hot Pepper original”.

All of these have these all have multiple mentions. The next group is again all tied. It includes:

“Rasta Fire Hot Sauce’. ‘Red Devil’, ‘Original Juan Pain from Kansas City’, ‘Sambal olek’, ‘Hot pickled peppers in vinegar like Pickapeppa’,’ Kochujang’, ‘Chinese Chili oil’, ‘Thai garlic chile paste’, ‘Bello from Dominica’, ‘El Yucateco salsa picante’.

All others had only one mention so I haven’t listed them.

Just thought some may find it interesting

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If you’re like me following this thread you are overwhelmed with the number of hot sauces mentioned so far. So I began to wonder which sauces were the most popular using “mentions” as the criteria. I went back through the lists and compiled a table by sauce name or type.

In first place with the most “mentions” is “Tabasco original”. That is closely followed by “Siracha”. In third place is “Crystal Hot Sauce”. There is a tie for the next most popular mentions, “Tabasco chipotle”, “Texas Pete Hot Sauce”, “Franks Red Hot” and Marie Sharps Original are all the same number of mentions.  Next is “Cholula” and then “Matouks Hot Pepper original”.

All of these have these all have multiple mentions. The next group is again all tied. It includes:

“Rasta Fire Hot Sauce’. ‘Red Devil’, ‘Original Juan Pain from Kansas City’, ‘Sambal olek’, ‘Hot pickled peppers in vinegar like Pickapeppa’,’ Kochujang’, ‘Chinese Chili oil’, ‘Thai garlic chile paste’, ‘Bello from Dominica’, ‘El Yucateco salsa picante’.

All others had only one mention so I haven’t listed them.

Just thought some may find it interesting

Jack,

Thanks for doing that. It is interesting to see them ranked like that. I am suprised Tabasco is number one, as it has fallen further down my own list as I am introduced to new hot sauces.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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I am suprised Tabasco is number one, as it has fallen further down my own list as I am introduced to new hot sauces.

One thing about Tabasco is you can pretty much get it anywhere. Kind of like how surveys of the best hamburger always have McDonalds topping the list. Edited by jsmith (log)
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned toban jian, although maybe that doesn't quite qualify as a "sauce"? If it does count as a sauce, though, it pretty much stands alone. A lot of the other sauces mentioned can sub for one another (Tabasco, Crystal, etc.) but the fermented beans in toban jian add a unique depth of flavor. I wouldn't be without it.

Also, I second Tapatio, and agree with whoever said that Tabasco has too much bite and not enough flavor. It's always immediately identifiable to me in whatever it's in. The flavor just sits there on top saying, "Hey! I'm Tabasco!"

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What?  Nobody's going to go to bat for mayonaise?  What would Martin Mull say?
? Mayo isn't a hot sauce as far as I know.

Neither is Pace, as far as I'm concerned. Not what I call a hot sauce, anyway, in the style of Marie Sharp's, Tapatio, Yucateca, Tabasco, etc.

Pace is a chunky salsa. And a very mediocre one at that. But someone actually mentioned it, so I guess that what is and is not "hot sauce" is all in the mouth of the taster. (To coin a phrase.)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned toban jian, although maybe that doesn't quite qualify as a "sauce"? If it does count as a sauce, though, it pretty much stands alone. A lot of the other sauces mentioned can sub for one another (Tabasco, Crystal, etc.) but the fermented beans in toban jian add a unique depth of flavor. I wouldn't be without it.

Also, I second Tapatio, and agree with whoever said that Tabasco has too much bite and not enough flavor. It's always immediately identifiable to me in whatever it's in. The flavor just sits there on top saying, "Hey! I'm Tabasco!"

I had not heard of toban jian before your note. I was at the M&T Oriental Supermarket in Austin yesterday and I found something similar. It is Pixian Bean Sauce. Its a more brown color than red like chile garlic sauce. Definately a chile and bean mixture, but very thick almost a paste.

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1) Franks Chili Lime hot sauce (generic chili vinegar with lime, I use this on a ton of things)

2) Matouk's Hot Calypso (Carribean style habanero vinegar, quite hot, great with curry or a dollop in soups. Too hot for a lot of people to handle except in minute amounts)

3) Hoy et Fong Sriracha (Korean chili garlic vinegar, shake on some sauteed veggies)

4) Panang Curry (OK, technically it's a paste- but if you cut it with a bit of water... a dab in with some chicken and rice is magic- but it's hotter than it smells. Trader Joes makes a killer version)

5) Jalepeno Tabasco (in the green bottle- very nice zing and bite without the ACK-PEPPER of the red Tabasco)

I must be the only one who does not like regular Tabasco.

Any dish you make will only taste as good as the ingredients you put into it. If you use poor quality meats, old herbs and tasteless winter tomatoes I don’t even want to hear that the lasagna recipe I gave you turned out poorly. You're a cook, not a magician.

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned toban jian, although maybe that doesn't quite qualify as a "sauce"? If it does count as a sauce, though, it pretty much stands alone. A lot of the other sauces mentioned can sub for one another (Tabasco, Crystal, etc.) but the fermented beans in toban jian add a unique depth of flavor. I wouldn't be without it.

Also, I second Tapatio, and agree with whoever said that Tabasco has too much bite and not enough flavor. It's always immediately identifiable to me in whatever it's in. The flavor just sits there on top saying, "Hey! I'm Tabasco!"

I had not heard of toban jian before your note. I was at the M&T Oriental Supermarket in Austin yesterday and I found something similar. It is Pixian Bean Sauce. Its a more brown color than red like chile garlic sauce. Definately a chile and bean mixture, but very thick almost a paste.

I'm sure that's the same thing, if it is made with broad beans. According to my Googling, Pixian is the place in Sichuan Province where toban jian originated. It's good, isn't it? One of my desperation dinners (you know, where you stagger in the door at 10 pm and haven't eaten since noon, and have next to nothing in the kitchen) is to put rice on, then while it's cooking, stir fry tofu until the tofu is golden, remove, then stir fry garlic and napa cabbage, add the tofu back in, and add toban jian thinned with a little water.Toban jian is not really a sauce, though, in that I think you always use it in cooking, and never as a condiment. But I'm no expert in Chinese cooking.

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What distinguishes Tabasco in my book is not the pepper flavor but the vinegary bite. Most of the other Louisiana hot sauces don't have this characteristic, or at least not to the degree Tabasco does.

I was able to pick it out in a cocktail sauce I ate last night.

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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I must be the only one who does not like regular Tabasco.

No - I find it decidely lacking in flavor and character.

Shel

Agreed - considering how famous and wide spread Tabasco is, I am surprised at how poorly it compared with other hotsauces (more specifically for me, Cholula and Louisiana chipotle hotsauce)

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1. Sri Racha - On a hot dog, in some soup, it's versatile and great if you know how to use it

2. Sambal Olek

3. Any kind of salsa verde - made from scratch is best but I don't usually take the time. The herdez brand that's available everywhere is great for eggs and for enchiladas but I really like the La Costena brand for something off the shelf.

4. Generic Tabasco-ish hot sauce - and this is mostly a matter of preference but any of the cheap vinegar based sauces is fine with me. That's because I need it for a bloody caesar and I haven't found a more appropriate replacement yet

5. Chamomile DesJardins homemade hot sauces - available in Ottawa and possibly through mail order though I don't know where as they've not got a website except this profile: http://www.carpfarmersmarket.com/vendors/c...-desjardins.htm

the sauces are unique and usually have lengthy ingredient lists that include a balance of heat and fruit.

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Oh, I can echo the deliciousness factor of Chamomile DesJardins hot sauces! I bought mine at Byward Market, though - so I too have no idea if they're obtainable outside of Ottawa. They are PHENOMENAL, though. So if you can manage to find some, scoop it up. Some of the best heat I've ever put in my face. :)

Edit to add: I too love regular Tabasco for it's vinegary aspects. I certainly don't find it very hot. I could drink it. But I do find that it adds the right element of 'zing' to dishes that don't rely on very nuanced flavours.

Edited by Bueno (log)
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Ideally, I'd like to go to one website, probably http://peppers.com/

Oh, my- Peppers. My Sister-in-Law's husband took me to dinner at Starboard restaurant in lieu of giving me a batchelor party. We stopped there afterwards.

So, who can propose the list of five, with extensive annotation?

Hmm...I can't decide which Half Moon Bay/Iguana sauce to recommend, as I love them all so much. All have an excellent blend of heat and flavour...tho I've become partial to their Bee Sting of late, but the Gold Island is nice too.

Scorned Woman, the original, especially if you're serving red meat- the flavours work nicely together.

Sriracha- can't do Asian without

Hot Raspberry Thunder by Robert Rothchild Farm- good flavour, good tecture, nice heat level without being intrusive.

and, if you must have one nuclear-intensity sauce, bypass Dave's Gourmet (not to knock them, mind you) and go for Pepper's own "You Can't Handle this Sauce"- heat, flavour, and spice.

Does anyone know if Captain Sleepy's is still available? Haven't seen it in ages.

Sincerely,

Dante

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I can only think of three.

I'm on the bandwagon with Tabasco. The sauce simply goes best with raw clams, oysters, up eggs and everything else. It’s heat without over dominating flavor. I love it. I can consume it alone per teaspoon.

One I didn’t see mentioned here is Boar's Head Jalapeño Pepper Sauce. I am not a pepper sauce critic but this sauce is excellent. It's enjoyably spicy and has a robust pepper flavor. I can only find this sauce in local delis and not online, not even at boarshead.com. It’s great with guacamole and nachos.

Another favorite is Susie’s Original hot sauce. It’s another hot favorite, without too much overbearing heat and also has a perfect Habañero pepper flavor.

Dave’s insanity I find is only good to heat up chili. Otherwise it’s useless.

:D

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