Hot Sauces

Let me begin with a disclaimer. I enjoy spicy food. I grew up French Creole, and we spice up everything. That said, I also like to be able to taste my food, which means I don't particularly enjoy hot sauce that is so hot my tongue goes numb.

We ordered several hot sauces from Heat Hot Sauce in Berkeley. Just a wide variety of things to try. And it arrived yesterday, so we did a tasting.

I'll say right up front, my favorite (of the ones we tried) is the Zulu Zulu Garlic Peri-Peri. It's a medium-to-mild sauce with, as the label says, garlic. I don't always want garlic as a flavor, but this one sure is a nice blend.

If you do really like garlic, the Mr. Blister Garlic Extreme won't disappoint. Well, except for the "blister." I didn't find this one to be especially hot. It's chunky, though, and very garlicky.

For something a little different, The Wizard's Original Hot Stuff is interesting. It's not hot but definitely has a unique flavor, just bordering on Asian (probably due to the miso). It's organic, too.

Another interesting flavor: Cry Out Chili Sauce. Though you won't be crying out due to any heat; it's not very spicy. You'll mostly taste the chipotle, but it also uses soy sauce to good advantage.

If chipotle is your thing, then El Chipotle Roasted Tomatillo is for you. I'll admit I had been feeling kind of "done" with chipotle—there for a while it felt like everything had chipotle in it—but this sauce could make me come back to that flavor.

The Blue Owl Vines Salsa Verde is definitely mild, but has an amazingly fresh taste. It reminds me of the kind of salsa you'd get fresh made at a Mexican restaurant.

You're probably looking at this list and thinking these are all pretty mild sauces, and they are. But I like being able to enjoy the flavor of the sauces rather than just feel the heat. Still, we did also get Hotmaple Smokey Habanero sauce and . . . It was my least favorite. Not because of the heat but because I'm not a person who enjoys the sweet-hot blend.

I don't usually enjoy mustard that much either, but Lottie's Barbados Style Hot Mustard Sauce? Yum! And pleasantly hot.

Finally, we tried Dia Del Perro Serrano Sauce with Tomatillo and Toasted Onion. There's a mouthful for you, but it's a great one because I really liked this sauce. It was probably runner-up to the Zulu Zulu in my book. I hope to try more Lucky Dog Sauces in the future.

Alas, we had a casualty in shipping: Tears of the Sun broke open en route. For what it's worth, it smelled fantastic! But we couldn't risk tasting any because of all the glass.

In all, a pretty good haul. Much thanks to Dylan at Heat Hot Sauce for shipping so promptly. Summer's here; 'tis the season for heat, ya'll!

No comments: