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FOOD What Is Your Favorite Hot Sauce and What Foods Do You Put It On?
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  1. #1
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    What Is Your Favorite Hot Sauce and What Foods Do You Put It On?

    Once a bastion of niche ethnic cuisines, hot sauces have gained in domestic popularity. A recent trend has some brave souls craving sauces that are blisteringly hot. Almost to an absurd degree.

    Hot sauces are divided by ethnicity and regional preferences.

    There is an amazing variety of hot sauces to be found now and the list seems to keep on growing.

    So, what hot sauces do you use on a regular basis and how do you use them as a condiment or as a part of a favorite recipe?
    "The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."

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  2. #2
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    I use hot sauces as a condiment. My faves are Mrs. Renfro's Habanero Sauce, Tapatio and Valentina.
    The Mrs. Renfro's is used primarily on meat, the other two mainly on eggs.

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    People love a little hot sauce on eggs.

  4. #4
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    This article has some "spicy" language but does a good job of illustrating what choices there are available.

    Fair Use Cited
    ---------------
    The Best Hot Sauces, Ranked

    By Sarah Theeboom
    Published On 01/10/2017

    Hot sauce is the sexiest of all condiments, straddling the line between pleasure and pain. But of all the hot sauces out there, which one is the best? To find out, we asked three guys who really know their stuff to judge 18 popular sauces from big names to indie favorites.

    Our tasting panel included chef, restaurateur, and Top Chef alum Dale Talde, as well as James Beard Award nominee Joseph "JJ" Johnson, executive chef at Minton's in New York. We also recruited Sean Evans, host of First We Feast’s YouTube series Hot Ones, who eats hot sauce like it's his job (because it is).

    Each sauce was tasted blind on a spoon and judged on balance of flavor, integration of heat, mouthfeel, and downright tastiness. And each was scored out of 10 by the judges -- the scores added up to a possible total of 30 -- before it was revealed to them which one they tasted. There were a few big surprises. Read on to find out which ones made their top 10, as well as the three hottest bottles that had them cursing our first-born children.

    10. TABASCO Original


    Score: 15/30
    The OG of Louisiana hot sauce, Tabasco was founded in 1868 on Avery Island and is still produced there today -- in a "moldy, old-as-****" factory, according to Talde who has visited it. Our tasters agreed that TABASCO is the hot sauce to reach for with oysters or seafood, but in most other applications it overwhelms rather than enhances the dish. It's by far the most ubiquitous sauce at diners and restaurants, but does anyone actually like it? "I feel like Tabasco might have done some sort of back-room deal with the curtains drawn in a smoke-filled room," said Evans. "It just somehow appears everywhere, it's like the Illuminati of hot sauce."

    9. Huy Fong Sriracha

    Score: 16.5/30
    This California-based company is a true American success story: It was founded in 1980 by David Tran, who fled the Vietnam war and immigrated to America aboard a ship called the Huy Fong. A few years ago, his Sriracha was the hottest sauce in the game, inspiring a movie, a cookbook, and widespread cult fandom, but our tasters asserted that it's now been hyped beyond its worth. The condiment is so omnipresent that Johnson calls it the new TABASCO, and Talde thinks it's "mad basic, like every dude who says Jay Z is the best rapper alive."

    The tasters also complained that rooster sauce dominates whatever it touches, is barely spicy enough to qualify as hot sauce, and contains questionable ingredients like potassium sorbate and sodium bisulfate. When Evans wondered aloud why Huy Fong became such a pop-culture phenomenon, Talde offered that it's probably because "there's a cock on the bottle."

    8. Tapatío

    Score: 17.5/30
    Of all the taco truck standbys, our tasters came in with the preconceived notion that they liked Cholula, which is made in Jalisco, Mexico, best. But in the blind tasting the wooden-capped Cholula didn't crack the top 10, which just goes to show that you can't trust anyone, not even your damn self. (This revelation sent Talde into a mini-existential crisis about whether his formerly great palate might be wavering in his old age.)

    Tapatío, which was created in Southern California in 1971 by Jose-Luis Saavedra, scored higher than almost all the Mexican-style sauces in the tasting. But the reception was lukewarm at best, with Talde and Johnson describing it as mid-grade, kind of flat, and lacking craveability. Evans was a little more forgiving: "You have to respect the cover art. I love the sombrero guy!" (Fun fact: Sombrero guy was originally a sombrero crow. When it launched, Tapatío was called Cuervo which means "crow" in Spanish, but had to change its name when the tequila company threatened a lawsuit.)

    7. Crystal

    Score: 22/30
    Crystal has been produced in Louisiana since 1923, although during WWII the company was best known for its preserves, which were packed into US military rations. Saudi Arabians reportedly dig Crystal as did our tasters; they liked its moderate heat and versatility, and decided it's most definitely a fried chicken play.

    "If you look at where different hot sauces come from, they developed because that region produces something that goes along with that hot sauce," said Johnson. "You go to Popeyes and throw some Crystal on top? You're good." It was at that point in the tasting that Talde got pissed at us for having nothing but saltines to put the sauce on. "You get an Asian dude and a black dude in a room and make them eat hot sauce, and you don't have any ****ing fried chicken?! Instant fail."

    6. Louisiana Hot Sauce Original

    Score: 22.5/30
    Hot sauce rivalries run deep in the Pelican State, especially between Louisiana Original and Crystal. Both were founded in the 1920s and are made of the same ingredients: aged cayenne peppers, vinegar, and salt. In our rankings, Louisiana edged ahead of Crystal by half a point, but let the record state that it was a very close call. The judges shouted out its peppery flavor, good acidity, and mild heat that's suitable for seasoning and cooking.

    "Chili-heads might be disappointed 'cause it doesn't have the burn they're probably looking for,” said Evans. "But it's one of those mass appeal, buy-it-by-the-jug-at-Walmart hot sauces that can go on anything. When Beyoncé talks about 'hot sauce in my bag,' I think this is the kind of all-purpose sauce she's talking about."

    5. Dirty Dick's Hot Sauce

    Score: 23/30
    Richard "Dirty Dick" Westhaver -- a Massachusetts horticulturist and former competitive BBQ cook -- says he was just messing around when he developed this sauce 15 years ago at his family home on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. His "hot pepper sauce with a tropical twist" gets its jungle swag from mangoes, pineapple, and banana. For all that fruitiness, it was spicier than any of our tasters expected.

    "It caught me off guard, I thought it was a sweet chili sauce," said Johnson. "The sweetness was right in my face, I could smell it before I put it in my mouth." With its big flavors and full bouquet, the judges enjoyed the tropical fever but concluded that it's a boutique condiment rather than an everyday table sauce. "This one has a profound taste so it's going to be something that you either really, really love or you just can't be around," said Evans.

    4. Pain Is Good Jamaican Style Hot Sauce

    Score: 24.5/30
    Habaneros, jerk spice, and lots of smokiness combined to make this one of the top scorers. It comes from one of the more artisanal brands, the Kansas-based Pain Is Good. "This is good shit. You could kill with this. If I was making hot sauce in my restaurant, this is what I would make," said Johnson, even though the hot sauce he actually makes at his restaurant contains bird's eye chili, pineapple, and ginger.

    The Caribbean flavors had Talde itching to baste some chicken with it, while Evans was all about the nifty hip-flask-shaped bottle emblazoned with a howling face. "Every single Pain Is Good bottle has somebody screaming on the front, so shout-out to these guys for the best labels in the hot sauce game."

    3. Frank's RedHot

    Score: 25/30
    An American classic, for many this is the benchmark for what hot sauce should taste like. Frank's was the principal ingredient in the first Buffalo wing sauce, which was created in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo. And when Talde was manning the burners at Buddakan, he'd sauce the Buffalo wings with a 50/50 mixture of Frank's and Huy Fong Sriracha ("I never said I wasn't a basic bitch," he responded when we called him out on the rooster sauce).

    "Frank's has figured out how to be a universal hot sauce that's good with everything, and I think it's because of the mouthfeel," Johnson theorized. "It coats the dish, it coats your mouth, it coats your tongue. It's really put together well." Both he and Talde admitted to keeping a bottle at home. "I have that shit at the crib all the time," said Talde. "Frank's is OG, man. It's the flavor I grew up with."

    2. Yellowbird Habanero Condiment

    Score: 26/30
    This "all-natural" sauce out of Austin launched in 2013 but has already garnered a serious following. Habaneros are the third ingredient, preceded by the carrots and onions which no doubt give Yellowbird its tangerine color (the tangerine juice concentrate might help too). For Talde, the bird had the best flavor of all the sauces, although he thought the heat could come down a few notches.

    "Just taste how well seasoned it is, how balanced it is. It's fantastic," Talde waxed. Evans agreed that the spice level is probably higher than most people want, but if you're looking to "flirt with pain a little bit," then this should be your go-to. "Half of the super-hot sauces out there are just novelty, they're for frat guys to haze each other,” he said. "But this is real, this could be in a restaurant."

    1. El Yucateco Green Habanero Hot Sauce

    Score: 26.5/30
    This Mexican salsa picante beat the bird by half a point, and seriously smoked its more well-known compadres like Tapatío, Cholula, and Valentina. It's not sexy and has no cult following, but it's the quiet achiever, the straight-A student who goes on to found a Fortune 500 company.

    "El Yucateco really knows what they're doing and don't make such a big deal out of it. They're just a good, solid, consistent hot sauce maker,” said Evans. Talde described the sauce as "****ing hot" and "dope" while Evans called it "a full-body hot sauce where you feel like you actually ate the pepper." Johnson liked it so much he went back for seconds, which he instantly regretted due to the habaneros.

    We get it, sometimes you've got to dip your toe into death just to feel alive. If you want to go full Jackass, here are the three hottest sauces we tasted. Ingest at your own risk.

    CaJohns Sling Blade Carolina Reaper

    "If you consider your tolerance a part of your identity and you want to really prove that you're a man, then **** with this sauce," said Evans. It's made with Carolina Reapers (currently the Guinness world record holder for hottest chili pepper) and bhut jolokia (aka ghost pepper, which held that same title back in 2007) that are mixed with some other ingredients that you're not going to taste, because you won't be able to taste anything after this. "I feel like somebody has a lighter and they're holding it next to my tongue right now and burning a hole through it," said Johnson. "My tongue is like, what are you doing? You need to taste food later!"

    Dave's Gourmet Insanity Sauce

    Insanity is an OG of the novelty hot sauce genre and was actually banned from the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show in 1993. Although the label suggests that it can be added "one drop at a time" to stews, burgers, and burritos, our tasters suggested otherwise. "You could not put this on food," said Evans. "It's so crazy-hot, at some point you kind of just mace yourself with hot sauce." Talde said it made him feel like he was rolling on ecstasy. "People who **** with this must have iron sphincters. I gotta wipe my ass with a popsicle after this," he said.

    Mad Dog 357 Silver Collector's Edition

    This brand is another ultra-hot sauce pioneer and it's not messing around. The website has a disclaimer that states, among other things, that the purchaser should not be inebriated and that anyone gifting this product is required to make the recipient aware of the dangers. The bottle also comes with a bullet, in case you didn't get the message. Evans thought the sauce had a fuller flavor profile than Dave's Gourmet ("it's novelty but at least they kind of tried a little bit") and Talde felt that it was singeing a hole through his tongue. Johnson was succinct in his assessment: "**** you. **** Thrillist. **** the hot sauces. **** everything. Can I have some milk? I can't feel my mouth right now."

    https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation...-brands-ranked
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  5. #5
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    Best by far:

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  6. #6
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    I will vouch that Daves Insanity sauce is among the hottest I have tried. My first exposure was at a hamburger joint and I was used to put two or three squirts of Tabasco at a time. I did that with Daves and finished the burger but then my eyes started watering and I could tell exactly where in my body that sauce was for hours.

    I have since learned how to use different saves and I like to put them in everything.

    Trader Joes has a Ghost Pepper grinder that I use either with or instead of pepper.

    I am currently growing ghost peppers, North Carolina reaper, Trinidad scorpion, habanero, and jalapeno.

    I hope to make my own sauces with various combinations of those peppers.

    Maybe I have burned my tastebuds out but Daves Insanity doesn't seem that hot now.

    I have not found any Dragons Breath peppers yet and I am not sure if I am brave enough for almost 2.48 million on the Scoville scale
    Would someone please let me know how we have spun out of control?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarok View Post
    Best by far:

    Good call!

    Make sure to try the Chili Garlic version! My day to day favorite on fried eggs, omelets and Mexican food. Amazing flavor and smoothness with mild heat. A little harder to find but well worth the effort.

    About $2.69 for a 5 oz. bottle.
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  8. #8
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    Tabasco is my favorite.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardou View Post
    Tabasco is my favorite.
    Five drops of Tabasco makes for a classic Bloody Mary.

    Also very good slathered on crispy fried chicken.
    "The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  10. #10
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    The Mild hot sauce from fast food store Del Taco is by far my MOST favorite. I finally have a source again after 20 years, they are being built in OKC!

  11. #11
    Tabasco. On eggs, occasionally on grits; tabasco is my go to sauce.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
    Good call!

    Make sure to try the Chili Garlic version! My day to day favorite on fried eggs, omelets and Mexican food. Amazing flavor and smoothness with mild heat. A little harder to find but well worth the effort.

    About $2.69 for a 5 oz. bottle.
    I like the lime flavored.

    This stuff is mucho dinero, though, and when I have a bottle it only lasts a few days because it goes on EVERYTHING! Soups, Tacos, Stuffed Green Peppers/Cabbage, Steaks, Fish, Eggs, Corn Flakes... You name it!
    Deo adjuvante non timendum - With God Helping, Nothing is to be Feared

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  13. #13
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    I put “hot sauce” in tomato juice to spice it up a bit. Outside of that I put salsa on foods.

    Salsa done properly can have complex and subtle flavors. Hot sauce is entirely monochromatic.

  14. #14
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    Big fan of Crystal hot sauce. I put it on just about everything.

  15. #15
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    Different sauces for different applications.... I don't care for painfully hot and the whole family is pretty heat shy so taste is more important than heat here.

    Mexican, I like Tapatio.

    Oriental is always better with Sriracha.

    American food, Crystal is the go-to. I like it better than Tabasco.

    General utility, Tiger Sauce. I use it to make seafood cocktail sauce, an oriental dipping sauce for spring rolls etc., or straight on sliced London broil, chicken breast, etc.

    Southern greens and veggies or quickie BBQ sauce - pepper vinegar. Just pour apple cider vinegar over crushed red pepper in a shaker bottle and let it sit for a week at least. No big deal.
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
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  16. #16
    I liked the Tobasco Green for a long time. Tried Sriracha Huy Fong, it was good, a little too much for morning eggs. Then I tried Trader Joe's version of Sriracha by chance. My favorite now. Thicker than others I've tried, good flavor (somewhat garlic), right amount of hot, and a little thicker, less vinegar.

    Going to try the Cholula Chili Garlic in the future to see how it compares.

    Pretty much only eat the stuff with eggs. But a few drops on chicken tenders or plain chicken is good also.

  17. #17
    Tiger Sauce, on eggs in goulash and in sweet salsa recipe. Other than that I am not a hot sauce person.

  18. #18
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    I've tried all the ones on RB's list and like DD said-different sauces for different applications.

    Tabasco used to be my go to sauce for everything but Tapatio is now for mexican food because of the slightly smoky flavor. Cholula for all things breakfast and isn't really all that hot so I can spray too much on an omelette with hash browns and such and not worry about it. The green pepper sauces are great for dinner type foods like chili, steaks, burgers, skillet dishes, etc.

    Tabasco makes a smoked sauce that's great on a baked potato. Sriracha for all the asian cuisines and soup. I used to go to a barbecue place here that had over a hundred different ones on a shelf for you to try out after your meal got delivered to your table. It seemed that the ones with the most flavours had citrus purees as ingredients(mango, lime, pineapple, etc).

    After I just checked, the current ones in the fridge are: Trappey's and Tabasco green sauce, Tapatio, Sriracha, Cholula, smoked Tabasco.

    I have tried a couple with ghost peppers, but be careful, you might as well be eating teargas as you'll get your sinuses cleared out and running for a tall glass of water to put out the flames.
    I'd rather be paranoid, prepped and wrong than be irrationally happy, frivolous and screwed.

  19. #19
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    Frank's for American food.
    Cholula for Mexican food.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Great Northwet View Post
    I have tried a couple with ghost peppers, but be careful, you might as well be eating teargas as you'll get your sinuses cleared out and running for a tall glass of water to put out the flames.
    WATER?!?!
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  21. #21
    Green chili salsas and a spicy pico de gallo on an omelet.

    Will have to give the Dirty Dick's a whirl on grilled fish - swordfish or tuna, perhaps, with some cubed mango.


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  22. #22
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    DD left a bottle of this in my fridge and it is great carefully mixed in chili, stuffed peppers and surprisingly good in a Bloody Mary.

    To me, habanero has that deep smoky slow burn that sneaks up on you. At 9,000 Scoville Heat Units, it is starting to get a little frisky if you use too much. It is very flavorful despite the heat.

    I can see why a "seasoned" taste tester would rate it highly.

    "The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."

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  23. #23
    you cant go wrong when you put Tapatio on your eggs ..

    i put it on my eggs like kids put ketchup on french fries the more the better..

  24. #24
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    "The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  25. #25
    I like Louisiana hot sauce or any vinegary sauce in ramen or soup. I've recently tried Cholula Chipotle which has a nice smoky flavor. It's good on huevos rancheros for breakfast or on meats.
    Franks is best for wings.

  26. #26
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    Tabasco on raw oysters and bloody mary.

    Franks on catsup, only with crinkle cut fries.

    Tabasco green, good general purpose.

    Tabasco/vinegar sport pepper sauce for mustard and turnip greens.




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  27. #27
    Marine...

    I used to get Mom to mail me bottles of tobasco, now a days I'm told they have to be small plastic bottles to get to a lot of places Marines are sent to kill people and break things.

    What I know about hot sauce is if you put enough of it on something you can usually get it down.

    Never really considered it a staple, but a survival item instead of high quality food.

    My stomach makes me pay for it these days. Course it could be all the stuff I've had to eat over the years in funny little foreign lands.

    I stay away from any messikan type stuff, I'd just as soon drink paint thinner, come to think of it that may be what they make it out of.
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    House of Tsang - Mongolian Fire Oil.

    I've been using this since the 80's, but most stores don't stock it...so I order online through Walmart.

    I love Asian "Heat". I use it on almost everything...LOL

    It has about the same heat index as Sriracha which I also use frequently.

    I put both on things like eggs, Noodles, and rice.....
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  29. #29
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    Not a big fan of hot sauce, tho we use Louisiana Hot Sauce or Tobasco as a marinade on fresh fish fillets. Gives a great flavor, but the "heat" cooks out of it.

    We eat lots of salsa, Pace Picante Sauce has been the favorite for many years. It goes on most everything, eggs, greens & veggies, we even use it as a salad dressing. (can't stand the standard too sweet dressings)

  30. #30
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    Re. #24 - Thanks for that chart - had not seen it before.

    Texas Pete used to be sort of the Special Forces equivalent of ketchup. I first ran across it in the NCO Club at Bragg. Right off the bat, I figured nothing with that big a hole in the top of the bottle could be very hot.

    Texas Pete is made in - North Carolina https://www.texaspete.com/the-legend/
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  31. #31
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    Tabasco Green or Tabasco original for me.



    HB
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  32. #32
    this lady got me turned onto hot peppers.
    when you go to eat at her restaurant she puts a bowl of whole ground hot peppers seeds and all in front of you as an appetizer with home made tortilla chips.
    the food she cooks is the best if i ever have the cash to go back to dell city,TX i will go there to eat hot peppers and all..
    and by the way she has her us citizen papers framed and hanging on the wall behind the counter.



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    My all time favorite!



    About the product

    Exotic, moderately spicy blend of ingredients
    Cayenne pepper base with a touch of sweet and sour
    Great with meats and seafood
    Use in sandwiches, soups, and dips
    Made in the usa
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
    DD left a bottle of this in my fridge and it is great carefully mixed in chili, stuffed peppers and surprisingly good in a Bloody Mary.

    To me, habanero has that deep smoky slow burn that sneaks up on you. At 9,000 Scoville Heat Units, it is starting to get a little frisky if you use too much. It is very flavorful despite the heat.

    I can see why a "seasoned" taste tester would rate it highly.

    El Yucateco is da bom, man. The article above gets it right. You don't hear about El Yucateco much, but they are head-and-shoulders above the pack in the habanero hot sauce field. They don't have fancy bottles with little skull pendants, hellscape imagery and weird names like "Doug's Death Sauce." They just make a seriously tasty hot sauce.

    Their green habanero sauce is good on almost anything (bearing in mind you don't need to use much.) If you like your regular salsa to have a little kick, add a few drops of El Yucateco Green Habanero.

    The original red variety spices up a bowl of gumbo very nicely. Once again...you don't need much.

    El Yucateco makes something called Kutbilik Exxxtra Hot Habanero which tests out at 11,600 Scoville units. Never tried it myself, but it sounds interesting.

    The serious Mexican eateries in Texas usually have El Yucateco on hand, if they don't have some already on the table. You know you're in a fake Mexican restaurant if they have Cholula on the table instead of El Yucateco. (No offense to folks who like Cholula, but Cholula isn't so much a hot sauce as liquid salt with red food coloring. Just about every Cholula aficionado who tries El Yucateco never goes back.)


    The Obama Administration constitutes a pseudocompetocracy, i.e., rule by those whose primary skill is in feigning competence.

  35. #35
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    Hot Ketchup Curry sauce
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  36. #36
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    Y'all are all bad influences
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  37. #37
    I always add a few splashes of red hot to my cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese. Which, if any, do you all add?
    If you need something, ask God. If you don't, thank Him.

  38. #38
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    haha, none and on nothing.

    Judy

  39. #39
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    Franks is a staple in western N.Y. chalula a also good. By the way recipe for wing is Frank's a stick of butter and a splash of Tabasco.
    vienna 1683.

    Turn your swords into plowshares ,and you'll be plowing for those that didn't...

    We didn't create GOD out of our imagination ,He created us out of his.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnersmom View Post
    I always add a few splashes of red hot to my cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese. Which, if any, do you all add?
    My mother just got back from an Alaskan cruise, and while there, had three cans of Alaska smoked salmon sent to me.

    This morning I softened a block of Neufchatel cream cheese, chopped a green onion, added a squirt of lemon juice and a few healthy doses of Louisiana Hot Sauce and mixed it all up.

    Put a schmear on toasted onion bagels.

    It made my mouth happy!
    "The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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