Friday, July 22, 2011
My Hot Sauce Adventure
First I had to come up with the ground rules. As tempting as it was to buy 50 different kinds of hot sauce at the store - and sometimes it seems as if Baja Ranch Market carries at least 50 varieties of hot sauce - it just didn't seem plausible. Too many of the hot sauces I have tried over the years (and I've tried a lot) taste identical.
Then I came up with a more reasonable idea: I would only taste sauces that were either in my kitchen, my parents' kitchen (other than La Victoria, any hot sauce they have was most likely purchased by me) or, in the case of Trappey's, my car. Sure, this will leave out Tops' hot sauce, which I've always liked, Taco Treat's sauce, which I've fallen in love with in 2011, and even the McDonald's salsa whose name came up when discussing this idea. Also I was out of the bottle of Pico Pica that my friend Tim gave me earlier this year, which would have been a strong contender for the best sauce. But it still seemed the easiest way to decide what sauces to try.
As it turns out, I had fifteen hot sauces as well.
So now I find it much too bland. But it is actually flavorful. It has the texture of a tomato sauce - and about the same heat level - but the flavors of tomato and pepper are certainly noticeable. They sell this stuff in varying levels of heat, my parents just happen to have the wimpiest level, and I imagine there might be some value to the hotter versions. But this mild sauce does very little for me.
But I loved it. Up front was the unmistakable sweet taste of habanero, and then a good five seconds of nothing. I knew what was coming: an intense heat building on the side of my tongue, crawling over the middle, and then my brow breaking out in sweat. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Would I shake more of this stuff onto tacos? Probably not. But I do love the flavor and can see myself mixing it with many different things in years to come.
If I had to rank my three favorites, it would be like this: 1) Valentina, 2) Texas Champagne, 3) Tapatio.
Have a great weekend.
Posted by JustinM at 1:02 PM