There are thousands hot sauces out there designed to boost the flavors of food and give them a fiery kick. My dear wife has noted that we sometimes have more condiments than actual food in our pantry, so I’ve tried to limit my collection of hot stuff. I’m not big into adding a lot of heat for heat’s sake, so all of these sauces have been selected for the other qualities that they bring to the party and the way they compliment the way I like to cook.
Búfalo Picante Clasica – We fell in love with this thick, mild sauce while eating gambas (breaded shrimp) at a little seaside restaurant in Mexico. I particularly like it as a shrimp cocktail sauce mixed with ketchup, ground horseradish, and little lime juice.
Cholula – It’s all about the pepper – not much heat, very little vinegar, but a solid chili taste that works great on almost any Mexican dish. Very tasty in tacos, nachos, and chili.
Crystal Hot Sauce – Cheap and tasty sauce with good cayenne heat. If I were to have one Louisiana-style sauce, this would be it as it tends to go well with just about everything. Great in gumbo or jambalaya.
Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce Hot– Brings back fond memories of meals in Belize, where an old Crystal water bottled filled with the homemade version of this hot pepper, carrot, garlic and lime blend is found on every table. Plenty of heat, but good on almost everything. Excellent on selfish and in jerk recipes.
Sriracha – a.k.a. Rooster sauce, this Thai sauce is a sweet and spicy blend of hot peppers and garlic. Very nice mixed with some mayo as a remoulade. Some folks use it as a spicy replacement for ketchup, but I’m not quite there yet.
Tabasco – Ubiquitous and tasty. Another Louisiana-style sauce, but hotter than Crystal or Frank’s and has a fuller flavor. Very good in anything Cajun. Love it on eggs and it’s truly excellent in Bloody Marys.