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May 2, 2002 04:39 PM

Some questions about hot sauce and other packaged seasonings...

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This afternoon as I stood in front of the spice isle in the grocery store.....confronted by a MILLION different seasonings.....I realized that trying to make a choice as to which brands were best was nothing short of DAUNTING.

So.....I am asking you folks what you think of the various brands on the market.

Hot sauce ! hands down, cannot do without, favorite seasoning.......
There are SOOOOO many OTHER brands beyond Crystal and Tabasco....
Has anyone used any of these others ??? If you like them better ???? WHich hot sauce do you prefer to use ??
I noticed that Frank Davis has his does Paul Pruhdome....has anyone used these???
These 2 guys also make a Cajun spice mix to sprinkle on food....has anybody used them
I have Tony Chachere's in the green's just OK.....does not seem to have enough flavor.....a bit too the salty for me.

I'd appreciate any help you could give me on this...I would LOVE to stock my pantry with great locally made spices and seasonings.

Thanks alot.

And by the way....Hazelhurst .....I LOVED the oyster loaf from Ye Old College Inn.
Thanks soooo much.

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  1. While lots of others come and go, there's ALWAYS at least one bottle of Marie Sharp's at hand.

    1. Back in the Triassic Age I was part of a panel that voted Louisiana (One Drop Does it) Brand Hot Sauce the all-round "best tasting" (as opposed to just plain hot ) and Crystal was right up there, as well. In those now-fossilized days ther were fewer sauces to choose from. I rather like the garlic Tabasco myself. Obviously, this depends on what you are eating (Crystal usually gets the nod for Oyster loaf/po-boy----and by the way, I'm so glad you like YOCI's offering. I've always loved their sign "Ye Olde College Inn: Good Food" Straightforward & to the point, like "Drink Barq's: It's Good" What's to argue with?)

      I emphatically second the Marie Sharp's comment--it is terrific stuff, especially good for seasoning a whole pot of something. Learn to be careful unless you like fully seasoned Vindaloo type stuff.

      In the package seasoning world I always prefered Zatarain's to Chachere , and the latter is so inconsistent anyway. Most of those products hide MSG under the label "spices" and, while I have no allergy to teh stuff, I don't want a can of Accent with red pepper assist. There is a decent one out of Ville Platte called "Slap Yo Mamma" but I don't think there is a hell of a lot of difference between it and Chachere's.

      Vile Platte does have a nifty hot sauce called Ortego's Pimente sauce. Milder sort of thing, more vinegar-y. Got to get close to VP to find it, in my experience. MAybe he is distributing farther afield these days.....

      As an afterthought, I have not had to use Zatarain's for anything in awhile and, since the company has been sold so many times after it left local hands, I do not know if the stuff is still made the same way. they'd be fools to change it though. After all, who'd change the formula for, say, Coca-Cola? Who'd even THINK of such a thing ..............?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Hazelhurst

        OK.....I'm lost on Marie Sharp. What is it ??
        Is it a hot sauce ??? I haven't seen it. WHo sells it??
        I like Crystal and Tabasco also, but I was wondering about some of the more local brands.
        I bought this seasoning called Miss Ruths....from here in New Orleans. There is no salt and it looked pretty I thought I'd give it a try. Then I saw this bottle of green hot sauce from St Martins.
        I checked the label to make sure it was green from cayanne peppers and not Jalapeno.

        I haven't used them yet...but they both tasted pretty good on the tip of my finger.
        I'm not game for too much vinegar in hot sauce...I prefer the taste of the peppers and spices.

        Thanks for the heads up on the MSG thing.

        So.....did you like the Louisiana Hot sauce better than the Garlic Tabasco?? How do they compare to Marie Sharp ?


        1. re: Evangeline

          Marie Sharp's is a Belizian product, available in mild, hot and fiery hot that's (drum roll) carrot-based
          and habanero, w/ limes, onions, etc. The carrot base seems to carry/release the habanero's exquisite heat in a singular way. Marie's offers heat AND flavor w/out one smearing the other's clean edges. It's on literally (and I mean that) all public and most private tables in Belize - 1 $US per sm. btl. there, around 2.75+ here. Try the "fiery" at first, and use a smart hand...

          1. re: Evangeline

            Check with Langenstein for Marie Sharp (not to be confused with Belinda's which, I am told, is the same inventor but the trade name was taken from her). It is, as said VERY hot (or "a helluva hot" as a foreign friend once remarked).

            I like the garlic tabasco on fried calamari. Crystal or La Hot Sauce on shrimp/oyster Po-Boys. But, in truth, it depends on my mood.

            A woman I know has a HUGE collection of local Louisiana hot sauces--she must have 150 from all over the place. New ones sprout like mushroom after a spring rain and many die as quickly. Ron Guidry, late of the New York American League Base Ball Team, had one about 20 years ago (for example) but I have not seen it on the shelf in years. Maybe just in Carencro and Lafayette? And you may have seen The Best Stop's "T-Brud's Hot Hot Hot Sauce" Then there's Panola from Lake Providence LA (when someone is not burning their place down) and Brother-in-Law Hot Sauce from New Iberia (which was not available last time I looked down there so maybe it, too, is gone) And Louisiana Gold, from Bruce Food Co in New Iberia ("Hotter by the Drop")

            You get the idea. . . .

            1. re: Hazelhurst

              Thanks again for the tips.....
              Honestly Hazelhurst......I think you are partly responsible for fattening me up...
              I'll go try to find Marie Sharp this weekend.

              And thanks to everyone for your inputs.
              I appreciate it.

        2. I use either Crystal or Tabasco...depending on what I want. If I want a little more flavor, I use in shrimp po-boys. If I want just heat, Tabasco gets the nod.
          I've always liked Tony C's. If you want less salt, use the lower sodium; also, there's a 'spicer' version as well.
          Last week at JazzFest, we ducked into the Zatarain's Food area in the grandstand. Frank Brightsen(sp?) was there making a shrimp stew. Something he said he uses is to take Zatarain's dry crab boil and mix 50/50 with salt and use that as a "seasoned salt". Obviously, you can alter the amount of salt to suit your needs. I liked that idea and plan on trying it. Just a little food for thought.

          1. An excellent habanero-based hot sauce that's not too hot (about the same as Tabasco):
            Yucatan Sunshine.

            1 Reply
            1. re: david

              By the way, Yucatan Sunshine is made by Reilly Foods in NO.

            2. Hi, just recently found this board.
              From a chef's opinion:

              I can't stand Tony's. Zatarains is much better for flavor, it is not as salty or pure spice. I still find it is too much however for most food items unless I am using it for boiling seafood or in a cornmeal batter. I like to blend Zatarains half and half with a product called Montreal chicken seasoning. I have used the stuff for a couple of years and it just became available retail. It's great on chicken and pork. (I like to blend some jerk spice in sometimes too, depending on what flavors I am looking for).
              For fish, I blend Zatarains with Old Bay. This also makes a good blackening seasoning(just add a pinch of sugar).
              Hot sauces I use regularly:
              Louisiana Gold
              Tabasco Green
              Yucatan Gold

              Happy Eating!

              4 Replies
              1. re: dafatpigeon

                Thanks for your Chef's opinion......I also find Tony's too salty.
                Have you used any of Paul P.'s or Franks Davis seasonings or sauces? ....or do you know anything about their flavors ????

                1. re: Evangeline

                  No, I have not tried either one of those Evangeline. I know a few people who like Paul's seasonings, but I personally have not tried them. I should pick some up and try em out. If I do soon, I'll let you know what I think.

                  1. re: Evangeline

                    I use Paul Prudhomme's spices. The poultry seasoning is great for baked chicken, and the pork seasoning makes the perfect grilled pork chop. I have a thing of the pizza and pasta magic, which I use occasionally as well.

                    I've found a recipe which mimics the poultry magic quite well, and is much less expensive than the bottles you can buy. Let me know if you're interested.

                    Blue skies,

                    1. re: Catherine

                      We have used Paul P's Blackened Redfish Magic on both halibut and mahi-mahi. (Since we live in MI, there is nary a redfish around.) It is very tasty - we plan to try it on Chilean sea bass next. If the weather is nice enough, we fix it outside on the gas grill. If not, we fix it inside on the grill pan. We have been pleased with the flavor - but then we like our fish and seafood "zipped up" a little. It is available in our local supermarket. Good luck!