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Tasty sauce that's really hot?

  • b

The thread of Sriracha below, and my response, made me think of a questions that's sort of been on my mind a while. What's a good, tasty hot sauce that's also really hot.

Tabasco to me is too vinegary.
Cholula and Tapatio I really like but they're just not hot enough.
Sriracha is tasty, tasty, but not particularly hot.
Sambal is super salty and hard to use much of.
Dave's insanity has the right heat, but it tastes kind of icky.

For Thai food I tend to use some sambal and then a bunch of thai chiles.

So what are some good, painfully hot sauces that are really tasty?

Oh, and while we're on the topic, anyone read that Mr. Chilehead book yet, the memoir about the pleasure and pain of hot foods?

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  1. It's not painfully hot but "Bad Girls in Heat" is really tasty and it has enough heat to still be exciting.

    4 Replies
    1. re: christina z

      here's the sight that will answer your question

      Link: http://www.peppers.com

      1. re: byrd

        If you're ever anywhere close to Rehoboth Beach, DE, I strongly recommend visiting Pepper's retail store at the big outlet mall. They usually have at least two dozen sauces available to try -- not that anyone could try two dozen hot sauces and still have taste buds left; the sauces available for sampling always range from mild to excruciating.

        1. re: byrd

          http://www.hollywoodsauce.com has a ton of sauces and is actually way cheaper than peppers... Just a heads up to fellow fans...

        2. re: christina z

          Sounds too trendy to be good.

          Where can I find some?

        3. Mad Dog 357 is good and really really hot. Also, check out the sauces from Pain Is Good. I like their Louisisana and Jamaican style sauces.

          Link: http://www.painisgood.com/products.as...

          1. If you like tapatio, you might want to check out slasa tamazula (the black label, extra hot version) it's not as hot as dave's or some of the capseicin based sauces but it's like a more concentrated version of tapatio.

            Also yucateco makes some fairly tasty habanero based sauces.

            2 Replies
            1. re: zim

              I second the suggestion of Yucateco.

            2. I like Inner Beauty Hot Sauce and its relatively easy to find.

              1. I like Melinda's habanero sauces. They make a bunch of different hot to very hot sauces many of which are mixed with fruit to give them a nice flavor.

                You can buy their products online. Here's a link to their website:

                Link: http://www.melindas.com/products.html

                6 Replies
                1. re: Nancy Berry

                  I was going to recommend Melinda's so instead I will second your recommendation. Not only the ones with fruit but one I think contains carrots and onions for a more savory flavor.

                  People who like things really hot and fruity should investigate other Caribbean sauces that are along the same lines. At Peppers you can build a collection of sauces from virtually every inhabited island.

                  1. re: Bob W.

                    Melindas (Costa Rica) and Marie sharpes (Belize), rather similar sauces are my faves too. I would tho caution against "building a collection" of more than a few bottles since hot sauce tends to go off fairly noticeably after opening. Better to have a couple of fresh bottles than a cabinet full of overthehill chile sauce.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      I keep open bottles in the fridge, as with most other vegetable/fruit-based condiments. Haven't noticed any degradation in flavors.

                      1. re: Bob W.

                        And really, I just want a couple--one for asian and middle eastern (after working at mamouns in college, i can't imagine falafel without some searing heat to cut through the tahini), one for my latin american dishes, and a good all purpose one for sandwiches and eggs and things like fried fish.

                        I tend to go through them pretty quickly. A jar of sambal, for example, typically lasts me a week or two in the fridge. Tapatio goes even quicker if I'm eating at home with any regularity.

                        1. re: Bunny-Bunny
                          Professor Salt

                          Mmmm... Mamouns. Now I have a baseline for what "hot" means to you. When I lived in NY, I used to go to the Greenwich Village store all the time.

                          Where does Mamoun's buy that pepper sauce, or do they make it? I've always wondered what the name for that sauce is... do you know?

                          1. re: Professor Salt

                            I worked at the New Haven branch of Mamouns, and the brothers there just called in the sauce. They bought it, but I don't know the brand name. It was written in Arabic!

                2. p
                  Professor Salt

                  My standard sauce is Marie Sharp's Fiery. Marie Sharp is from Belize, makes their own sauces (not a marketing company that resells clone sauces), and offer a line of different flavors. I like that they balance flavors and heat, with vinegar taking a lesser role in the background.First of all, I don't like sauces that taste only of habanero - it's a too funky as a primary flavor, but works well as a supporting player. I wouldn't call Maries Sharp's painfullly hot, but balanced and very flavorful. The sauce has small chunks of carrot and onion as well as habanero, and long ago took the #1 position in my hot sauce cabinet. The photo below shows the label - I found this image using Google, I know nothing about the site that hosts the image. I do not endorse that site in any way, just the sauce, m'kay?

                  If you like the Dave's Insanity, you might enjoy Scorned Woman hot sauce, which is equally painful and possibly more complex in flavor. I use a drop or two in sauces, as it's too hot to eat by itself.

                  Recently I tried one of Ring of Fire's sauces. I forget which flavor, but after I got home, I regretted not buying it at the hot shop right then.

                  Image: http://www.pyrateisle.com/media/Marie...

                  1. Yucatan Sunshine Habanero Pepper sauce.

                    1. p
                      Peter McCarthy

                      My favorite flavorful hot sauce is "Matouk's West Indies Hot Sauce". It's good and hot, but has a lot of flavor too.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Peter McCarthy

                        I had been looking for the flavor of "Matouk's West Indies Hot Sauce", ever since I visited Grand Cayman, 20 years ago, and tasted a hot sauce there. This stuff is it. A sweetness from the papaya, incredible heat from scotch bonnett peppers, and a thick, rich, salsa-like consistency.

                        The best I've ever eaten.

                        1. re: dhedges53

                          In the mustard/west indian vein, I think that Sunny Carribee has one of the most flavorful very hot sauces going. They make a red and my preference, a yellow that's terrific.It's made with scotch bonnets, mustard, and a bunch of spices

                          1. re: chazzerking

                            I took a look at that after reading your post and put in an order for a couple of bottles. Really looking forward to it.


                      2. This may sound lame to you all but if I really like a sauce but need more heat I just VERY sparingly add a small amount of Dave's Insanity to bring the heat level up to the necessary level relying on the primary, milder sauce for the major flavor component.

                        1. Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce. I can't remember the brand that I like. I first had it in St. Lucia. We had a chicken dish that I fell in love with, when I asked the chef what was in the sauce he told us it was a mix of the scotch bonnet sauce and banana ketchup. This mix BTW is really awesome. So I had to pick up a bottle of each. Alone the scotch bonnet is, to me, the perfect combo of heat and flavor.

                          1. If you can find it (a fair trade importer was planning to bring it into the US a few years ago) Nali's Piri Piri Sauce, manufactured in Malawi. The label says something like "the hottest sauce in Africa - Friend, take care". It's hot, but tasty stuff, as I recall.

                              1. I really, really love Walkerswood Jerk Seasonsing I'll try to attach a photo. It's more of a paste. It's hot, but has a lot of great complexity. I thin it with melted butter to top chicken wings. I put small in amounts in many of my soups, not enough usually to add much heat, but it adds a ton of flavor. I always keep this in my fridge!!!

                                1. matouk's is really good, but the jerk sauce (almost more of a paste) that we get from Boston Beach and Port Antonio Jamaica is the best. Complex with thyme, garlic, cinnamon, scotch bonnets, Jamaican pimento and many other things, a tiny bit sweet and hot, hot, hot its great mixed with your favorite bar b q sauce but because the flavor of the jerk sauce is so strong, a little goes a long way. I mixed a bit of it with Mollie Stone's Apricot Sesame Teriyaki Glaze to smear on grilled salmon--devine!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: annabana

                                    I have had Boston Jerk seasoning, white label with green and it was very good too.

                                  2. Ass kicking hot sauce has a great flavor. But it's not that hot. Here's what I've been doing. Take a bottle of Ass sauce, use a little, put a dropper of PureCap in it, and shake it up.
                                    Daves is good AND hot, but not as good or hot as what I described.

                                    1. Scuzzo, I have a bottle of it in my refrigerator now--Taries Original Jerk Seasoning.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: annabana

                                        I too have a bottle of Taries Original Jerk Seasoning in my fridge but it is almost empty. I wish I could find this seasoning in the US. Do you know a source where I could buy more of this seasoning? It's the best jerk seasoning I have tasted.

                                        1. re: migrantheart

                                          I have a bottle that is about to finish, it is by far the best jerk season anywhere. I just spoke to the the guy in Boston that bottles it, you can call him at 876-993-8387 or his cell at 876-847-3107. He does not export it but you can get someone in Jamaica buy it for you in Boston.

                                      2. Melinda's XXXX Reserve
                                        Csigi Salubrious Savina
                                        Purgatory Cat Scratch Fever
                                        Brother Bru-Bru's African Hot Sauce
                                        Habby Nero's Slap Your Mama