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Really hot natural pepper sauces?

aynrandgirl Apr 23, 2007 09:44 PM

Most really spicy hot sauces seem to use pepper extracts, whose flavor I cannot stand. I greatly prefer the taste of real peppers and spices. I particularly like Purgatory's _Cat Scratch Fever_ and Habby Nero's _Slap Your Mama_, complex sauces with plenty of heat and flavor. No xanthan gum, either.

Anybody have some recommendations for natural pepper sauces with a punch? Tabasco's Habanero sauce doesn't count (lacks punch).

CaJohn's Talon and Sauce 10 look interesting. Would a chilihead with still-functioning taste buds be able to handle them?

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    chileheadmike RE: aynrandgirl Apr 24, 2007 04:31 PM

    CaJohn's has a really good hot sauce called H. D. H (Harold's Dangerously Hot) sauce. Its my favorite. Tastes great, no extract (chileheads say that tastes like burned cat) and plenty of heat. His buddy Jim Campbell makes a fine sauce called Ralph Righteous that he sells here http://www.wildpepper.com/Merchant2/m...

    Plenty hot too, just not as much flavor. Good luck

    1. bkhuna RE: aynrandgirl Apr 24, 2007 08:28 PM

      This my friend is my all time favoring salsa picante.


      Once you try this, you'll be hooked.

      8 Replies
      1. re: bkhuna
        srr RE: bkhuna Apr 26, 2007 02:58 PM

        I love this sauce and the regular red sauce from El Yucateco. The green one is hot, but the color freaks me out.

        1. re: srr
          savina RE: srr Apr 26, 2007 04:36 PM

          The green one is my favorite! I bought a bottle from my local Hispanic grocery, and the man at the counter looked at me suspiciously and asked, "You like this?"

          I make a mean egg salad with diced fresh jalapenos in place of celery and a few dashes of the green El Yucateco.

          1. re: savina
            BobB RE: savina Apr 27, 2007 07:44 AM

            Agreed, the green El Yucateco is good stuff - and for some strange reason, found as a table sauce in any number of suburban Boston Mexican restaurants! Still, although it's comparable heatwise, it's not as flavorful as Melinda's.

            1. re: BobB
              prunefeet RE: BobB Apr 27, 2007 10:22 AM

              Different flavor, not habanero based. That color is crazy, but the flavor and heat level are really good.

              1. re: prunefeet
                BobB RE: prunefeet Apr 27, 2007 11:16 AM

                No, it is habañero based, it even says Green Habañero Sauce on the label.

                From their Web site (http://www.elyucateco.com):
                Red contains "fresh red habañero peppers, tomato, and select spices and seasonings" pungency 5790 Scoville units.
                Green contains "fresh green habañero peppers, garlic, select spices and seasonings", pungency 8910 Scoville units.

                1. re: BobB
                  prunefeet RE: BobB Apr 27, 2007 11:58 AM

                  Sorry, my mistake! The color threw me I guess.

          2. re: srr
            swsidejim RE: srr May 2, 2007 09:43 AM

            I have the red and the green El Yucateco sauce in my fridge, at home, and like them alot despite them containg sorbic acid I believe, I checked the label last night while I was cooking dinner. I typically prefer the sauces with no artificial ingredients, but I do like the heat of El Yucateco.

          3. re: bkhuna
            aynrandgirl RE: bkhuna May 1, 2007 01:23 PM

            I tried it today. It was real good.

          4. BobB RE: aynrandgirl Apr 26, 2007 10:38 AM

            Melinda's XXXX Reserve. All their sauces have a lovely fruity habañero flavor, and this one is the top of the line in terms of heat. It's no Dave's Insanity, but has a respectable burn.

            Check it out at http://www.melindas.com/

            3 Replies
            1. re: BobB
              aynrandgirl RE: BobB Apr 26, 2007 11:42 AM

              I don't need Dave's Insanity levels of heat. A respectable burn sounds good, though. I see Melinda's also has a Red Savina sauce that looks interesting.

              1. re: aynrandgirl
                BobB RE: aynrandgirl Apr 26, 2007 12:47 PM

                It does indeed! I've never seen that one before, hopefully it will start showing up in the same stores that carry the other Melinda's.

                1. re: aynrandgirl
                  FAL RE: aynrandgirl Apr 26, 2007 01:49 PM

                  A drop of Dave's can cure the common cold.

              2. hooliganyouth RE: aynrandgirl Apr 26, 2007 01:53 PM

                Take a look over on www.hotsauceblog.com and www.fieryfoods.com.

                Do you ever make your own sauce?

                There used to be "F*ck off and Die" - a hot sauce that was made from currants and assorted goodness. I don't know if they still make it but that was a wicked high.

                1. u
                  ubuwalker31 RE: aynrandgirl Apr 26, 2007 02:01 PM

                  I currently have a bottle of Talon. It is fairly hot. Krakatoa is also very hot and tasty. Definitely check out hotsauceblog.com though. They have lots of great recommendations.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ubuwalker31
                    aynrandgirl RE: ubuwalker31 Apr 27, 2007 12:18 PM

                    How hot is "fairly hot"? Any idea what the approximate Scoville Heat value is? I tried Dave's Insanity once. Nothing but pure pain. It's what, 50k SHU? I've also tried Endorphin Rush (an extract sauce so it tastes awful), which if one online retailer is to be believed is ~35k SHU. That's about my current heat limit. I usually want to back off a bit from that, though, since if the sauce is good I like to use plenty of it. I've read a fair amount of stuff on hotsauceblog.com, but GoonieNick is so off the charts in his capsaicin tolerance that I'm not sure I can trust his reviews regarding the heat level of the sauces. Talon and Krakatoa do look tasty, though.

                  2. prunefeet RE: aynrandgirl Apr 26, 2007 02:10 PM

                    Not super duper hot but respectible is Cholula. It's made from dried peppers so it has an earthier flavor than a habanero type sauce, but it's really delicious and loaded with flavor. And it has a very decent kick without being just stupid. I also like yucatan sunshine, but I'm willing to bet is has xanthum gum. let me also second Melinda's.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: prunefeet
                      swsidejim RE: prunefeet Apr 26, 2007 02:18 PM

                      Cholula does have xantham gum as an ingredient.

                      I really like Melindas as well.

                      1. re: swsidejim
                        paulj RE: swsidejim Apr 27, 2007 12:46 PM

                        My bottle of Cholula lists as 'edible food stabilizer', which could well be xantham gum. With vinegar as the first ingredient, it may be hard to produce a sauce that does not separate without something like this.

                        Salsa Huichol lists vinegar last, and does not list a stabilizer. Yet it has a thicker, stable consistency. While I don't want to put too much trust in the labels (and the convention that ingredients are listed in proper order), it is possible that Huichol is relying more on pepper puree for body.


                        1. re: paulj
                          cristina RE: paulj Apr 28, 2007 02:16 PM

                          You might want to read all about Salsa Cholula; it's made about half an hour from where I live.

                          Click on the link below and go to the article called "From That Little Beginning".


                          Link: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com

                      2. re: prunefeet
                        hooliganyouth RE: prunefeet Apr 26, 2007 02:19 PM

                        If you like Cholula you might want to take a stab at Valencia. It's cheap - less than two bucks for a bottle - and has a particular taste that appeals to me. It probably has chemicals though - it's the hot sauce I discovered when I asked for hot sauce at a Jalisco-style restaurant and they grabbed a bottle of Valencia for me from the back.

                        1. re: hooliganyouth
                          paulj RE: hooliganyouth Apr 26, 2007 02:49 PM

                          Salsa Huichol is another in the 'earthy' category. Ingredients are listed as chili peppers, spices, iodized (chemical :-)) and vinegar. Not as hot a Cholula though.

                          I was given a sample set of Marie Sharps. The hottest, Belizean Heat has the oil. The next step down does not.


                          1. re: hooliganyouth
                            prunefeet RE: hooliganyouth Apr 27, 2007 10:23 AM

                            Thanks for the suggestion.

                        2. b
                          Big Willi RE: aynrandgirl Apr 26, 2007 02:18 PM

                          I love Marie Sharp's Fiery Hot Sauce. It has a great fragrant boquet from the Habaneros and a perfectly potent, lingering heat. The ingredients are listed as: Select red habanero peppers, fresh carrots, onions, key lime juice, vinegar, garlic and salt.


                          I've also enjoyed the El Yucateco's sauces for which bkhuna has provided a link.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Big Willi
                            CDouglas RE: Big Willi Apr 28, 2007 03:43 PM

                            Agreed on Marie Sharps. The entire product line is amazing and the Fiery Hot fits the OPs wants exactly. It would be hard to find something better.

                            1. re: Big Willi
                              BobB RE: Big Willi Apr 30, 2007 07:17 AM

                              Interesting - the ingredients are practically identical to Melinda's: "Choice red habanero peppers, fresh carrots, onions, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, and salt"

                              Has anyone here compared the two? Are they possibly related? Or is this some traditional Caribbean recipe they both share? Melinda's is produced in Costa Rica and Marie Sharp in Belize.

                              1. re: Big Willi
                                aynrandgirl RE: Big Willi May 5, 2007 07:18 PM

                                I couldn't stand the Marie Sharp's. Tastes too much like carrot juice.

                                1. re: aynrandgirl
                                  BobB RE: aynrandgirl May 7, 2007 08:09 AM

                                  Please let us know what you think after you have a chance to try Melinda's. As I said earlier, these two have basically the same list of ingredients, but that doesn't mean they'll taste the same.

                              2. bkhuna RE: aynrandgirl Apr 26, 2007 07:21 PM

                                Other than the el Yucateco, there is a small mom and pop brand out of San Diego called Ring of Fire. They have a XXX Habenero that is all natural, hand made and bottled, and isn't all that hot. No where near insane.

                                Hell, you can even call up the company and talk to Mike, the owner. It has to be the most flavorful salsa picante I know of.

                                My "ketchup" is Tapatio. I must go throw a bottle a week. I swear kids in Mexico must be weaned on this stuff. Again, not hot, but good on everything.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bkhuna
                                  hooliganyouth RE: bkhuna Apr 27, 2007 11:09 AM

                                  I'll throw in a vote for Tapatio.

                                  Sometimes the "good on everything" factor outweighs the "will melt paint off a truck" heat factor. Not always but sometimes.

                                2. hitachino RE: aynrandgirl Apr 28, 2007 07:38 AM

                                  brother bru bru's

                                  nando's hot or extra hot pepper sauces

                                  african rhino xtra hot peri peri sauce

                                  1. a
                                    aynrandgirl RE: aynrandgirl Apr 30, 2007 06:01 AM

                                    I just made an order at Peppers.com: Talon & HDH from CaJohn's and Iguana Radioactive Pepper Sauce. If only I didn't have to wait for shipping! The El Yucateo Extra-Hot Habeñero looks good, too. The local Mexican grocers must have some, so I'll look there. They probably have the Melinda's 4X Reserve, too, which I'm sure the chain groceries around here won't carry since Pace Hot salsa is too much for them (they do have the regular Melinda's that's about as hot as Tabasco).

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: aynrandgirl
                                      BobB RE: aynrandgirl Apr 30, 2007 07:19 AM

                                      I don't know where you're located, but here in Boston, Whole Foods carries several levels of Melinda's, sometimes even the 4X.

                                      1. re: BobB
                                        hitachino RE: BobB Apr 30, 2007 07:23 AM

                                        yes, most 'upscale' markets seem to have a decent hot sauce selection here in FL also. hate to sound like a broken record with my marshall's recs -- but marshall's, tj maxx, ross stores etc often carry a few interesting brands of hot sauce as well.

                                        1. re: hitachino
                                          aynrandgirl RE: hitachino Apr 30, 2007 08:47 AM

                                          They carry hot sauce?!? I always thought of them as clothing stores.

                                          1. re: aynrandgirl
                                            hitachino RE: aynrandgirl Apr 30, 2007 09:52 AM

                                            oddly enough they have all kinds of gourmet salts, chutneys, jams, chocolates, coffees, teas and i've seen a few different hot sauces (not a large selection, but different from what grocery stores carry)

                                        2. re: BobB
                                          aynrandgirl RE: BobB Apr 30, 2007 08:53 AM

                                          Tampa, FL. No Whole Foods, but we do have a Wild Oats. Not much in the way of upscale markets. Sweetbay wants to be, but fails.

                                      2. a
                                        aynrandgirl RE: aynrandgirl May 5, 2007 07:31 PM

                                        Just got my order of Talon and HDH. HDH had an immediate, intense heat that went away fairly quickly. With its piercing heat I couldn't readily distinguish the spices that accent this sauce.

                                        Given its ingredients, I thought Talon would be much hotter than HDH but it isn't, at least to start. It has a smooth, even heat that builds as you eat and lingers for a while after you stop. I couldn't taste the vinegar, which IMO is good. I thought the Fataliis overshadowed the flavor of the Red Savinas.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: aynrandgirl
                                          TheFamine RE: aynrandgirl May 7, 2007 08:40 AM

                                          Coming from Africa, I've spent a year thus far, sampling every possible spicy sauce I've come across - and thus far, it seems that what constitutes 'very spicy' in the US, in Africa would be considered 'mild' or 'medium' spicy. Realized I have to hunt down birds eye chili and make my own chili oil for cooking, if I want to get the levels of burn that's normal for me..

                                        2. a
                                          aynrandgirl RE: aynrandgirl May 19, 2007 07:53 PM

                                          I just got my order of Melinda's 4X, Melinda's Red Savina, and CaJohn's Sauce 10. Both Melinda's were as tasty as the poster's here said. I liked the Red Savina better than the 4X; about the same heat but the Red Savina has less carrot flavor and lately I'm liking Red Savinas more than regular habañeros (both have far less carrot than Marie Sharp's sauces; carrot is evil). Maybe it's the Thai I had for lunch, but Sauce 10 wasn't as hot as I thought it would be. Still significantly hotter than the Melinda's sauces, but for me Talon seemed quite a bit hotter than Sauce 10. Sauce 10 has better flavor than Talon, though, and the burn did build as you ate more and more. Fortunately, recovery was quick. Btw, anybody have a ballpark estimate of the Scoville rating for Sauce 10?

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