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Crystal Hot sauce

  • h

Looking for Crystal brand hot sauce, a staple in NOLA foods. Anyone know where I can find it in SF?
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Not to be vague, but I think all supermarkets/large grocers have it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MargotB

      I agree, you can find Crystal at just about any large grocery store.

      In years past, I've shopped around looking for Frank's Red Hot (while trying to prepare authentic Buffalo Wings) but throughout my pursuit, I saw store after store with shelf space dedicated to Crystal (from Berkeley to Sacramento), with only small bottles of Frank's Red Hot available.

      The story is different with restaurant and wholesale supply. Frank's Red Hot seems to dominate in California in the large bottle category. I picked up a gallon of Frank's Red Hot at Smart & Final for something like $23.

      Crystal, in smaller bottles, should be very easy to find in regular consumer markets.

      1. re: Benny Choi

        crystal hot sauce is NOT in every grocery store like it used to be. the plant in new orleans where it was produced was destroyed by katrina. it is very hard to come by even in new orleans.

      2. re: MargotB

        Yup, just about any supermarket in the Bay Area should have it.

      3. Last bottle I bought was at Safeway I believe.

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          Niki Rothman

          Try calling Cost Plus/New World Market.

          1. in sacramento i get it at bel air so isn't that nob hill foods for you?

            1 Reply
            1. re: ton casmo

              Yeh, Nob Hill or Raleys.

            2. I know that Andronico's sells it. The location in the Inner Sunset (Funston/Irving) was sold out last Sunday, I imagine as a result of the Super Bowl, but I know they carry it. It's by the rest of the hot sauces and condiments.

              1. The Berkeley Andronico's have both been out of this for awhile now - big empty spaces where it used to be on the shelf. I'd heard their plant had post-Katrina production problems and am not sure what the status is these days - but it's definately in short supply if available at all.

                1 Reply
                1. re: celery

                  empty space in local Safeway shelf, too.

                2. we are in Los Angeles and I can't find it anymore. I have to run to small stores and buy their last bottles. Something has happened to the supply for sure. It used to be everywhere. A staple product

                  1. I think that this note from the Hot Sauce Blog posted on 12/22/05 helps to explain the Crystal Hot Sauce shortage:

                    Baumer Foods, maker of Crystal Hot Sauce, won’t return to Orleans

                    The Associated Press - The Baumer Foods bottling plant, where Crystal Hot Sauce and dozens of other condiments were made, won’t reopen in New Orleans after suffering significant damage from Hurricane Katrina.

                    President and owner Alvin Baumer Jr. said he does not have a new site selected for the 250-employee plant. Another casualty of the storm: Baumer’s iconic Interstate sign.

                    The left side of the art deco and neon sign, which features a smiling cook stirring a huge pot of strawberry jam, was ripped away. With the company’s 60-year-old bottling plant inundated with as much as 5 feet of water, Baumer had to turn to private-label bottlers for help.

                    Four different companies are bottling the hot sauce along with Baumer’s relatively new product, Hickory Liquid Smoke, and two steak sauces.

                    Even before Katrina, Baumer had been seeking a new location for the plant. He said Tuesday that he would not reopen the site and will continue using private bottlers until he can build a new plant or buy and retrofit an existing building.

                    Though he wouldn’t discuss locations, Baumer said the site would not be in New Orleans, where the company has operated for 81 years.

                    For now, most of Baumer’s 250 employees are scattered to the winds. He has been trying to contact them and thinks that if he can get a plant up and running and the employees can find a place to live, most would return to the area.

                    Link: http://www.hotsauceblog.com/hotsaucea...

                    1. Has anyone seen Crystal "Extra Hot" Sauce? I haven't seen any places in San Francisco selling the extra hot version.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chile Head

                        One of the guys that works next door bought a case of it somewhere - he didn't like it because it was too hot. I was gifted with two bottles of it and just adore it. Love it on quesadillas and mixed with peanut butter on a sammie with berry jam!

                      2. wow, a run on crystal.

                        well if all else fails, memphis minnie's seems to have a secret stash of the stuff. it is in large unmarked bottles, kept under the counter. i took rochelle's rec at a recent chowdown and dribbled some on the biscuits, never imagining i might be imbibing the juices of a very endangered species. spicy indeed.

                        another good reason to go back soon.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: echo

                          Crystal's readily available again, saw it at Smart & Final recently. But don't know about "Extra Hot" version.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Baumer Foods has been having other manufacturers produce "Crystal Hot Sauce" and three other sauces under contract while they have been refurbishing their new plant just outside of New Orleans, in Reserve, LA. "Extra-Hot" is *not* one of the four currently being produced.

                            I have no idea when the new plant comes on-line. (I would have thought it would be up-and-running by now - they announced their purchase of a new site last February. In fact, I found this thread via Google, while trying to find out Baumer's current status.) Until then, no Extra-Hot. Fortunately, I still have four bottles of Extra-Hot in the cellar. I prefer it to Tabasco, especially for making a Bloody Mary. Regular Crystal, which isn't all that hot, tends to add as much vinegar as heat, IMO.

                            1. re: srgoodman

                              Thank you very much for the info on Extra-Hot. I hope Baumer gets their plant up soon. I miss the Extra-hot version.

                              1. re: srgoodman

                                Just a quick note that Baumer Foods has *finally* opened up their new bottling plant, and Crystal Extra-Hot Hot Sauce is back in production!

                                If you can't find it in local stores, you can buy it direct from the Baumer foods website:


                                86¢ for a six ounce bottle, or $9.48 a case. (plus shipping, of course)

                          2. We love Crystal hot sauce and usually buy it by the gallon at Smart & Final stores.

                            1. I finally tried Crystal hot sauce. I find it like a more tangy tabasco sauce. Found a 12 fl oz bottle at Albertson's for $1.79 (w/ their card). I didn't see "extra hot" which I'd have liked to try.

                              pic here:

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: hhc

                                Having grown up in New Orleans I can't help but find this thread a bit amusing. Crystal was the hot sauce you found on the tables in the corner sandwich shops and was what you used at home if you couldn't afford Tabasco. Crystal is not fermented like Tabasco and is essentially just ground up peppers and lots of vinegar put in a blender (too much vinegar for it to be useful as anything other than a condiment for fried seafood, in my opinion). If you like the tangy taste and can't find Crystal, just add some white vinegar to Tapatio or any other cheap mexican hot sauce and you'll have a pretty good approximation.

                                Not to say the stuff is no good. I love it on fried oysters and for marinades or dipping sauces where the high acidity works, but I wouldn't mourn it's passing very much (sorry Crystal, if you leave NO you don't get any home town loyalty from me).

                                1. re: Zeldog

                                  I never liked Crystal because it wasn't spicy or sour enough. I feel like Tabasco is more vinegary, but based on your I might give Crystal another shot because I like the vinegary hot sauces.