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Hot sauce - What do you have in the house

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  • Soup Oct 15, 2007 09:37 AM
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Been a single hot sauce man for the past 20 years, Tobasco. But I was running out so I went and got a few different bottles from the grocery. They were all so much cheaper. I got Texas Pete, Crystal, El Tapatio (sp?) and Tobasco. I ended up doing my version of the Test Kitchen and I got to say none could really hold a candle to Tobasco for me.

Are there hot sauces out there that I should try? I looking for one generally available? I know there are hundreds of boutique hot sauces.

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  1. I am Tabasco (1st) & Crystal man. I haven't found a boutique sauce that comes close. Look at the ingredients of Tabasco & Crystal: red peppers (tabasco & cayenne respectively, vinegar & salt. That's hard to improve on. So many sauces tout their heat level, but there's no flavor there. Can't beat the classics.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rfneid

      Gotta second Crystal's. Simple and great. Amazing in a wing sauce.

    2. While technically not a sauce, I like using sambal oelek, the Indonesian chili paste, or sriracha, a more sauce-like concoction of chili and garlic. I am not a big fan of tabasco because of the pronounced vinegar flavor...

      1 Reply
      1. re: linguafood

        i agree with yours. i love chili pastes rather then 'hot sauces' technically... and the vinegar in tabasco is a bit too much sometimes.

      2. I'm a Cholula guy for most things. It's got a good combination of heat and flavor. For some stuff, like fried chicken, I like Frank's Red Hot. It's got a bit less heat and a bit more sweet.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ajs228

          I have been hooked on Melinda's habenero sauce for years. I like it because it is not over garlic'd, and the acid is lime juice not vinegar. It can be hard to find locally and when I see I will buy a dozen bottles at a time. It is from Costa Rica

          1. re: jscott65

            Not that hard to find, I've bought it at various Shaw's and Whole Foods. I go through a lot of their XXX, it's my basic house sauce, and always keep a bottle of XXXX Reserve on hand for when I need extra oomph.

            I also keep Tabasco on hand for wimpy guests and certain recipes that need that vinegar kick, and El Yucateco Green for visual variety. Try alternating stripes of Melinda's and Yucateco Green on a burrito!

            1. re: jscott65

              I found that Melinda's is an excellent substitution for Marie Sharp's (Belize) carrot-based habanero sauce. I was highly skeptical at first and regarded the product as some lame knock-off (only because I was across the border where there was no Marie Sharp's) but have since reformed my opinion. I see it frequently in grocery stores (I'm in Portland).

              I also like Tapatio (for mexican food/egg tacos), Crystal if I have collard greens to season, and Sriracha for pho.

              1. re: TimeMachine

                I like Melinda's a lot more than Marie Sharp's because it doesn't have nearly as strong a carrot flavor. The Melinda's 4X and Red Savina are my favorites.

            2. re: ajs228

              Second Cholula. Also like Durkee's (or "Frank's) Hot Sauce. For a little sweet-hot, I like Tiger Sauce, too. Have also sriracha and mango hot sauce (from the Indian store). Oh, and the green Tabasco.

            3. I like that habanero sauce you get at the Mexican grocery--the stuff that's a shade of green not found in nature. A little goes a long way. We have a bottle of Tabasco in the refrigerator that comes out for things from time to time. And then there's the aforementioned "crack" condiment, Sriracha.

              4 Replies
              1. re: revsharkie

                If it's a habanero sauce, that green stuff would be Yucateco XXX.

                1. re: aynrandgirl

                  Actually, I think the XXX is a pale brown. There's a few different grades available according to their site. But the Red and Green are the two that's most commonly found. The XXX is a little harder to find. Heat level goes from Red to Green to brown XXX.

                  I tend to like the green for chicken and the red for beef or chicken. The XXX is for things like pizza or hot wings when I want that serious punch of heat and flavor.

                  1. re: Jase

                    Yes the XXX is a pale brown.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      Yup. A gross color but best flavor.

              2. Pico Pica!
                Not Vinegar base, but a smooth, tasty, and HOT sauce.
                Only on the West Coast though.
                http://www.juanitasfoods.com/consumer...

                 
                1. Being another hot sauce junkie, I usually have several on the go at home. Tabasco and Frank's of course, and the beloved Sriracha both the chili style and the smooth type. I have a great Habanero one right now called "Fear Itself". If you are a Tabasco lover, why not try the habanero kind, with mango extracts in it - it's killer :)

                  I've had an awesome collection over the years, mainly due to the fact that when I travel, I love to find a great little hot sauce to take home as a souvenir, and my family and friends will often have one in my Christmas stocking or as a gift brougnt back from their own travels. I can recall receiving some wicked sauces from both Guayabita and Barbados as gifts :)

                  1. Tobasco, Franks, Crystal.

                    1. I'm not a hot sauce person, but my mother's home health aide uses it on just about everything she eats. She's Jamaican and swears by Grace's, which is available in some small stores and some supermarkets here in NY. Don't know if what she likes about it is the extreme heat, or she can actually taste flavor while burning her guts out. She'll "settle" for Tabasco if there's no Grace's around.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Shayna Madel

                        I've had Grace's. It is pretty tasty -- and hot!

                        1. re: Shayna Madel

                          Oh man, I randomly found a bottle of Grace's in my fridge one day and began using it on my Popeye's chicken. That stuff was intense! Soon, I couldn't eat my chicken without adding this amazing sauce. Once I ran out, I resorted to Tabasco, and compared to Grace's, it's like lemon juice. Can't wait to get my hands on another bottle of Grace's but I just can't figure out where they sell it, or who bought it in the first place.

                          1. re: Shayna Madel

                            Grace's is the best! Luckily, there are enough Jamaicans living in Toronto that most groceries stock it. I can't even eat fried chicken without it.

                          2. Too many to count - haha. My husband is the chili head - he has shiracha, tabasco original and hab, and barons west indian hot sauce http://www.amazon.com/Baron-West-Indi....

                            1. I have the following hot sauces in my fridge:

                              Sriracha
                              Melindas XXX, & XXXX
                              Crystal Hot sauce
                              Tobasco
                              Tobasco habanero
                              El Yucateco Green
                              El Yucateco Red
                              Tortuga Hell Fire Sauce
                              Pain is Good Jamican style hot sauce batch # 114

                              I also collect hot sauces, if I see one I dont have, I buy 2 bottles, one for tasting, one for the collection.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: swsidejim

                                Have you tried Melinda's Red Savina? I'd say it's about on par with 4X heatwise, maybe a little hotter, and has a very nice flavor. No carrot flavor mucking up the taste of the pepper.

                                1. re: aynrandgirl

                                  I have not tried it yet, but upon your recommendation I will grab a couple of bottles when I see it.

                                  1. re: swsidejim

                                    One of my favorites, it goes so quick, I sometimes have to "steal" the bottle in my collection, and then replace it at a later date. At least it keeps a fresh one on the shelf

                                2. re: swsidejim

                                  love that pain is good jamaican style!

                                3. Frank's is always in my house. Simply put.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: hotteacher1976

                                    me too, the Costco gallon o'Franks

                                  2. sambal oelek, sriracha, piri piri and tobasco.

                                    1. I have Tabasco, Cholula, Frank's and Sriracha. I also have a hot red pepper sauce/paste from Calabria (Italy) that I use when I am looking for European flavor (no vinegary taste), and Moroccan Harissa sauce that I have yet to figure out what to use with... any suggestions?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                                        i mix harrissa into my hummus for a good kick.I also use it in soups.Best harissa i have bought instead of made is actually tunisian made(harissa du cap bon)Try it you'll like it!

                                        1. re: travlnmike

                                          harissa in hummus rocks.

                                      2. I love Frank's, and I tend to eat it on everything. Turkey sandwiches, fried fish, scrambled eggs. I mix it with melted butter and dip boiled shrimp into it, it's much better than cocktail sauce. I have even been tempted to sprinkle it on top of vanilla ice cream.

                                        1. Besides Franks I like to keep a bottle of the California Pepper Plant. Unfortunately I could only find in California (surprisingly enough). Don't know where you're located. Not too hot, but a nice taste to it.

                                          1. Tabasco is absolute garbage, the worst hot sauce I've ever tasted... don't understand what anybody would like about it. In my pantry:

                                            Sriracha (Japonica Chiles)... for an outrageous garlicky, asian pizazz
                                            Cholula (Piquin Chiles)... for potato chips & other starchy foods
                                            El Yucateco XXXtra Hot Sauce (Habaneros)... to liven up fruit based sauces, American stds
                                            La Guacamaya (Cora Chiles)... THE sauce for seafood... ceviches, cocktails etc.,
                                            Salsa Huichola (Wild Nayar Chiles).... great for soups & stews

                                            38 Replies
                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                              Tabasco: Superb, vinegary flavor. Maybe it's a Southern thing. I do like Sriracha in my pho.

                                              1. re: rfneid

                                                I also always end up coming back to Tabasco because none of the other hot sauces I've tried have that vinegar kick. Inevitably, I'll try out other hot sauces because I've been seduced by the "rarer sauces are better than generic/widely available sauces" school of thought, but I'm always disappointed when I stray from Tabasco.

                                                1. re: Humbucker

                                                  That is exactly why I don't like it.... its all vinegar and no real flavor depth. Its a one note flavor... its sour, and to get enough spice out of it... I have to use so much the vinegar makes my spine crawl.

                                              2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                Eat Nopal, why do you like the La Guacamaya for seafoods? (I always enjoy your explanations!) You find your selections readily in what stores? (I know Cholula and Sriracha -- but the others -- mexican? central american? stores).

                                                ps what do the names translate into, and could you describe the chiles mentioned, pretty please?

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  El Yucateco is from Merida, Yucatan

                                                  La Guacamaya is from Mazatlan, the chiles used are from the tropics... and just seem to have the right terroir for ceviche & so forth.. the sauce has a tamarind pulpyness... it has a natural sweetness but no added sugar... and good heat... it just seems to lift the sweetness of the seafood & helps the herbs & onions just pop out... overall heightening the entire ceviche experience. Its even delicate enough to use in a Veracruz style cocktail of Crab & Coconut.

                                                  The Cora Chile (no translation to English) comes from the tropical, coastal forests of Nayarit: http://www.tequilita.vozdelapoesia.ne...

                                                  A picture of a Guacamaya: http://es.cityparrots.org/wp-content/...

                                                  Salsa Huichola refers to the Huichol tribe that inhabits parts of Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacatecas & San Luis Potosi... they are famous for their "psychedelic" art style & their annual Peyote pilgrammages (which probably fuels their artistic creativity):

                                                  http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2...

                                                  The Nayar chile is native to the Nayar mountains and quite rare. The sauce is specially crafted to be used in Pozoles & other stews... its got a nice balance of chile to vinegar... it has a nice flavor but isn't too intrusive.

                                                  I buy all of these at my local Mexican market (Lola's Market in Santa Rosa, CA)

                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                    Eat Nopal, you are ---- "simply the best!" (I'd sing it if I could!)

                                                    Thank you for the informative insights -- and the neat links. The Huichol art is quite beautiful.

                                                    As many sauces as I have, I am going out to the Mexican market with your list!

                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                      Very cool discourse and links. Thanks.

                                                  2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                    If you don't like vinegar, then you won't like Tabasco. But then again, if you don't like fenugreek, you won't like chaimen (Armenian hot sauce). That doesn't make either of them garbage. They're just part of a different cuisine.

                                                    Tabasco is southern (US) food, and it isn't the most vinegar-intensive of the southern hot sauces. In addition to Tabasco and Crystal, my fridge has a cruet of pepper sauce, which is just vinegar infused with green tabasco peppers, and is delicious shaken over leafy greens. There's also some Bufalo chipotle, Tapatio, El Pato, Cholula, El Yucateco green habanero, harissa, sambal oelek, and the screaming rooster--tuong ot sriracha!

                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                      ooooo, where can we find chaimen (Armenian hot sauce) in U.S.?

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        Don't know if it's available commercially, but it's a snap to make at home in the blender:

                                                        http://members.aol.com/ebgweb2/59Chai...

                                                        I like to make it a few days ahead of time so that the flavors to come together.

                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                          alanbarnes, that looks REALLY good. thank you!
                                                          fenugreek, cumin, garlic, paprika: how can one go wrong!?!

                                                          which paprika do you use? Hungarian I presume, but sweet or hot? Or do you use smoked Spanish paprika?

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            The brightest red stuff I can find. So definitely sweet, but not necessarily Hungarian; the local Mexican, Indian, and Persian groceries tend to have pretty good stuff at reasonable prices.

                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                              EDIT: Okay, that's weird. The previous post disappeared then reappeared.

                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                alanbarnes, on the weird thingy: sometimes using the back button takes you to an earlier page which doesn't show a recent post by the user. maybe that is not it....

                                                                by the way the Armenian Food link you provide has plenty of nice recipes. i commend it to other hounds.
                                                                http://members.aol.com/ebgweb2/Conten...

                                                        2. re: alanbarnes

                                                          Texas Pete's Green Pepper Sauce (Hot Peppers in Vinegar) is *required* for my greens (I'm talking fresh mustard greens, or collards,)!
                                                          http://secure.mycart.net/catalogs/cat...
                                                          it cheers me just to look at the bottle!

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            The great thing about Texas Pete sport peppers is that you can refill the vinegar again and again, and even after ten refills (that's roughly where I am now), it's still delectably hot!

                                                            1. re: Bob W

                                                              bob, yes on the refills. i haven't been as successful as you on the peppers' heat mileage, though.

                                                          2. re: alanbarnes

                                                            I like alot of hot sauces that I don't currently have in my pantry... of all that I have tried, I rarely dislike any of them... but absolutely hate Tabasco. Same is true for my dad... and just about any other Mexican I know... it might be that we just expect hot sauce to generally taste a certain way... and Tabasco is just waaay out there.

                                                            Perhaps... people who grew up on it are just accustomed to it... and most outsiders have a hard time acquiring a taste for it. On the Mexican front... I really don't understand how just about everybody cozies up to plates of Salt Cod during Christmas... I don't think anybody really likes it.... its just a tradition. Similar to fish cured with lye in Norway... or Balut in the Phillipines... I tend to put Tabasco in the same category.

                                                            What I would like to know from those who find Tabasco appealing.... what do you like about it, how should it be used... and what is its reason for existence?

                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                              I think there's a pretty common misconception that Tabasco is an appropriate condiment for Mexican food. Try to substitute it for a traditional Mexican hot sauce and you're guaranteed to be sorely disappointed, and maybe put off the stuff for good. It belongs in gumbo, not on tacos.

                                                              The appeal is simplicity: vinegar and pepper with a little heat. In moderation it adds interest to everything from eggs to chicken salad to mac'n'cheese. Original Tabasco sauce is only 2500-5000 Scoville units--less than even a mild jalapeno. So it's the wrong tool for the job if you're trying to add much heat to your food. Instead, it adds a little spice and a little sourness.

                                                              Tabasco's native habitat is Cajun and Creole food. If you want to give it an honest chance, get a bowl of gumbo that's already been hotted up with cayenne, and add Tabasco to taste at the table. Depth, heat, and complexity of flavor are already present; the Tabasco just adds a little something extra.

                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                great post,

                                                                you are correct, Tobasco, made in Louisiana, is made for cajun food. I like it in gumbo, etouffe, jambalaya, etc. Would I prefer a carribean habanero hot sauce like I have at home when I make these dishes, sure, but I am past the stage in life where I bring hot sauces with me to restaurants. "when in Rome"

                                                                Tobasco is not my favorite hot sauce by a long shot, but the most common you will find when dining out so I will use it if I need some heat on a dish.

                                                                I also like some tobasco in clam chowder.

                                                                1. re: swsidejim

                                                                  yes, hot sauce is good in new england (and obviously manhattan) clam chowder. to borrow a phrase, it "kicks it up". i use it to spice up canned and rinsed black beans. i just used some Tapatio to spruce up my "spanakopita" filling yesterday.

                                                                2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                  Good explanation, alanbarnes.
                                                                  I for one never thought that Tabasco was the traditional Mexican hot sauce....
                                                                  various chilis was what I thought gave Mexican food that wonderful taste.
                                                                  I use Tabasco just to "boost" a particular flavor, and mostly just add a drop or two at the table, on anything. Yes, I'm one of the Vinegar Lovers.

                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                    Good point. I like tart/high-acid foods, so just a drop or two of Tabasco can indeed brighten and boost a dish, without masking the other flavors, the way an actual sauce does. About the only thing I regularly use it on, though, is scambled eggs (and even then, I prefer the green Tabasco).

                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                      Scrambled eggs: one dash of red Tabasco per egg. Beans: green or chipotle Tabasco. Bloody Mary: Tabasco red, but a Bloody Bull is good with the chipotle. Tapatío is better in meat loaf or on burgers, I've discovered. My kid in Nashville taught me (as his wife had taught him) to use Trappey's peppers in vinegar - just the vinegar part - on cooked greens, and I became instantly addicted. As for Pico Pica, I *HAVE* seen it for sale in Nashville, but not reliably. I love both the hot and the taco sauces.

                                                                  2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    I will definitely give it a shot in Cajun food... I never really tried it on Mexican food but on plain American Diner food (scrambled eggs, hashbrowns etc.,)... when there was no other hot sauce offered.

                                                                  3. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                    I'd disagree with the assertion that Balut is only a tradition and no one really likes it.

                                                                    As a kid growing up in P.I., it was a treat for me to get one from a street vendor on cold nights. On those nights if I heard the guy, I'd aks for permission and run outside to get one. There were usually several kids getting it. I don't think any of us cared about tradition, just that it was something good to eat.

                                                                    1. re: Jase

                                                                      Every single Filipino I know... says Balut is some kind of challenge. No one really likes it but its some kind of traditional macho [and macha =)] think to do.

                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                        All due respect to your Filipino friends, are they US raised filipinos?

                                                                        I just know that growing up in the islands lots of people liked it and it wasn't seen as a challenge. Here in the US, yeah, a lot of the younger generation filipinos don't care for it. But the older generation love it.

                                                                        I don't dispute the notion that for some it can be seen only as a challenge. But generalizing that EVERY filipino doesn't like it is a bit of a stretch. Kind of like there's only one kind of Mexican food :-), to push your specific button.

                                                                        1. re: Jase

                                                                          Most Filipinos I know... I've met in business environment and were born, raised & educated in the Pilipinas.

                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                            After 14 years living in the Philippines, people liked and ate balut.

                                                                    2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                      I'm stuck in the Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua, Guatemala's priciest hotel, this week. The only hot sauce available is Tabasco. Big old bottles of sauce oxidizing from lack of use.

                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                        I like the vinegar. I like the flavor of Tabasco chilis. Spice is secondary to me. I love spicy food, but the hot sauce must have more than heat. I really dislike most of the hot sauces that tout their heat level. If it ain't got flavor, it ain't got nothin'. Growing up in South Carolina, we used a lot of vinegar. Our bbq sauce is vinegar/mustard based. straight vinegar, or vinegar base hot sauce on our greens, vinegar based hot sauce on our fried fish & fried chicken. When my kids were young they drank vinegar. They'd finish a jar of dill pickles & drink the juice. There's no accounting for taste - we like what we like.

                                                                        1. re: rfneid

                                                                          I get the Southern predilection for vinegar from this thread... I have eaten raw, roasted & sauteed Tabasco peppers right from the source in the state of Tabasco... and I can confidently say there isn't much Tabasco chile flavor in Tabasco sauce.

                                                                      2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                        Well, I don't think it's nice to call something that other people really like "garbage" -- it's all a matter of taste.

                                                                        That said, I do like vinegar, but I do find Tabasco (and Crystal) to be not one-note but two-note: vinegar and cayenne. Not much complexity compared to something like sriracha (and since I like vinegar, I prefer a brand of sriracha that's more vinegary than the ubiquitous "rooster" brand).

                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                          You are right that was excessive and impolite... sometimes I like to wind people up. With that said I really hate it (maybe that will change when I try it on some Gumbo).

                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                            I think for the Louisiana genre food: Frank's rules Tabasco.

                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                              With all due respect Eat_Nopal.... if you don't like Tabasco now - you probably never will. Your taste buds have been edjumacated.....as they say. LOL

                                                                        2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                          Thank you, Eat_Nopal. I was wondering why the heck so many people were raving about Tabasco (unless "Tobasco" is some other sauce I'm not familiar with, but I digress). It tastes like spicy vinegar, and the vinegar flavor gets really overpowering when you want to make something hot. What kills me is it's often the only choice available in restaurants.

                                                                          My current favorite, which I've been putting on damn near everything at home, is called Salsa Encino, which I found at Northgate Mexican market here in San Diego. It's made from chile de arbol, and tastes like no other hot sauce I've had. Love it, very unique flavor.

                                                                          http://www.mexgrocer.co.uk/product.ph...

                                                                          Another one I like a lot is called Louisiana Gold - it's like a Tabasco without all the vinegar.

                                                                          Big seconds to Cholula, Sriracha, and El Yucateco.

                                                                        3. Habby Nero's: Slap Your Mama
                                                                          Purgatory: Cat Scratch Fever
                                                                          Csigi: Salubrious Savina
                                                                          CaJohn's: Sauce 10
                                                                          Melinda's: Red Savina
                                                                          El Yucateco: XXX Hot
                                                                          Brother Bru-Bru's: African Hot Sauce
                                                                          www.asskickin.com: Ass Kickin' Roasted Garlic Hot Sauce

                                                                          Nothing less than a 6 on my heat scale. All are a lot hotter than Tabasco, Crystal, or especially Texas Pete.

                                                                          1. We have Eat Nopal's dreaded Tabasco, and Cholula. Been looking for Sriracha in various stores in the Boston area for weeks. Have yet to locate it.
                                                                            To tell the truth I don't like food that blows my head off.
                                                                            Just a leeeeeetle bit hot is good for me.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              i have sriracha, too. i'm in boston, and don't have trouble finding it in the stop and shop and shaws.....

                                                                              1. re: eLizard

                                                                                Thanks eLizard.... will hit those stores ASAP.

                                                                            2. I feel the same way. Texas Pete, Cholula and Sriracha are always in stock in our pantry but nothing beats Tabasco.

                                                                              1. I have a range of hot sauces to fit the type of cuisine and my mood:

                                                                                Sriracha
                                                                                Scorned Woman Original
                                                                                Scorned Woman Sweet Hot
                                                                                Scorned Woman Chipotle
                                                                                Hawaiian Girl Chipotle Habanero
                                                                                Pikapeppa Hot Sauce
                                                                                Neilly's Ultimae Seasonings Hot Pepper Sauce
                                                                                You Cant Handle This Hot Sauce
                                                                                and some Trinidadian hot sauce made by Trinidad Gourmet restaurant in Baltimore

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: amethiste

                                                                                  I'd forgotten about Pikapeppa. Now will have to add that to my list.

                                                                                2. Personally I find Tabasco a bit watery and vinegary without enough compensating flavor. My favorite is El Yucateco, the red is a great everyday hot sauce, I also have the green and brown XXX habanero. That brand's flavors work really well for my taste buds and I always have all three in my pantry. The first time I had the red, I literally stopped in mid bite, quickly swallowed and asked to see the bottle again to double check the name. I knew I had to get some right away.

                                                                                  Frank's is good for classic Buffalo Wings. Cholula or El Tapatio is a good mainstay for flavor and mild heat for most of my friends who have low tolerance. El Tapatio is great for mixing into ketchup and dipping fries or onion rings. I peruse ethnic markets and snap up various brands to try all the time just for the different flavors. I've been trying out some South American brands lately.

                                                                                  1. Always Cholula & Frank's Red Hot. I have a jar of sambal oelek too.

                                                                                    I like Cholula as it's not as vinegary as some hot sauces and has a nice mild burn; it also just tastes really good. Frank's I keep mostly for making hot wing sauces.

                                                                                    1. Siracha
                                                                                      Tabasco
                                                                                      Texas Pete
                                                                                      Tennesee Sunshine
                                                                                      Habanero Mango from TJ's
                                                                                      Red Hot (wings and buffalo dip only)

                                                                                      1. Here's what I have now:

                                                                                        Frank's - decent every day generic hot sauce
                                                                                        Melinda XXXX reserve - used to be my favorite before finding El Yucateco
                                                                                        El Yucateco Habanero - great flavor and heat.
                                                                                        Sam's Famous Hot Sauce - even better and hotter than El Yucateco. I've only seen it sold at a bar in NYC called Waterfront Ale House.
                                                                                        Sriracha - need for chinese/thai/korean food

                                                                                        1. Sriracha, Frank's, and homemade chipotle.

                                                                                          1. Sriracha, Tapatío (on very fresh raw oysters with a squeeze of key lime) and chipotle Tabasco.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: dinner belle

                                                                                              Tabasco (the classic, the jalapeno and the chipotle), Frank's, Asbirin (which I bought because it looked so cool, then decided I love it), Walkerswood Seriously Hot Jamaican Jonkannoo and Hot Jamaican Scotch Bonnet sauces, plus a Vidalia onion and orange hot sauce from a local farm stand.

                                                                                            2. Frank's
                                                                                              Tabasco Brand Habanero
                                                                                              Sriracha
                                                                                              Homemade Concoction: one pint heinz distilled vinegar
                                                                                              one can chipotles in adobo
                                                                                              one small head roasted garlic
                                                                                              liberal pinch of kosher salt (run through the blender or food
                                                                                              processor)
                                                                                              Always subject to change.

                                                                                              1. Tabasco (classic)
                                                                                                Frank's
                                                                                                El Yucateco Habanero (red)
                                                                                                Mad Dog Liquid Fire (tasty!)
                                                                                                Bustelo's Very Hot Pepper Sauce (disappointing purchase from Sonoma Cty. not that hot)
                                                                                                Marie Sharp's Habanero

                                                                                                I've had the Walkerswood's Jamaican hot sauces, and definitely lump them in the peppers and vinegar category, with not much going on except their humorous labels.

                                                                                                BTW, I don't keep 'em in the fridge. What for?

                                                                                                1. Fun thread! I currently have:

                                                                                                  Tabasco - red (of course), green (which I put on everything), and chipotle(boring).
                                                                                                  Crystal - I wanted Frank's but found Crystal first.
                                                                                                  El Yucateco green habanero sauce.
                                                                                                  The Wizard organic hot stuff - boring but organic and gluten-free.
                                                                                                  Tuong Ot Sriracha - but that's another thread.
                                                                                                  Clean Your Clock hot sauce - for the name (I'll never open this one).
                                                                                                  *** Marie Sharp's Grapefruit Habanero sauce - I LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff! It's spicy but not too hot, fruity, and tangy. It's perfect on fried plantains or black beans.

                                                                                                  Anne

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                                    Anne, I've never tried Crystal, and you've got it next to Frank's here. Do the two taste similar? I always imagined it more like Tabasco.

                                                                                                    1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                      I don't know how similar Crystal and Frank's are, because I can't find Frank's hot sauce anywhere in town. (Although I've only looked in two grocery stores...)

                                                                                                      My recollection is that both are red and vinegary, and are "milder" than Tabasco - that is, I can use more of them than of the red Tabasco. But I wish I could do a side-by-side comparison!

                                                                                                      Anne

                                                                                                      1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                                        I think Franks' has more fruity flavor than Crystal. Crystal to me is very tart and thin in flavor.

                                                                                                  2. I find tobasco's regular (plain) hot sauce to be inferior - it tastes too much like just plain vinegar - if it's aged as they claim it is I sure as heck don't taste it

                                                                                                    one of my favorites is Texas Pete's - it has such a nice salty, savory flavor, and you can usually find it in larger-than-usual bottles for cheap - this is my general hot sauce

                                                                                                    Garlic Tobasco sauce goes great with pizza and Italian food, and is just very tasty in general from the garlic

                                                                                                    Cholula has a nice consistency and a somewhat sweet-and-smoky flavor

                                                                                                    Sriracha for Thai/Southeast Asian food, also it just has a really good distinctive sweet, garlicky taste

                                                                                                    Tabasco habanero blend - solely to clear my nose when it's really stuffed and normal hot sauce won't do the trick

                                                                                                    and I should probably start keeping Tabasco's jalapeno (green) hot sauce, for cooking when I need to add some heat, but with a green pepper flavor, as opposed to red pepper (I was in this situation the other night when I was making this Armenian/Middle Eastern eggplant-tomato dip, and I didn't have any of this hot sauce)

                                                                                                    keep these on hand and you'l be covering all your bases - and remember it never hurts to buy all these because hot sauce never really goes bad, even at room temperature - even if you buy more than you'll use for a long time, the hot sauce won't go bad, and you will eventually use it all up

                                                                                                    1. Tabasco (or an analog ... I can't taste that much difference) - I have had several "new" styles produced by the Tabasco people and they're OK, but for any of those styles I like the latin-import originals (let McIlhenny stick to what they do best), including habanero and chipotle.

                                                                                                      Also got Sriracha (who could do without it?) and just about any brand of sambal oelek, and Chinese hot oil (I prefer the kind in a jar with lots of macerated dried peppers included)

                                                                                                      1. in the fridge & cabinet right now:

                                                                                                        cholula
                                                                                                        red rooster
                                                                                                        frank's red hot
                                                                                                        busha browne's pukka hot pepper sauce
                                                                                                        sambal oelek [indonesian chili paste]
                                                                                                        huy fong sriracha
                                                                                                        trader joe's jalapeno hot sauce
                                                                                                        tabasco original
                                                                                                        tabasco green
                                                                                                        tabasco smoked chipotle
                                                                                                        dave's gourmet insanity hot sauce
                                                                                                        dave's gourmet scotch bonnet sauce
                                                                                                        pickapeppa
                                                                                                        tapatio
                                                                                                        and a habanero [i think] mustard sauce missing its label...which is too bad because it's delish & i can't remember where i bought it!

                                                                                                        i know...it's a long list. what can i say? i love my heat. and hey, variety IS the spice of life ;)

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                          ok, here's a sign that i might be a wee bit too obsessed with CH...woke up in the middle of the night excited because i remembered the name of the label-less mystery sauce in my fridge!

                                                                                                          uncle dougie's habanero mustard hot sauce. good stuff.

                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                            did you remember where you got it? is it really habanero hot? i am not usually a hab fan.

                                                                                                            p.s. mr. alkapal is always mock exasperated/complaining: "Let me guess," he says, "Chowhound!"

                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                              i'm pretty sure it came from one of 2 places...either "cardiff seaside market" in north county san diego, or the whole foods market in la jolla.

                                                                                                              i'll have to see if any of the WF stores here in l.a. have it.

                                                                                                              btw, i looked it up online, and the full name is "uncle dougie's bada boom habaero mustard hot sauce."

                                                                                                              these are the ingredients to gie you some idea of the flavor: habanero peppers, mustard, vinegar, garlic, salt, turmeric, and paprika.

                                                                                                              obviously since habaneros are the first ingredient, yes, it's pretty darn hot...but i love fiery sauces, and i love that you can also taste the mustard in this one. actually, the first thing you taste is mustard, and then the habanero kicks in...and stays with you. so if habaneros are to hot for you, this sauce may be a bit much for your palate. personally, i've yet to find a sauce that was "too" hot for me, but i also think i've fried/desensitized my taste buds after using so much of it for so long!

                                                                                                              p.s. there is no mr. ghg [yet], but i don't have a single friend or family member who "gets" hound-ism. it's one of the many reasons they all think i'm nuts :)

                                                                                                        2. Sriracha
                                                                                                          Chile Garlic Paste
                                                                                                          Cholula
                                                                                                          homemade chopped salted chiles

                                                                                                          1. Sriracha, Sambal and Tabasco Chipotle sauce.

                                                                                                            I do like Texas Pete and don't much care for regular Tabasco. Too vinegary for me.

                                                                                                            DT

                                                                                                            1. My favorite is Tapatio. I agree that classic Tabasco is garbage. The only Tabasco I have any use for is the sweet and hot variety, mixed with lime juice, maple syrup, ground chipotle, and diced sweet onions, for fresh onion chutney!

                                                                                                              1. I've used just about every brand mentioned so far at one time or another. I'm a "hot sauce for every purpose, a purpose for every hot sauce" kind of guy. My modest collection has around 300 different brands.* But there are always open bottles of original Tobasco, Crystal, and Sriracha in my fridge.

                                                                                                                Aside from those and the hot sauce I make myself, the only other one that I use frequently that I havent seen mentioned yet is Cajun Power Hot sauce with garlic.

                                                                                                                *I said different BRANDS rather than different SAUCES on purpose, as I am convinced that many of those novelty sauces with names like "Smokin' Butt" and "Firey B*tch in Heat" are the same sauce with a 'cute' label slapped on the bottle. I dont seek these out, but have received many as gifts. Most will remain unopened.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                                  Cajun Power Garlic is a wonderful marinade and finishing sauce. Funny, I use it but never really considered it a "hot sauce". Good stuff.

                                                                                                                  1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                                                    Cajun Power Garlic Sauce is a different product from the Cajun Power Hot Sauce with garlic. But you are absloutely correct about the glories of the garlic sauce. I frequently add a tablespoon or two to soups, in addition to use as a marinade.

                                                                                                                    OK, this is upsetting; I just looked at the Cajun Power website in order to provide a link to the Hot Sauce, and I no longer find it listed! They do make something they call "Louisiana Lightening Strike" Hot Sauce, and I'll bet it's real good, but the hot sauce with garlic was something special.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                                      I think this will help.
                                                                                                                      http://www.cajunpowersauce.com/produc...

                                                                                                                      DT

                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                        I saw that one; that's not it. I'll keep looking.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                                          I have both at home and they taste the same except one is hotter than the other.

                                                                                                                          That damned website made buy a 4 pack of Uncle Easy's Chipotle Sauce. You just can't go to it without buying something. They're evil.

                                                                                                                          DT

                                                                                                                2. There's not enough room here for all of the sauces I've ended up with, but for regular day to day use, the ones that I keep in the kitchen fridge are; Sriricha, Lousiana, Panola Pepper sauce, Tabasco(Jalapeno), Pickapeppa, and Sunny Carribee mustard hot sauce. These run the gamut of flavors and intensity, depending on what I'm using them for and my mood.

                                                                                                                  1. This is what is open and in use at this time, presented pretty much in the order of use:

                                                                                                                    Blair's Jalapeno Death
                                                                                                                    Tapatio
                                                                                                                    El Yucateco Kutkil-ik De
                                                                                                                    El Yucateco Caribbean
                                                                                                                    El Yucateco Red
                                                                                                                    El Yucateco Green
                                                                                                                    Crystal
                                                                                                                    Dave's Temporary Insanity
                                                                                                                    Melinda's Original
                                                                                                                    Pickapeppa
                                                                                                                    Beasleys Scotch Bonnet
                                                                                                                    Tabasco
                                                                                                                    Tabasco Habanero
                                                                                                                    Tabasco Chipotle
                                                                                                                    Buffalo Jalapeno
                                                                                                                    Buffalo Chipotle
                                                                                                                    Texas Pete's
                                                                                                                    Sriracha

                                                                                                                    I have a few unopened bottles of other brands waiting their turn in the rotation.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                                                      Bufalo use to be a childhood favorite of mine... I would add to my mom's Fideo (vermicelli in Mexican style tomato sauce), ABCs, Stars etc., I bought I bottle recently after many years and was disappointed to read the ingredient label they have reformulated and introduced dyes & stuff that I KNOW weren't there before.... because I kept on old bottle (glass) filled with colored salt... as a childhood memory.

                                                                                                                    2. As an alternate to Frank's, I really enjoy Tony Roma's hot sauce that I buy at Costco. I think the flavor is better. Has anyone else tried this?

                                                                                                                      1. My fav for years has been Trinidad Habanero Sauce. It is one of the few that has good heat, yet you can still taste the habanero in it. I think it is a great hot sauce for people that don't like hot sauce because of the flavor. I can put a dollop in palm and lap it up straight with no ill effects. Great in eggs too. Not always easy to find though.
                                                                                                                        I am happy to see all the Texas Pete fans. I grew up in Winston-Salem and T.P. was, and to this day, still is on the table of every good meat and three restaurant. Empty bottles are great for holding toothpicks!

                                                                                                                        1. I´m in an internet cafe in Guatemala. I have a bottle of some terrible green hot sauce in my hotel room. At home I have a bottle of green sauce from Mexico that turned out to be really good. I dry chilis at home and take dried chilis back from where ever I am in order to make my own sauces from both dried and from fresh chilis that we grow in Colombia.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                            That kind of reminds me of stories of various famous Mexican artists, musicians, composers, diplomats etc., who would go to New York, Paris, Vienna in the early 20th Century and would discretely carry around tins filled with the classic Tres Chiles Paste (Ancho, Pasilla & Guajillo) in their coat pockets... and would spread it on breads, hors d'oeuvres when no one was looking as a way to curb homesickness.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                              EN, good one! I have to carry some form of chili (usually one of my dried chile grinds) with me always!

                                                                                                                          2. I love Chipotle Tabasco!

                                                                                                                            1. I like to spread the heat around, so there is always Tabasco, both at work and home, but in addition to plain Tabasco, there is Tabasco Sweet & Hot (not much to it, just red and sticky, not much heat),Green and Habanero. Also on hand is Simbal, Sriracha, Tiger Sauce, Pick-A-Peppa, Choulula, Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, and a nameless concoction
                                                                                                                              made up by my Thai Aunt that I haven't worked up the nerve to try it yet!

                                                                                                                              1. from what it sounds like, you definitely like a hot sauce that is heavy on vinegar. i'd suggest red devil, which is similar to tobasco, but maybe a little milder. of course if you were to go a couple of different ways here are some suggestions;

                                                                                                                                buffalo chipotle sauce
                                                                                                                                tapatio (like others have suggested)
                                                                                                                                siracha
                                                                                                                                huy fong chili garlic sauce
                                                                                                                                pri mevorah's harissa hot sauce puree
                                                                                                                                etc etc etc....

                                                                                                                                you can also search for many such things at this place:
                                                                                                                                http://www.kalustyans.com

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: artfuldestruct

                                                                                                                                  kalustyan's rocks for uncommom/hard-to-find ingredients. pricey, but their selection is unbeatable. i used to shop there regularly when i lived in nyc..man do i miss THAT convenience.

                                                                                                                                2. Jufran Hot Banana Ketchup
                                                                                                                                  Sriracha
                                                                                                                                  Tobasco

                                                                                                                                  1. oh no ..... my bottle of Tapatio on the counter .... i just looked at ingredient list: XANTHAN GUM! why oh why?

                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                      why are you freaking out about xanthan gum?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                        ghg, i hate the gums! they hate me! i am not freaking out, just being exasperated at the ubiquitous gums -- guar, locust bean and their other thickener cousins, agar and carrageenan.
                                                                                                                                        http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-carra...

                                                                                                                                        plus, it doesn't seem necessary in a pepper and vinegar (well, technically on the label, acetic acid) sauce:
                                                                                                                                        http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-xanth...
                                                                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetic_acid

                                                                                                                                        ah, the joys of deconstruction.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                          the only reason i was asking is because i have a graduate degree in nutrition & food science...so if you were concerned about the health implications i wanted to put your mind at ease from a safety perspective.

                                                                                                                                          but i understand your frustration. i'm of a similar philosphy...the more "pure" my food is, the happier i am.

                                                                                                                                          do the gums upset your stomach? guar is typically the biggest gastrointestinal offender of the bunch.

                                                                                                                                          anyway, look at it this way...at least there isn't any HFCS lurking in your tapatio!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                            yes, let's look on the bright side!
                                                                                                                                            p.s. i used to practice food and drug law.
                                                                                                                                            in any event, guar is evil!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                              why do you think guar is so evil? because of its potential to cause gatric distress? it actually has some beneficial health properties...

                                                                                                                                    2. I am addicted to Tabasco's green chile sauce. Mind jalapeno, and fantastic on cheese quesadillas.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                        I also love Trinadad Hot Sauce. (Not the XXX)

                                                                                                                                        When I can't find that 911 is very close to it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                          Try the green tabasco on scrambled eggs. It's HEAVEN!

                                                                                                                                          Anne

                                                                                                                                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                                                                            and for the perfect finish, top with some chopped fresh cilantro if you happen to have it on hand...the flavors work beautifully together.

                                                                                                                                        2. Sriracha
                                                                                                                                          Harissa ( I so far like Moustapha's Harissa best)
                                                                                                                                          Louisiana Hot Sauce (1 drop doesn't do it though, haha)
                                                                                                                                          Louisiana Gold Hot Sauce, yum!
                                                                                                                                          and just discovered tonight Iguana Habanero, pretty spicy but a good pepper flavor!
                                                                                                                                          oh and of course Tabasco Chipotle!

                                                                                                                                          almost forgot, mix Franks Hot Sauce with ranch dressing for an amazing dip for (fried) chicken!

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariekeac

                                                                                                                                            The Rah Bar on Jekyll Island (GA) mixes Frank's with butter and serves with their steamed shrimp. I could drink the stuff.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: dinner belle

                                                                                                                                              dinner belle, isn't that basically a "wings" sauce -- butter and frank's?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                Don't make wings myself, but have never had them taste this buttery. Maybe they just use more than usually called for.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: dinner belle

                                                                                                                                                  For 10-12 chicken wings, 1/4 to 3/4 C hot pepper sauce, 1/4 cup butter,

                                                                                                                                                  -- ratio from a cooks.com recipe

                                                                                                                                          2. I was always a Tabasco man, myself. But at some point in the past couple years, I moved on to Frank's Red Hot, at which point I began branching out to sauces like El Tapatio, Cholula, Sriracha, harissa and sambal oelek. They all have their place as the perfect condiment for different foods. Plus, in retrospect, Tabasco and Frank's are incredibly tame compared to the newer wave of hot sauces.

                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                              I think too many of the new wave of hot sauces are about being hot. Not about being good.

                                                                                                                                              DT

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                agreed, davwud.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                  You sure are right about that. I dont know about other collectors, but that is exactly why I have so many different brands at home but only actually use a handful. I liken it to a guitar player who can play every scale in every key at every speed imaginable, but cant play a song as simple as "Wipe Out"! (and I've known more than a few of those.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                                                                    How true. I've ruined many a dish by making so hot that nobody could enjoy it. As I've matured, I've finally realized that it's about flavor, not seeing who has the biggest, um, how shall we say, "chili pod", in the bunch.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                                                                                      it's also important to respect that everyone has different tolerances & preferences. when cooking for others i constantly have to remind myself that not everyone can handle the level of heat to which i've become accustomed. oftentimes i'll use just a bit in the entire recipe, and then "enhance" my own portion with as much extra heat as i want, and offer extra hot sauce, pepper, etc. for anyone else who wants to do the same.

                                                                                                                                                      btw, Fydeaux...i now have the stupid intro to "wipe out" stuck in my head!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                        Mea culpa. If it's any consolation, so do I.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                    I absolutely agree!! That's why Sriracha is so good, such a good flavor!! Tried Dave's Insanity today, my tongue seriously felt like I'd burned it!! way too hot, you can't taste anything!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                                      Agreed. Some of the really hot sauces have the nastiest aftertaste once you get past the capsaicin. Those are really just for fratboys who want to prove who can tolerate the heat. But when done properly, these new, spicier sauces really give you the kick you just can't get from the old style of hot sauce. It takes nearly half the bottle of tabasco on my eggs before I even begin to sense something.

                                                                                                                                                  3. Should hot sauce be kept in the fridge? I look at the ingredients and don't see a need. Am I nuts?

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                                                                      Room temperature is fine & best.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                                                                                                        no need unless the label specifies.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Easily found hot sauces (always in my house) are Tapatio Hot Sauce, Cholula Hot Sauce and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. I think everyone has their favorite, mine is Tapatio, my daughters is Cholula, it's really up to you! (I also have green and red Tabasco sauce in my kitchen)

                                                                                                                                                        1. I have Tabasco or Franks in the house at all times. I use a splash in eggs, meat marinades, wind sauce, quiche, etc.

                                                                                                                                                          I also have some homemade piri-piri sauce made with peppers from my garden.

                                                                                                                                                          I am dying to try sriracha. I keep reading about it on the boards, but keep forgetting to buy it at the store. Maybe I should say I keep forgetting to put it on the list to buy it at the store!

                                                                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                                                                                                                            We went food shoppng again today and still have not found Sriracha. I cannot believe this. We went to the stores that were referenced on the Boston board..... still no Sriracha. I may just have to research the ingredients and make it myself. Is that a possibility? I make many of my own seasoning concoctions... so why not hot sauce?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                              it's crazy that you can't find it. not even at asian markets? it's such a common condiment!

                                                                                                                                                              at this point you might just want to order it online.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                I know - silly, isn't it? I even spelled the name out to the people in the aisle stocking the shelves with hot sauces. Arrrrggggg..... you're probably right though. I'll order it on line. Thanks for your sympathy!!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                  Have you tried Super Target or Super Walmart?? I've seen it at both...

                                                                                                                                                                  Did a little search, Supertarget North of Boston There's one in Somerville, Everett and Revere... Anything close??

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                Before I knew the name, I always called it "rooster sauce", because the label has a rooster on it. I guarantee you, if there's a neighborhood in your area that has a large Asian population then a market serving that population will sell it.

                                                                                                                                                                If you have a Whole Foods, you should also look there. They may carry it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks Josh. Rooster sauce..... I'll have to remember that. There's an Asian market in the next town over. That's the next place I'll try before resorting to DIY.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                    the brand name of the rooster sauce is "huy fong." clear plastic bottle [so the bright red contents are obviously visible] with a bright green twist/squeeze nozzle.

                                                                                                                                                                    here's a link to some photos so you know exactly what to look for...

                                                                                                                                                                    http://images.google.com/images?ie=UT...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, the best hot sauce I ever had was some I made myself, but it was a lot of work. I used red and green cayenne and tabasco, poblanos, seranos, pequin, habanero, pequillos, New Mexicos, roasted red bell peppers and flavored with cloves, allspice, garlic, bay leaf, cardamom, mustard seed, cider vinegar and water, cooked several hours over low heat until the peppers were pretty soft, then ran the whole thing through a very fine sieve and bottled it. I made about 2 quarts of really rich, pretty hot and had a whole lot of flavor; much more flavor than heat, even though it was quite hot. It was difficult to breathe or see in the kitchen even with the vent hood going full blast. I've had plans to do it again several times but each time, my wife would talk me out of it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                                        reminds me of an episode of "the secret life of..." on tvfn a few years ago. jim o'connor visited one of the many indian restaurants in the "curry hill" neighborhood of manhattan, and got a behind-the-scenes look at how they make a particular curry that's so hot, apparently they require customers to sign a release form before eating it...and the guys in the kitchen preparing the curry wear GAS MASKS.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                                          I am a born and raised New Orleanian and about 15 years ago had a little apartment in Mid-City a couple of blocks from the Baumer/Crystal plant located behind the Rock 'n Bowl/Mid-City lanes. The bright red peppers would be delivered by fleet of open top tractor-trailers that you could see lined up as you drove past on the elevated I-10. Some mornings you could walk outside and smell the vinigary hot sauce in the air on the days they were cooking a new batch up.

                                                                                                                                                                          Ahhhhhh ... the good old days.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                                            While I applaud your inventiveness, I wonder why you would want to create such a potent, blow-your-head-off accompaniment to good food.
                                                                                                                                                                            How long did the 2 quarts last? How could you taste the flavor if you couldn't even breathe or see? I'm just wondering.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                              Actually, many dishes have a more caustic effect on the air in the kitchen than they do on the palate. For example, stir-frying curry paste can cause coughing and watery eyes even when the final product is only moderately spicy.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                See, this is the true test of someone who CLAIMS to be into spice, and a pretender. You CAN taste the food with blow-you-head-off spice. It is not mutually exclusive. But, if you can't take it, that's OK, but don't question the ability to taste. Because die-hards can. Don't worry, you can stil enjoy your milk and cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                  Although it was hot, probably comparable to Crystal or Frank's, it had a ton of flavor from the spices and the sweet peppers. I shared 1 qt., but the other only lasted about 6-8 months. If I keep thinking about it, I may just have to make some more soon.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                              I say "cockerel" instead of rooster. It might be a regional thing. But in any case, because of that, we always called that hot sauce "Crazy Cock Sauce." We've had some horrified stares from outsiders.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Hopefully not duplicating. I tried to read all posts. I was raised on Tabasco so that is the taste can ask for and use as needed in bland situations. However, I encourage you to explore the Island flavor of Marie Sharp (big web biz). I get the various ones at a local national grocery chain in an area catering to Island ex-pats. They have the habanero fruity edge but are very hot.

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: torty

                                                                                                                                                                            What Island would that be?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                              A good question, given that Marie Sharp is based in Belize, which, last time I looked, had not floated out to sea. Nor do they make any sauce named Island or Island Flavor, just (in ascending order of heat) Mild, Hot, Fiery Hot, Belizean Heat, No Wimps Allowed, and Beware, plus a few flavored sauces (Grapefruit Habañero, anyone?).

                                                                                                                                                                              They do offer on their Web site to make private labeled sauces though, so maybe someone special-ordered something called Island flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                i think torty means carribbean.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. if you google map "thailand sriracha" you can get a quickie travelogue of photos of the seaside town of Sriracha in Thailand. (mods: this post is to help all hounds know more about their good chow!)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. FYI.... NPR just did a segment on Tabasco sauce & the family that owns the company. They were originally in the Sugar Plantation business but they were kicked off Avery Island & their business burned. After they were allowed to return they started the condiment business. It sounds like the current leadership is pretty clueless & its compromised because the stocks are divided across too many heirs... no one can think far ahead enough to spend money promoting the brand.

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                I have a great book on hot peppers, titled simply Peppers, by Amal Naj. He devotes two entire chapters to the history of Tabasco, including extensive accounts of some of the more nefarious business practices of the McIlhenny company, such as getting a corrupt New Orleans judge in 1948 to grant them exclusive rights to the use of the name Tabasco, which up until then simply designated the type of pepper used in the sauce. It was as if a judge today declared that only one company could use the name jalapeño. Outrageous!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                  E-N,

                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually they have done a pretty good job of promoting the Tabasco brand name. There are all kids of Tabasco paraphanalia, clothes, ties, etc available (here in N.O. and I would assume nationally/internationally).

                                                                                                                                                                                  What they haven't done well is promote the actual hot sauce products themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Just IMO...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Diamondsea

                                                                                                                                                                                    That may just be the legacy of a profession marketing executive they hired to promote the brand... and fired after only a year because they couldn't stomach the investment.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Arizona Gunslinger
                                                                                                                                                                                  Salsa Huichal picante
                                                                                                                                                                                  Dona Maya Chiltepin
                                                                                                                                                                                  Tabasco
                                                                                                                                                                                  and of course
                                                                                                                                                                                  Sriracha

                                                                                                                                                                                  I prefer the habanero flavor of Gunslinger, but I use the chitepin on most breakfast dishes since it reminds me of relaxing mornings in Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: azhotdish

                                                                                                                                                                                    Dona Maya Chiltepin

                                                                                                                                                                                    Nice... I've never seen that one around. Fortunately, my local market does carry dried Chiltepins.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                                      Living in Phoenix, many of that style hot sauce can be found at a place called (Phoenix) Ranch Market.
                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.prosranch.com/
                                                                                                                                                                                      I've found this style extremely common around the Guaymas/San Carlos area.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I like sriracha hot chili sauce. I have a bottle in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm not a big hot sauce person, but on american-style tacos (think 80'style), which I rarely even make anymore, I love lots of tabasco. both of my divorced parents made this, both claim to have invented it :)
                                                                                                                                                                                      i loved it growing up:
                                                                                                                                                                                      2pans: fry onions in oil in both, add black-eyed peas to one, ground beef to the other, add ketchup, worchestire, and soy sauce to taste (roughly 2tbs ketchup/dash worche/dash soy sauce). when everything is well cooked, add to fried corn tortillas with gaucomole, sour cream, some shredded cheddar cheese on the bottom, maybe some lettuce, and lots of tabasco on top.
                                                                                                                                                                                      maybe i wil make this if i can find a not too sweet ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. i had sriracha on steamed broccoli and diced potatoes at the food court before going to see "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." I had bizarre dreams all night. any insights? (BTW, movie good!)

                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                          you sure it wasn't because of the movIe? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                          actually, i'd be willing to bet that the sriracha or the veggies contained MSG. it can frequently cause bizarre dreams, nightmares, and hallucinations in sensitive people.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                            does sriracha have msg? i'll look into that. the broccoli was steamed, though. but, you know, i DID have some stir fry dish. the culprit? they SAY no msg, but they LIE! (someone could get hurt!)

                                                                                                                                                                                            once, i know msg in doritos gave me a big headache (my niece and i snuck in a big bag to the theatre seeing ghostbusters (again). we polished off the bag and on the way home both of us had headaches.....

                                                                                                                                                                                            "who ya gonna call?"

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                              MGH sensitivity (and negative MSG side effects) is largely mythical in nature.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                                                                our headaches after the big bag of doritos were not mythical.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Let's see - Tabasco, Tabasco Garlic, Tabasco Habanero, Tabasco Jalapeno, Tabasco Chipotle, Franks, a whole assortment of generic and off-brand red and green sauces, and several sample bottles of Insanity/Death/Pain sauces my Dad picks me up on vacation but I haven't got around to opening. But we've got a reasonable assortment to choose from.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Tapatio
                                                                                                                                                                                            *unsure brand* Mexican Green habanero hot sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                            "The Chicken" Sriracha Vietnamese Hot sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                            Barbadan Chili Garlic sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                            Barbadan Yellow Pepper hot sauce (mustardy base-delicious!)
                                                                                                                                                                                            the rarely-used in my home Tabasco.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I actually really like Buffalo Wild Wing's medium wing sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I like Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning. It's a paste. I little goes a long way. It's complex and delicious. Just thinking of it triggers a Pavlov's dog response in me! Thin with melted butter for hot chicken wings. Can't be beat!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Right now, I have Frank's Red Hot with Chile and Lime. The heat's the same as the regular Frank's, but the lime flavor gives it a nice taste. Another brand I liked to buy in the past was Trappy's. I think it's hotter than Frank's. I've also tried one of the "Death" sauces, you know, the one with the skull key chain? I thought with a name like Death, my head would blow straight off, but to me, it's about the same as everything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next to wasabi, everything else is just plain wimpy, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I've got about 20 different hot sauces. Each have a slightly different heat/flavor combo. Usually I prefer the N.O. standard, Tabasco because it's flavorful but not really hot. But if you want HOT, try Melinda's Red Savina Habanaro...over 577,000 scoville units YIKES!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Diamondsea

                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you really really want hot, try some Endorphin Rush. It's not good for anything but wiping out your tough friends, as I have never met anyone who could take more than a toothpick tip's worth of it. I think it is some sort of chemically isolated capsicum, but it's a burner

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tijuana Flats has that as one of their featured sauces. It's ~33k SHU if my Googling is correct. Definitely an extract sauce, the bitter taste gives it away. You can do more than a toothpick if you're eating it with food, but it's still a bit much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Diamondsea

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've tried Melinda's Red Savina. I doubt it's more than 12-15k Scoville Units. When compared to, for example, Mad Dog 357 (357,000 SHU) it's practically mild. A toothpick dipped in Mad Dog is like slicing your tongue with a knife, with a good 1 hour burn afterwards. Melinda's burn is 10-15 minutes max.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Tapatio
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sriracha

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pretty much takes care of all our needs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I swear by Frank's when it comes to cooking american style food such as wings. I like a variety of Mexican sauces, including Cholula, Yucateca,Valentina, and Herdez green. I agree with those who absolutely can live without Tabasco. Once, on a drunken night in AZ, an acquaintance swore he could make BBQ sauce with Tabasco and ketchup. Needless to say it didn't go over well. Terri-bile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for the Balut debate-I'm not touching the stuff and neither is my P.I. born mother. No disrespect as there are those who do. I think it may be a regional thing. We are a Visayan troupe. I'm open to suggestions on that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. poblano, red & green & sriracha

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. sriracha is always in my fridge but lately i have been liking this peri peri sauce from africa. good flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I Actually have a question if someone will help me with it...a family member had been given a hot sauce called "The Source Hot Sauce" if anyone wants to see what it is here is the website. http://www.cosmicchile.com/site/the-s... it was in the other persons fridge for 5 years and my family members throat closed up...can someone tell me if a hot sauce like this would still be good after 5 years of having it in the refrigerator? if anyone cal please email me at Foxygurl2006420@msn.com Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Tabasco??? Please Tabasco is for people who like vineagar and water. And really what's hot about it? Here's what we have in our house...Tapatio...Salsa Habanera by Castillo...Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce by Huy Fong Foods, as well as their Chili Garlic Sauce and their Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste...and Cholula. Now we're talking hot sauces!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: crt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What's wrong with vinegar? I think sour is a highly under-appreciated flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Humbucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the vinegar isnt an issue for me...i love vinegar...but I have to say, tabasco just doesnt excite me in the least! Tabasco, Texas pete...SO many better options out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: crt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have been a Tabasco girl since forever. But, since reading about other hot sauces, I have tried to branch out and find out what all the shouting was about regarding the primo sauces of choice for all the CHers here. First to buy was Cholula. Not bad, did not sear my mouth lining which is a good thing. Finally, after many forays in unknown territories, i.e. ethnic markets, found Sriracha and the Chili Garlic Paste in an Asian market in the next town.. Now I understand the difference between Tabasco and other hot sauces. The taste is remarkably different in each which I find exciting. Still, I maintain there is a niche that Tabasco fills and I won't foresake it any time soon. So much for trying to edumacate someone as stubborn as I am. BTW: No milk & cookies. I'm watching my figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. A man once said, hot sauce addiction is similar to ones of narcotics. You start off with the lite stuff and after that there is no turning back. I dont know too much about drug addiction but I can say that I am a proud a hot sauce junkie :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My new favorite hot sauce is the Chipotle Hot Sauce but Scorpion Bay Gourmet Hot Sauce. This amazing chocolate chipotle hot sauce has very complex flavor with great viscosity. I need to make some chicken wings with these chipotle hot hot sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Check out their site: http://www.scorpionbayhotsauce.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Here's a site devoted to a *huge* variety of hot sauces. And other food stuffs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.hotsauceworld.com/index.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tabasco of course, the smoked Tabasco, the hot sauce from Wintzell's Oyster House, one from Paducah Bank, Tiger Sauce, Carolina Critter Sauce in all levels (love that stuff!), Crystal, and a bottle of the vinegar with peppers I stole from Steak and Shake!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. My favorite hot sauces are:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tapotia- to eat with shrimp cocktail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Amor- a must to eat with churritos and limon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chamoy- for pico de gallo and mangos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I usually have the following in my house:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tabasco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sambal Oelek
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sriracha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Salsa Molcajete (homemade)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love hot spicy food and also have jalapenos in rounds for nachos, chipotle in adobo in cans, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, and some powdered chiles that I brought from Mexico (chile arbol, pequin, chipotle, jalapeno and ancho which isn't very hot). I just bought some piri piri and will try them; I've heard they're very hot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Has anyone tried Frank's Red Hot Chili Lime sauce? I'm not sure if it's new, but I found it at the grocery store the other day & thought I'd try it...I think it's good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Just graduated from Tobasco myself. I had a late night meal at Zippiz on Park Ave. here in NYC, and discovered El Yucateco green.My goodness, the heat was nothing that I ever experienced before. I'm craving a bottle of that stuff; where can I find it in NYC?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, in my search for it, at the local Waldbaums, I came across Jamaican Choice brand 'XXX Hell Hot Pepper" concentrate hot sauce. Plenty hot for my taste. My sense is that anything with sodium content at 4% + per serving is hot enough (this one is 4.25, and I think El Yucateco is 5). Thoughts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cblue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Any bodega should have El Yucateco. I'm told there are many in NYC. My favorite is El Yucateco Red. I can't stand Jamaican Choice, it's an extract sauce (bitter).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cblue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      El Yucateco is suprising hard to find in NY. I've seen it consistently at Kalustyans though. And if you think the green is hot, try the muddy brown one. It'll take the paint off a wall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I am a big fan of the Sriracha hot sauce. It has a good consistency and a fantastic flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tobasco and Franks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Reporting back after my foray into the wonderful world of hot sauce. This week I bought my *second* bottle of Sriracha. I can even spell it without looking it up. I hope Eat Nopal is suitably proud of me. I actually like it very much. But just in case, there's an unopened bottle of the dreaded Tabasco in the pantry. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. We don't use it much, but always have one on hand. We usually bring it from our travels abroad - this time it is a mexican sauce bought in Puerto Vallarta last year- the name is Valentina Salsa Picante. I actually asked a woman in the store for recomendation and she pointed to this one. It's a big bottle, I am sure it will last us for a few years:))))
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Years ago we bought a bottle of a hot sauce in Bermuda-idon't remeber the name-it was the most flavorful hot sauce I ever tasted! I never found it in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: polish_girl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Valentina is fairly easy to find in the US. Even my local Italian market has some.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. All these great posts and no one has mentioned one of my favorites: Dat'l Do-It sauce from Florida, made with Datil peppers from the St. Augustine area. Heat AND flavor. Plenty of both. It's tomato-based, not vinegar-based. A nice departure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've tried Dat'l Do-It. Too mild, and it tastes too much like ketchup. If they kicked it up several notches and threw out the sugar it would be much improved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Crystal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Frank's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hog's Breath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sambal oelek
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Shula's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sriracha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tabasco (I only have for guests, btw it's the only one that has vinegar as main ingredient)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Depending on the effect I want, these are our basics:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bufalo Chipotle (hot, dark and rich)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sriracha (hot hot and slightly sweet)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sambal (spicy hot and lightly rich)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tabasco (clean hot and nicely vinegary)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Homemade:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Get out the camp stove and go outside (if you don't have a powerful evacuation fan over your stove) and dry roast some chiles de Japon and/or arbol chiles.. whole (we have our old warped cast iron skillet.. aka The Comal for this). Stuff them in wine bottles (or any bottles.. this is how we do it) about half full. Dry roast whole garlic cloves until they have a few black spots (this lightky cooks them and keeps them from turning green).. add to bottle. Slip in some roasted cumin and coriander seed if you wish. Pour in REAL apple vinegar (not "apple flavored") or whatever vinegar you favor, and seal with wine corks you've par-boiled a few minutes (makes them soft). Store in a cool dark place for from a few weeks up to years. We strain the hot hot vinegar into another bottle for the table and add more vinegar to the original bottle for one more go 'round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I find regular Tabasco to be VERY overrated. Their chipotle (smokey) sauce is very nice though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My favourite by far is Cholula, it is so unique I have never had another hot sauce like it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: infernooo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed! Love Cholula. Still have to keep a bottle of Sriracha sauce around though, as it works better with non-Mexican foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. So far, I find that nothing beats out Grace's. Just enough vinegar so that it isn't as sour as Tabasco, and that distinctive "hot sauce" flavor is intense. Not to mention the heat is pretty intense, but not enough to make you cry. I find Frank's a little on the salty side and Crystal's to taste like tomato sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: takadi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They've come and they've gone, some too hot to put more than a drop, what's the point?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And Tabasco remains, the former and current champ. IF they don't mess with the formula, Tabasco will be the king in the next century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If I'm looking for that vinegar kick, Tabasco is the first I grab. I love putting it over greens, fried wontons, and in salsa or guacamole. Other than that, I just find it to be spicy vinegar rather than hot sauce. Again, it's just a matter of personal taste so it depends