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Louisiana-style Hot Sauces

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Could some folks - maybe Yats (you know who you are) - please discuss the similarities and differences among Tabasco (original, I suppose I need to specify), Louisiana and Crystal hot sauces? Thanks.

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  1. Tabasco is aged much longer and has a stronger vinegar content...Louisiana has tasted very salty in the last few years...Crystal has a nice balance and is good for cooking (I like Tabasco as an add-on)...

    1 Reply
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Tabasco actually packs some heat as well. I could probably chug a bottle of crystal and not set my mouth on fire.

      Crystal is the most commonly used in new orleans kitchens, it has great flavor without brining unbearable heat.

    2. Crystal in a 12 0z bottle is also very inexpensive....compared to Tabasco.

      1. IMO Tabasco is in a category all unto itself...It's Tabasco!! Once you get past the heat, it has a sweet pepper flavor. ~~~ Louisiana (brand) has a thicker consistency and almost twice the sodium than that of Crystal, which is thinner and not as hot to me. ~~ All three have a place in my kitchen and on my table.

        1. I have a Cajun friend who's from Southern Lousiana who says those bottled 'Louisiana-style Hot Sauces' are way too vinegary and watered-down. He makes his own hot sauce, which is a real fire-breather.

          1. Tabasco is the aged "champagne" of Louisiana-style hot sauces, the others follow not terribly far behind in a pack. However, you might find it interesting to look into close analogs from south of the border ... they're not that different, IMO they're not differently-seasoned (of course there are ones that are, but I already said I'm talking about close analogs) and some of them can bring something extra to a dish.

            1. Tabasco is the only hot sauce I know of that's aged at all. It's aged in oak for several years. Just about every other hot sauce is a simple blend of peppers, vinegar, salt and sugar, and sometimes sweet vegetables such as carrots or sweet potato. Being somewhat a traditionalist, I use Tabasco in Louisiana dishes but prefer simple sauces with good but not overpowering heat like Tapatio or Sriracha for general cooking. Crystal and Louisiana hot sauce taste like pepper flavored vinegar to me. I grew up in New Orleans and only used them in restaurants when nothing else was available.