ISO hot sauce gift sets either combine my own or pre-made sets
- free sample addict aka Tracy L Nov 21, 2012 09:31 PM
Two men on my list are spicy food fans. One is a great cook and particularly likes Asian hot sauces. He doesn't live near any Asian markets, but I do. He already has the typical stuff like sambal and sirricha (sp?). I live near a 99 ranch and have access to other Asian markets. Does anyone have some suggestions for sauces that are readily available yet not so run of the mill they'll be found at a regular grocery store?I am dating him and would like to make it a little more personal than a gift set from Cost Plus.
The second guy is my friend's husband, he loves spicy food and they both cook so I'd like to find either a hot sauce gift set or a chile sampler for cooking. I have given this couple Penzey's in the past so another brand or combination would be great.
I live in Northern California and have TJ's, Whole Foods, Fresh and Easy, Cost Plus (World Market), Corti's, Taylors, Ottos Japanese Market, 99 ranch and an abundance of Mexican markets. I can also travel to San Francisco.
Have you looked at Bed Bath Beyond? I remember buying my son a "make your own hot sauce" kit a couple of years back. He might like to try his hand at home brewing!
A "hot box" is my standard newlywed/housewarming present. I tend to buy whatever looks good/interesting/unique. The stores you mentioned should be able to give you a really nice selection. I try to have a variety of ethnicities too-Bajan hot mustard sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce, good Japanese dried horseradish, hot sesame oils/chili pastes, etc
I would also recommend finding a varied range between mild, sweet/hot and OMG! spicy. I would also recommend doing a range of "flavors" so don't do everything in a single pepper range but look for a variety of bases-vinegar, oil, etc and variety of chilies/spices
I really like Torchbearer Sauces. This is a local company that uses all natural ingredients, no preservatives, so the sauces aren't just hot, they also have a really nice flavor. They're in some Whole Foods on the East Coast but most of their sales are through trade shows and specialty markets but they do sell online (bonus for today, I think they're doing a site-wide sale for Cyber Monday)
I believe their Tarnation Sauce is about the level of a Tabasco (but with a lot more flavor). If they're Reallllly spicy fans, the Zombie Apocalypse is mostly ghost chilis and The Rapture is ghost chili and scorpion peppers.
Also, they do have gift sets of small bottles of their sauces : )