Those of you who are addicted to spicy food know what hot sauces are all about. However, if you’re among those who shun away from hot sauces fearing their aftermath, let’s take a look at some hot sauce brands that offer great flavor, and not just heat.
Did You Know?
The hot sauce industry is among the top 10 fastest growing industries in the US, with sales of over $1 billion every year.
When you hear the term ‘hot sauce’, all you can think of is heat … lots of it! But a good hot sauce is not just about heat, it’s about lots of flavor as well. Hot sauces are gaining popularity at a rapid rate today, simply because they’re effective and are a relatively cheap way to liven up dressings, marinations, sauces, etc.
If you thought all hot sauces are alike, with each one made specially to sear your insides, you’re in for a surprise! As with the other products, there are different kinds of hot sauces that offer a diverse range of flavors besides heat. Some even come with a sweet and sour tinge that tantalizes your taste buds like never before. A few manufacturers have taken special effort to make your hot sauce experience an enjoyable one. So, let’s take a look at these brands.
Popular Hot Sauce Brands
Made by Huy Fong Foods, this hot sauce is prepared from sun-ripened chilies, salt, vinegar, sugar, and garlic. Packaged in simple red squeeze bottles with a rooster imprint and green cap, this brand is titled as one of the ‘coolest’ hot sauce bottles available today. Interestingly, it’s even being used by Sushi chefs to spice up their tuna rolls. What’s even more interesting about this brand is that they’ve managed to get their sauces sold (worth $60 million) without spending a dollar on advertising. So, it’s the product that drives the sales! Besides their basic sauce, they also offer a Chili Garlic hot sauce and a full-bodied sauce named Sambal Oelek.
CHOLULA HOT SAUCE
Marketed as the flavorful fire, this brand offers different flavors of hot sauce. Their ‘original’ flavor is a combination of piquin peppers, Chile de árbol, and several spices that blend well to create a hot sauce that’s not only hot, but also flavorful. Then they also have the Chipotle Hot Sauce, which bends more to the savory side, with its smokey and sweet notes of chipotle peppers. Besides these hot sauces, they also offer the Chili Garlic and Chili Lime flavor, with distinctive flavors of garlic and lime, respectively.
This well-known hot sauce brand from North Carolina offers a whole range of fiery sauces. Their Original Hot Sauce blend is made from three kinds of peppers and has strong overtones of cayenne pepper. Then their ‘hotter hot sauce’ has been introduced for bolder palates and is 3 times more fiery than their original blend. They also offer other variations like Garlic Hot Sauce, Hotter Hot Sauce, Chipotle Hot Sauce, and Pepper Hot Sauce.
Another well-known brand is TABASCO, which offers a wide range of hot sauces that vary in their heat factor. Besides their ‘original’ pepper sauce, they have 6 other variants. Their Green Jalapeño Sauce is of medium heat and has a lovely jalapeño flavor. Their ‘sweet and spicy’ hot sauce contains a blend of Asian spices, while their ‘Habanero’ sauce comes with a Jamaican blend. They also have the Chipotle flavor, which has a nice smoky tinge to it, while their Garlic Pepper Sauce comes with a delicious savory garlic flavor. TABASCO also offers an interesting Buffalo Style Hot Sauce, which can be used to spice up buffalo wings. This brand is quite serious about the diversity of their hot sauces, and as per their tag line―’there’s everything for everyone’, there’s truly a wide range to satisfy a diverse set of palates.
Georgia Peach & Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce
A multiple National Award winner, this hot sauce variation is prepared with a blend of Georgia peaches, Vidalia onions, red chilies, green jalapeño peppers, cayenne pepper, and a few other ingredients. Because of its peaches and onions, it’s a milder hot sauce that perfectly balances the heat from the chilies and peppers, with the sweetness of the peaches and onions. Most people prefer to use this sauce in cooked dishes, especially seafood, because that is where it really shines.
Again like TABASCO, Missouri-based FRANK’S offers a wide range of fiery sauces to satiate different kinds of hot sauce fanatics. They have eight kinds of hot sauces that range from their ‘original’ blend to their hot and hotter blends. In terms of diversity, they offer a Ketchup Style Hot Sauce, Buffalo Wings Sauce, Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce, XTRA Hot Cayenne Pepper, Kickin’ BBQ Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce, and a Chile N’ Lime Sauce. The range of flavors offered by this brand is commendable.
If you’re looking for a hot sauce brand that’s sweeter than the rest, then this is the brand you should try. The sauce has a slight tang to it, which gives it that different kick. This sauce is a hit among those who prefer to consume hot sauces that won’t perforate their intestinal linings. While this brand doesn’t offer different flavors, they do sell their sauces in different packaging. The bottles come in different-sized bottles: 5 oz., 10 oz., 32 oz., and even come in gallons. If you’re camping, take some sachets along to spice up your campfire food!
LOUISIANA Hot Sauce
The ORIGINAL LOUISIANA Hot Sauce from Bruce Foods is touted for its unique flavor and quality. While Bruce Foods was the first to introduce LOUISIANA cayenne pepper hot sauce, several others have introduced their versions in the market today. To distinguish themselves, Bruce Foods has put the word ‘original’ (with a red dot) on their hot sauces bottles, so look out for their label. Besides their original blend, they have also diversified into different hot sauce flavors―Chipotle, Jalapeño, Roasted Garlic, Roasted Pepper, Red Chili, and Habanero.
Valentina Salsa Picante
This authentic, sweet, sour, and spicy hot sauce is touted as Mexico’s best-selling hot sauce. Manufactured by Salsa Tamazula in western Mexico, this hot sauce brand comes in the hot and hotter version. These sauces are available in different sizes, ranging from 5 oz. To 34 oz., and even in small sachets. Then there’s their Tamazula hot sauce, their older version, which is also a nice blend to try out.
The list of best hot sauce brands will vary from individual to individual, depending on personal preference and heat-tolerating capacity. So, try out your own hot sauce tasting contest with your friends, and find out which of them singe your palates!