Pin It

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

HOT-BUTTON ISSUE: Where does your hot sauce loyalty lie?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Arguably the most important condiment, second, only to ranch dressing in many parts of the country, particularly the South and Midwest (jokes), hot sauce is a topic of perpetual discussion and disagreement. See, despite that most of the popular sauces are variations on the same basic recipe - hot peppers, salt, vinegar, maybe a dash of xantan gum - brand loyalty runs deeper than the roots of a tabasco pepper plant itself (I'm not actually sure how deep that is).

There are, of course, differences in taste and heat, branding, and perception of quality, so here's a guide to some of the most popular sauces, and what it says about you, says us.

Original "Louisiana" Hot Sauce
Scoville units: 450
Tasting notes: Bruce Foods says, "The peppers are aged for at least one year, like a fine wine. Not too hot, not too mild." So many sauces love bragging about how horrifyingly hot they are. "Not too hot, not too mild" is refreshing. Literally.
Who are you, Louisiana fan? You prefer Popeye's to KFC. You were raised in the South. You love value! (This shit's cheap.) You also put Louisiana pepper vinegar on your greens. (You are ... me! Louisiana is my hot sauce of choice.)

Scoville units: 3,600
Tasting notes: Known as the "Flavorful Fire" and made by Jose Quervo (I had no idea), Cholula's "delicious blend of piquin peppers, chile arbol and signature spices enhances food flavors without overpowering them."
How 'bout you, Cholula enthusiast? You enjoy both authentically and vaguely ethnic foods. You're adventurous in bed, sometimes to a fault. You're also extremely excited that Jack Link's is releasing a Cholula-flavored beef jerky.

Texas Pete
Scoville units: 750
Tasting notes: Texas Pete is a "rich, delicious sauce with strong cayenne overtones." Don't worry your pretty little head about the undertones.
Is your name also Pete, TP guy? No, and you're not even necessarily from Texas (the sauce actually comes from the Carolinas). That doesn't mean you don't think secession is an OK idea. You like pork rinds, but not because they're low in carbs. You can look at a recipe for something called Green Mountain Gringo Salsa Steak Butter, and not die on the inside and the outside.

Scoville units: 2,200
Tasting notes: Here's a whole New York Times article about how great it is.
What are you like, Sriracha user? You're young, funky, hip, and eager to try new flavors and have experiences. Or you've seen young, funky, hip people using Sriracha and you just kind of like the aesthetics of the green-lidded bottle with a rooster on the label.

Frank's RedHot
Scoville units: 450
Tasting notes: Frank's claim to fame is that it was the sauce used in the very first Buffalo wing sauce. So, best when mixed with a shitload of butter.
You like Frank's ... WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? You like sports, probably. Celery and carrot sticks dipped in blue cheese are your favorite side dish. You've wondered on more than one occasion how chicken parts can be so miniature.

Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce
Scoville units: 2,500
Tasting notes: Spicier than other Louisiana-style sauces, Tabasco is aged for three years in barrels on the bayou, and made with salt from the mines beneath the tiny island from whence it comes.
Let's talk about you Tabascoan: You value history, tradition. LEGACIES. You might also have DB-tendencies, by which we mean you've probably been dared to down a spoonful and totally did it. So cool.

Editor's note: The Scoville Heat Scale measures the amount of capsaicin, the active component in chili peppers, present. Measurements were pulled from

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

Latest in Omnivore

More by Gwynedd Stuart

Viva Las Clarkston
Viva Las Clarkston

Search Events

Search Omnivore

Recent Comments

© 2015 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation