Hot Stuff

When I was a kid, the most dan­ger­ous and bewil­der­ing item in the pantry was a small jar of Tabasco sauce. My sib­lings and I, lit­tle dev­ils that we were, would dare each other to try a bit of it on the tip of our tongue, then run screech­ing through the house like a cat with its tail on fire.

Dad, how­ever, was addicted to the stuff, and shook lib­eral amounts of it on just about every­thing. Chili too bland? Shake shake shake! Tomato juice bor­ing? Several drops of this magic elixir would make it “come alive” In our house, Tabasco was the only option, and still the de-facto choice at most bars, stand­ing along­side a bot­tle of Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce and ready to give it up for a round of Bloody Mary’s or Caesar’s. Nowadays you can find more vari­eties of hot sauce than you can shake a cel­ery stick at, espe­cially in Toronto, with such a vast mul­ti­cul­tural make-up. Whether the sauce comes from Asia, South Asia, The Caribbean, Africa, South America or the Southern U.S., our palates have become accus­tomed to the hit of heat and excite­ment that a good hot sauce can impart. The ingre­di­ents in each are usu­ally a well-kept secret reflect­ing the regional pro­duce and cul­tural her­itage, but of course, the main player is the chili pepper.

One of our favourite hot sauces is Sriracha, a tra­di­tional sauce named after the Thai city of Si Racha . The most pop­u­lar is Rooster Brand Sriracha which is made in California. The out­pour­ing of love for this sauce has been quite phe­nom­e­nal recently, most notably this hilar­i­ous car­toon by the Oatmeal, warn­ing con­tains some spicy language. 

We are also big fans of Cholula Original Hot Sauce from Guadalajara, Mexico. Cholula is made from a blend of chile de abrol and red and piquin pep­pers. This is a good beginner’s hot sauce as it has barely any heat, allow­ing you to enjoy the hot sauce flavour with­out set­ting your mouth on fire. It is tangy and delicious.

But you don’t have to rely on these imports to get your hit of heat! Rossy Earle’s “Supicucu — Diablo’s Fuego” is maybe the best hot sauce we have ever tasted, using local honey and habaneros from Vicky’s Veggies, the sauce is made right here in Toronto by this Panamanian bombshell.

This Father’s day, why not sur­prise Dad with a fiery selec­tion of some of the world’s zip­pi­est sauces. Maybe you could even make him a bas­ket of chicken wings with it, or a break­fast in bed of Poached eggs smoth­ered in it. For those of you will­ing to go that extra mile, you may want to have a go at mak­ing dad a bot­tle of your very own hot sauce.

We found this recipe for Tequila Hot Sauce from Chef Elizabeth Karmel of Hill Country Barbecue in New York City. For the Dad who loves Tequila and hot sauce, it is match made in heaven. With a lit­tle help from the lit­tle devil.

Elizabeth Karmel’s Tequila Hot Sauce

makes 1 pint

1/4 tsp. whole allspice

1/4 tsp. black peppercorns

1/4 tsp. cumin seeds

1 pint tequila blanco

3—5 fresh or dried red Thai chiles, smashed with side of a knife

1 smoked black car­damom pod (optional)

  1. Heat all­spice, pep­per­corns, and cumin in an 8″ skillet over medium heat and cook, swirling skil­let, until toasted and fra­grant, about 3 min­utes. Remove pan from heat; set aside.
  2. Take a swig of tequila, or pour off an inch of the spirit to make room for the other ingre­di­ents; add toasted spices, chiles, and optional black car­damom to bottle.
  3. Add pour spout or screw top to bot­tle; let hot sauce sit for 1 week before using.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
If you enjoyed this post, please con­sider leav­ing a com­ment or sub­scrib­ing to the RSS feed to have future arti­cles deliv­ered to your feed reader.

  • Christian Morrison

    Check out Boyo’s Hot Sauce for a real made in Toronto (Garden Avenue to be exact) prod­uct! The hottest with­out the vine­gar notes and super clean flavours!

  • Ivy Knight

    will check it out for sure!

  • igknight

    Love Boyo’s, it is fantastic!