Our Top 5 Spicy Products of 2014

We awarded our top rating of 5 stars to 5 spicy products in 2014.

Last year we presented our favorite 13 products of 2013 (all of which are still available, and still awesome).

5 Star Reviews on HotSauceDaily.com

Five star hot sauce reviews on HotSauceDaily.com

This year we are showcasing our 5 Star Reviews.

Every one of these products earned our HotSauceDaily 5 Star Rating for flavor and quality. We highly recommend all of these hot sauce and spicy products for your kitchen.

710 Dat’s My Sauce – Datil Pepper Sauce

710 Dat's My Sauce

710 Dat’s My Sauce

Datil peppers and their flavor show up here in two of our favorites from 2014. And while not extremely popular, mostly due to lack of knowledge of the pepper, the Datil pepper is a delicious and unique flavor that everyone should try.

Sweet in its own way, it can pack some punch, or be muted and very mellow.

710 Dat’s My Sauce is a great start to your experience with the Datil pepper.

Gunther’s Gourmet Pineapple Orange Hot Sauce with Mango

Gunther's Gourmet Pineapple Orange Hot Sauce with Mango

Gunther’s Gourmet Pineapple Orange Hot Sauce with Mango

Known for their marinades and salsas, this is Gunther’s first hot sauce offering, and they nailed it! A perfect balance of flavor and heat.

Gunther’s Gourmet Pineapple Orange Hot Sauce with Mango was also our first hot sauce review in 2014! I guess you never forget your first one.

Lucky Dog Dia del Perro

Lucky Dog Dia del Perro

Lucky Dog Dia del Perro

Award winning Lucky Dog has crafted a green/verde sauce that rocks. Dia del Perro (Day of the Dog) features serranos and roasted garlic along with their signature smoked sea salt.

Lucky Dog’s Dia del Perro hot sauce.

Old Florida Style Datil Pepper BBQ Rub

Old Florida Style Datil Pepper BBQ Rub

Old Florida Style Datil Pepper BBQ Rub

We put this rub on wings and decided it made the best dry rubbed wings we had in 2014. Again, the Datil pepper shines with flavor and heat here, in a dry rub format.

Old Florida Style Datil Pepper BBQ Rub is an amazing dry version of the Datil pepper flavor!

Piñata Hot Sauce

Piñata Hot Sauce

Piñata Hot Sauce

Garlic, pineapple, habanero, mustard. Check! Another awesome pineapple based hot sauce. Looks like a theme for 2014.

Pinata Hot Sauce is a must have for your shelf.

Buy 2 of each – you’ll be glad you did.

Click any of the links above to see our reviews and where to purchase. Get 2 of each. They. Are. That. Good!

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High River Sauces launches new Rattler Barbeque Sauce

High River Sauces Launches New Rattler BBQ Sauce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 18th, 2014

Chef Chris Santos, judge on Food Network’s popular “Chopped” series and chef and partner of Beauty & Essex and Stanton Social, collaborates with Steve Seabury of High River Sauces to launch Rattler Barbeque Sauce – the barbeque sauce with a bite!

Showcasing the bold, fresh flavors that the award-winning hot sauce company High River Sauces is known for, Santos and Seabury have created a custom-made barbeque sauce with the perfect amount of sweet heat. Rattler Barbeque Sauce features spicy Cascabel Chile Peppers, which, like the rattlesnake, are known for their distinctive bite – the name Cascabel actually translates to rattle.

rattler bbq sauce

Rattler Barbeque Sauce

The intrinsic smokiness of this complex pepper is paired with vine-ripened tomatoes, rich molasses, robust coffee, as well as organic honey and raisins for sweetness. This unique combination creates a dynamic, well-rounded barbeque sauce that pairs well with anything from pulled pork and burgers to glazed grilled salmon or as any addition to your favorite foods.

The sauce debuted at the Fancy Food Show on Sunday, June 29th and will be available online and through retailers in the coming weeks. Please visit www.santoscooks.com or www.highriversauces.com for more information.

Chef Chris Santos

Chef Chris Santos

About Chris Santos:
After graduating with honors from Johnson & Wales University and traveling extensively through Europe, Chef Chris Santos honed his craft, palette and style in various restaurants around New York City. In 2005, Santos introduced the world to his unique brand of communal dining with his debut restaurant, The Stanton Social, which took the New York City dining scene by storm and has since become a true culinary institution. In December of 2010, Santos introduced Beauty & Essex to the Lower East Side, and this multi-level restaurant and lounge once again revolutionized dining in this trendy neighborhood and is one of the highest grossing restaurants in New York. In addition to these two restaurants, Santos is also is a judge on Food Network’s wildly popular show “Chopped.” His life out of his chef whites includes a love for boxing, rock n’ roll and tattoos.

About High River Sauces:

High River Sauces was created in 2011 by spicy food junkie, music industry veteran and cookbook author, Steve Seabury. His cookbook, entitled Mosh Potatoes (Simon & Schuster), showcases his obsession with good food and love of heavy metal music. This passion drove him to create one of the most buzz-worthy hot sauce companies in the country. In his short time in the fiery foods industry, Seabury has garnered numerous accolades including four coveted Golden Chile Awards. After traveling across the country showcasing his hot sauce, Seabury was inspired to create the NYC Hot Sauce Expo. Now in its third year, the expo has quickly become one of the biggest spicy food events in the world with over 10,000 attendees in 2014. High River Sauces is currently in over 500 grocery and specialty foods stores in the United States, as well as internationally, and has been featured on the Cooking Network, Good Morning America, Fox News, CBS News and other national media outlets.

Crazy Mary Bloody Mary Mix

Packed with flavor, Crazy Good Sauce’s Crazy Mary Bloody Mary Mix is not your average bloody mary mix of tomato juice and horseradish. Instead, Crazy Good has loaded up Crazy Mary with a hot version of Worcestershire sauce, olive brine, roasted peppers, and fresh garlic. But the star ingredient is their own Green Chile Dust. The end result is crazy good!

crazy mary bloody mary mix drink

It’s a cool Sunday morning in November as I write this review, and I’m enjoying my 2nd Crazy Mary Bloody Mary. The fresh taste and citrus smell give way to a spicy and flavorful beverage.

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), Worcestershire Sauce (distilled white vinegar, molasses, water, sugar, onions, anchovies, salt, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, natural flavorings, chile pepper extract), prepared horseradish (horseradish, distilled vinegar, water, soybean oil, salt), apple cider vinegar, olive brine (water, salt, olive solids, lactic acid), fire roasted red bell peppers, green chile dust (New Mexican green chile powder, sea salt, spices), salt, fresh lemon juice, black pepper, fresh garlic, Worcestershire powder (brown sugar, onion, maltodextrin, modified corn starch, spices, malted barley, flour, garlic, vinegar solids, tamarind extract), xanthan gum.

Crazy Mary Bloody Mary texture 01

Texture: It’s hard to see in our pics, but Crazy Mary is not too thin, and not too thick. A beautiful “sauce” to look at, with pieces of fresh garlic and horseradish that provide some very chewy bits to play with in your mouth.

Crazy Mary is thin enough to make a great Bloody Mary, and thick enough to drink straight up as a tomato cocktail sans alcohol. Remarkable.

Crazy Mary Bloody Mary Mix Texture 02

Taste: Like any good recipe, the many flavors in this mixer are uniquely identifiable and yet married into one big tasting extravaganza.

Crazy Mary smells spicy and very different from other mixers. Right away notes of citrus and of horseradish hit the nose. The smell of Worcestershire is strong but muted in the flavors. In other words, the Worcestershire sauce is not overbearing.
The light tomato flavor balances well with the spices and seasonings.

Especially prominent is the Green Chile Dust (30% Hatch Green Chile). The Chile Dust brings its own unique flavor and complex properties to the mix. I believe this ingredient is responsible for the overall flavor blast that is Crazy Mary. That, and Chef Jim O’Brien’s talents as a mixer of flavors, make Crazy Mary Bloody Mary mix the instant “hit” it has become. Fresh.

two crazy mary flip top bottles

Heat Level: Rated 1.5 out of 5 Stars – 1.5 Stars – While Crazy Mary looks and smells very spicy, it’s actually fairly tame. Surprising, considering the amount of fresh horseradish in the mix. Add in the “chile pepper extract” component of the Worcestershire sauce used, and you would think this stuff would be super-hot. Just another nod to the genius of O’Brien – bringing on the flavor without overpowering heat. Nice heat.

crazy mary 700ml bottles

Final thoughts: Rated 5 out of 5 Stars – 5 Stars – A superb mixer for bloody marys, Crazy Mary gets our best rating. Outstanding.

For you Bloody Mary fans looking for something different, or the next new thing, I highly recommend Crazy Mary Bloody Mary Mix.
I’m sorry to report that the flip-top bottles pictured above are not for sale. They were promotion bottles / corporate gift one-offs.

The good news is, Crazy Mary is available in a big 750ml bottle at http://crazygoodsauce.com/ and soon to be available in small “Perfect Pour” bottles of 5 oz. each.
(For you wholesalers, Crazy Good also has a 4/1 Gallon case of plastic bottles available.)

About Crazy Good Sauce:

Chef Jim O’Brien and his Crazy Good Specialty Foods are based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Always searching for fun & unique flavor combinations, we have thrown out the rule book. We believe that food and life should be fun and vibrant. Celebrated your next meal with Crazy Good® Specialty Foods. We will make your taste buds dance.

Their motto is “Play with your food!”.

We reviewed their Southwest Sweet Heat Sauce & Green Chile Dust, as well as their Raging Pineapple Salsa.

Disclaimer: We received this product courtesy of the manufacturer for review.

Consuming Fires Smoked Jalapeño Sauce

Consuming Fires Sauces & Seasonings is a micro-business producing small batch, lightly smoked hot sauce. Launched in early 2014, Chef Ron and Teresa Jones have created Smoked Jalapeño, Smoked Habanero, and Smoked Andouille sauces.

consumingfires-700x350

Consuming Fires: Smoked Hot Sauces

I’m so excited to tell you about Consuming Fires and their smoked hot sauces. These sauces are flavorful and delicious, and they all have the hallmark of a chef crafted small batch sauce.

Each sauce features a smoked chile along with smoked salt for a smooth and savory flavor. This smokey profile is then coupled with apple juice, garlic, and a blend of vinegar that really makes them unique.

First up, and the “one that started it all” as they say, is their Smoked Jalapeño Sauce. As you get into the story behind Consuming Fires, it’s not an unusual one. One day, a crop of peppers from a small garden, usually jalapeños, yield so many peppers that the beckoning call is “let’s make hot sauce!” And so it was with Consuming Fires. And we all benefit from that.

Smoked Jalapeño Sauce

Heat Level: Rated 1 out of 5 StarsMild.
Overall rating: Rated 4 out of 5 StarsVery good.

Once upon a time, jalapeño sauces were simply peppers, vinegar and salt. Green, slimy and boring in my opinion. But in the past 5 or 6 years, jalapeño sauces have improved immensely – with craft makers adding new ingredients and flavors to the base of jalapeño. Consuming Fires’ Smoked Jalapeño Sauce is a great example of what can be done with a few choice ingredients and some talent from a chef like Chef Ron.

Ingredients: smoked jalapeños, apple juice, onion, cider vinegar, white vinegar, garlic, smoked salt.

Smoked Jalapeño Sauce from Consuming Fires

bright green, smooth and silky

Texture and Appearance: This bright green sauce is barely thick – just slightly thick. The very smooth appearance shows almost no bits or ingredients floating about. This is a simple sauce. But it does coat the neck of the bottle and so deserves the “barely thick” description.

The aroma is very smoky and sweet followed up with onion and vinegar. Fragrant.

Taste Straight Up: First taste, straight up, is of a smoky, sweet, peppery sauce. The vinegar flavor is there, but not overwhelming. There is a strong amount of smoke that stays with you as the heat from the jalapeño subsides.

Fans of jalapeño sauces will love this one. A bright and fresh finish tells us this is hand-crafted and bottled fresh. It’s all good stuff here. Delicious.

Jalapeño Smoked Hot Sauce on fried egg

smoky green jalapeño on egg – yummy!

Taste on Food: I’m a sucker for anything smoked – especially peppers and sauces. On my simple fried egg with cheese, this sauce brings a wonderful sweet and smoky flavor to it. The fresh green jalapeño flavor really shines here. The garlic and vinegar add their own zing to the mix. Delightful.

Burritos with Jalapeño Smoked Hot Sauce from Consuming Fires

our burritos with Consuming Fires’ Smoked Jalapeño sauce

I fixed up some burritos to pour the sauce on too. (I really should post our recipe for toasted burritos someday.)

Final Thoughts

We like to comment on labels, graphics and packaging, when it’s warranted. And here, Consuming Fires keeps it simple.

cf-logo
The label sports a small banner that says “Consuming Fires Sauces & Seasonings”. I’m hoping the “seasonings” part shows up on their menu someday.

Their logo is a nice clean graphic with a little chile pepper incorporated into the “F”. Other than the title of the sauce, the labels stay the same on all 3 flavors – save a slight background color change among each.

This simple, mild, delicious Jalapeño sauce is a great choice for those that like just a little heat, and that classic Jalapeño flavor with a big touch of smoke.

Heat Level: Rated 1 out of 5 StarsMild.
Overall rating: Rated 4 out of 5 StarsVery good.

We’ll have reviews of Consuming Fires’ other two sauces posted soon.
Consuming Fires’ Smoked Andouille Sauce
Consuming Fires’ Smoked Habanero Sauce

Meanwhile, you can find them at the following places on the web.

Where to buy: Visit Consuming Fires website to order: http://www.consumingfires.com/

Social Media: Consuming Fires on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/consumingfires

Disclaimer: We received this product via the manufacturer’s KickStarter campaign.

Tabasco Sriracha – A First Look

Did Tabasco come up with a Sriracha sauce worthy of the legend that is Sriracha?
Or is this a Sriracha sauce that is worthy of the legend that is Tabasco?

Tabasco Sriracha Sauce

We review the new Tabasco Sriracha Sauce - good lookin' bottles!

According to the label, McIlhenny Co. Tabasco Brand Premium Sriracha Thai Chili Sauce is the official name of Tabasco’s new Sriracha sauce.

Just between us, we’ll call it Tabasco Sriracha Sauce for now.

Smack dab in the middle of the Sriracha controversy that was Huy Fong Foods vs. Irwindale, California, Tabasco® quietly released its new Sriracha sauce – in a plastic squeeze bottle that looks nothing like any other Tabasco bottle.

Here’s our first look at Tabasco Sriracha Sauce (and the bottle) that McIlhenny created.

Ingredients: red peppers, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar and xanthan gum.

Ingredients Tabasco Sriracha

Not much going on there; it’s amazing that such a simple list of ingredients can produce the flavor of sriracha. Then again, the McIlhenny family knows what they’re doing.

Texture and Appearance:

Tabasco Sriracha sauce closeup.

The dark orange color of the sauce is slightly pulpy – almost “puffy”. Yea, we’ve not used that term for a hot sauce before. It clings nicely to the spoon, and the body holds up well on a plate.

I think there is a nice bit of viscosity to the sauce – and Marilyn points out that it’s thinner than ketchup, but thicker than some tomato sauces.

Let’s face it, everyone will compare this to Huy Fong’s Rooster sauce. So here is a side by side pic of the two sauces in some clear spoons.

Tabasco Sriracha with Huy Fong Sriracha

I would be very disappointed if Tabasco’s Sriracha looked and and “felt” (texture, taste) like Huy Fong’s Sriracha. In fact I would be disappointed if any other sriracha sauce was similar to Huy Fong’s. Only because, A) Huy Fong is an original, and B) There is so much room on in the marketplace for new versions and flavors of sriracha.

With the explosion of Sriracha style sauces that are hitting the market in the past few years – TexasPete’s CHA!, store brands from Harris Teeter and Trader Joes, Sriracha Jerky, Rubs, BBQ Sauces (just click our Sriracha tag and you’ll see there are dozens of Sriracha products coming online), this is a very exciting time for Sriracha lovers. And we need not be beholden to just one or two!

Taste straight up:

The first smell is of peppers and vinegar – not unusual for a Tabasco brand sauce. The garlic is the next big aroma, as it should be.

Tasting off the spoon, I can’t shake the strong salty flavor here. Then there’s the peppers and vinegar again, followed by the garlic that really lingers. The heat comes up behind the garlic and hits you with a good sting.

The sauce coats and fills the mouth with the peppers first, pungent and sweet vinegar is next, and garlic and the sweet pulp of the pepper mash finishes everything up.

I want to address the initial saltiness we tasted straight up off of the spoon. The salty taste was evident and strong… but thankfully it dissipated when cooked on food. Maybe we are getting more sensitive to salt content in sauces and foods as we get older.

Heat level:

Both Marilyn and I give this a Rated 2.5 out of 5 Stars – 2.5 out of 5 stars for middle of the road, pleasant yet prominent heat. Nothing to shatter the world, but enough heat to be relevant for a sriracha sauce.

Tabasco Sriracha on Food

On Eggs

The Tabasco Sriracha worked well with my eggs… very flavorful and hot, although just a bit salty. I can’t shake that yet.

Tabasco Sriracha on eggs is another classic use of sriracha. Check out our post on HotSauceDaily.com

On Burgers

We have a Sriracha Burger recipe that we love to do on the grill, and so we slathered some of the Tabasco Sriracha sauce on a few burgers.

While it worked out good, the Tabasco Sriracha was a bit milder compared to other Srirachas on the burgers. This one just didn’t have the fire left after grilling. It got very mellow and lost it’s punch.

My apologies for overdoing the “artsy-fartsy” drizzle of sauce on the plate. That was partly due to the squirt top of the bottle. More on that below.

Tabasco Sriracha on onion burger - on HotSauceDaily.com

On Wings

Ok, while not truly cooked on wings, I did toss some Tabasco Sriracha Sauce with butter on some crispy wings from Popeye’s.

While it was a very unscientific test, Tabasco Sriracha sauce and butter made for some very tasty wings. The only thing missing was some real garlic bits, but the sauce made up for that in a small way with its garlic ingredient.

Tabasco Sriracha on Popeye's wings - HotSauceDaily.com

We will be making some deep fried wings soon to put the Tabasco Sriracha Sauce through the paces as a wing sauce.

Final Thoughts

Tabasco Sriracha Sauce’s flavor is true to a Sriracha sauce taste – the garlic and sun ripened peppers really stay on course with the overall flavor profile of a Sriracha sauce.

Overall rating: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – Great effort from McIlhenney and Co on this sauce. For a domestic product, they nailed it.

They have a viable and delicious sauce – even though it’s in a weird bottle. Oh, speaking of the bottle and packaging…

The Tabasco Sriracha Squeeze Bottle

The bottle design is a huge departure from the classic glass shaker bottles of Tabasco’s other sauces.

Tabasco Sriracha flip-top - on HotSauceDaily.com
This squeeze bottle reminds us of a Dijon mustard bottle. It’s pear shaped and the label is a plastic wrapper that crinkles when squeezed. Very un-Tabasco-like. Just weird.

The “flip top” sports a very small opening that results in the sauce being squirted out at a very high velocity.

Wow, more terms we’ve never used in a review. Just take it slow… the sauce does come out fast.

Tabasco Sriracha squirting out of bottle.

Where to buy

For now, the only place we know of to order Tabasco® Brand Sriracha Sauce is on their Country Store website.

It’s buried on Page 2 of their “Home – Food – Chile & other Foods” page. (Very strange to make it so hard to find). Here’s the link:

http://countrystore.tabasco.com/TABASCO-Sriracha-Sauce/productinfo/03829/

Maybe our HotSauceDaily.com readers will email them and tell them we sent you for their newest sauce. It should be front page news!

Of course, if you get a chance to try Tabasco’s Sriracha Sauce – please let us know in the Comments below.

Disclaimer: We purchased this product for our own personal use and review purposes. No compensation was received. The thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.

Thanks for reading!

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