Year of the Dog Hot Sauce

Not exactly a traditional hot sauce, Year of the Dog, a Thai Chile Pineapple Hot Sauce from Lucky Dog is intensely flavorful.

Year of the Dog video review

In our first ever video review of a hot sauce, we chose the excellent new offering from LuckyDogHotSauce.com called Year of the Dog.

We hope you enjoyed the video. We would appreciate it if you would subscribe to our new video channel on YouTube as we have many more reviews coming up, along with recipes, grilling and other outdoor fun with fire videos.

Men Paw Gourmet Hot Sauce

Here’s a review that has been almost a full year in the making. Men Pa’w Gourmet Hot Sauce is the brainchild of Carline Phanor. Carline is a Floridian that began promoting her sauces on my favorite social network, Google+.

Heat Level: Rated 4.5 out of 5 Stars – Very hot, but still enjoyable.

Overall flavor: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – Almost the best of the best! We love this sauce.

Men Pa'w label

She is very prolific with posts of herself at shows, demo-ing and promoting her Men Pa’w Gourmet sauces to the masses.

There are videos of customers tasting and extolling the flavor and heat and overall goodness of Men Pa’w sauces.

I was skeptical. What the heck does “Men Pa’w” mean, and how did they come up with the name? I’ve not been able to pin Carline down about the name.

Update: 01/26/15 –

As for The name Men Pa’w… it is creole because I am from Haiti. The name means different things depending on the context in which you use it. For instance… “THIS IS YOURS”, “THIS IS THE BOMB”, “THIS IS IT”. I also chose the name as I saw it relates to my product because our sauce is very different. Many people find the name fun once they understand what it means.

How does a sauce with this goofy name get so popular? And popular it is. Very popular!

I’m going to admit 2 things right up front.

1. I don’t like the name of this sauce. Men Pa’w? Take out the apostrophe, and you have Men Paw.

2. I love this sauce! Yes… it’s astoundingly good and flavorful. So much for first impressions, huh?

Men Pa’w Gourmet Hot Sauce

Men Paw Hot Sauce closeup

Ingredients: Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil Blend (Canola Oil, Olive Oil), Onions, Water, Orange Habanero Pepper, Red Habanero Peppers, Chocolate Habanero Peppers, Red Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Cayenne Peppers, Complete Seasoning, Soul Spice, Garlic, Fatali peppers, Granulated Garlic, Onion Powder.

We tried it on pizza…

Men Paw on pizza

It has flavors and aromas of jerk, caribbean, Jamaican, curry, and umami. Very complicated.

And on tacos…

Men Paw on tacos

It turns out that this sauce is amazing. Amazingly delicious that is. Yes, it’s heavy on the oil content, but that is what makes it so unique for a hot sauce.

Carline has recently released a “green” version of her sauce that we’ve not tried. But look for her and her sauces to be more popular online soon!

Visit http://www.menpawhotsauce.com/ to learn more and order a few bottles!

Scotty O’Hotty Premium Pepper Sauce – Mild

Scotty O’Hotty Hot Sauces are all natural and low in sodium sauces that feature fresh, Michigan made ingredients. Scotty O’Hotty currently offers three hot sauces that include a Mild, Hot, and XXX Hot varieties. All three flavors are made in Michigan with fresh, all natural, low sodium ingredients – Premium Pepper Sauce (Mild), Premium Habanero Sauce (Hot) and The Ghost Sauce (XXX Hot).

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Scotty O’Hotty Premium Pepper Sauce – Mild

Ingredients: tomatoes, beer (for flavor), onion, bell pepper, vinegar, tomato sauce, mango, carrots, tomato paste, water, garlic, jalapeño peppers, yellow tomatoes, radishes, cayenne peppers, olive oil, sea salt, peppercorn, honey, assorted spices, liquid smoke, xanthan gum.

scotty-o-hotty-mild-sauce-closeup

Burnt orange and flecked.

Texture & Appearance: A nice burnt orange color with tiny black flecks – other tiny bits of seasonings are visible in this slightly medium thick sauce. Predominant scents are of onion, vinegar and cayenne. Fresh and fragrant.

Scotty O Hotty medium thick mild sauce

Medium thick

Taste Straight Up: Big, fresh garden taste thanks to the veggies in the front of the ingredients. Think of a fresh pepper mash with mild heat. The tomatoes add a nice supporting flavor, but they do not overpower – allowing a hint of the beer to come through. Delicious and different.

scotty o hotty mild label graphics

Nice label

Label/Graphics: Emblazoned with an oval of “Old No. 2” and proudly stating it is “Made in Michigan”, the labels are clean and simple. Flames of fire surround the title, in this case “Premium Pepper Sauce”. Good looking, although the “Old No. 2” is a mystery. Simple and sharp.

Heat Level: Mild – in a nice, salsa kind of way. The peppers and seasonings are well balanced and complement each other. Savory and Satisfying.

On Foods

Of course, we had to try the sauce on pizza. The pleasant taste fit the bill. Scotty O’Hotty Premium Pepper Sauce worked great on pizza.

scotty o hotty mild on pizza

Scotty O’Hotty Mild on pizza

On Wings:

One of the Scotty O’Hotty recipes calls for making chicken wings 2 different ways. Scotty’s way, and Mrs. Scotty’s way. We went with Scotty’s way this time. We par-baked then deep fried the wings first (our recipe here). Then we tossed the fully cooked and fried wings in the sauce. Scotty’s recipe calls for putting the wings back into a hot oven (350º) for 15 – 20 minutes to “set” the sauce. While the sauce did indeed get tacky and set up, the crispy skin of the wings went away. Baking after saucing made them soft. Disappointing.

scotty-o-hotty-mild-wings

Scotty O’Hotty Mild on wings

Next time we will try Mrs. Scotty’s version that calls for 2 parts of sauce to 1 part butter. Toss cooked wings and enjoy. A much more traditional way to make wings.

scotty-o-hottys-wings-baked

Left – wet. Right – baked.

Final Thoughts: Scotty O’Hotty Premium Pepper Sauce Mild would be great on nachos, burgers, hot dogs and even as a dip for french fries.

Our Ratings

Heat: Rated 1 out of 5 Stars 1/5 – A great “entry level” sauce for the curious or gift-givers looking for something mild.

Overall: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars 4/5 – A delicious and very pourable sauce. Get 2 or 3 bottles – because you can enjoy this “everyday” sauce on many foods.

About Scotty O’Hotty

Scott and Suzi Owens started Scotty O’Hotty Hot Sauce in 2011 and now offer 3 Made in Michigan hot sauces as well as their new “Suzi’s Back Rub”. Visit http://www.scottyohotty.com and click on the Store link to order.

Social Media:
Scotty O’Hotty on Facebook

Appalacian Moonshine and Black Cherry Cue BBQ sauce review

Fresh sweet and tart black cherries blended beautifully with smoked tomatoes, caramelized onions, toasted black peppercorns, brown sugar and just a hint of barrel aged vinegar, this sweet and sassy bbq sauce goes on everything from chargrilled salmon, shrimp, pork or chicken.

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Race City Sauce Works Appalacian Moonshine and Black Cherry Cue BBQ Sauce

Chad Lowcock of Race City Sauce Works makes some of the most inventive and delicious pepper sauces, mustards, and condiments on the market today. We are looking at his Appalacian Moonshine & Black Cherry Cue BBQ Sauce.

Wow. The name of this BBQ sauce is indeed a mouthful, but we persevered with (had fun with) some brined and grilled chicken breast halves, brushing the sauce on the chicken as it cooked on the grill.

After a simple brining process (inspired by our friend and BBQ Guru Chris Grove on NibbleMeThis.com) for the chicken breast halves, we grilled them over some hot coals in the Weber Kettle grill, and started brushing on the Appalacian Moonshine BBQ sauce near the end of cooking.

rcsw-cue-chicken-beans

The sauce has a great “cling” factor, and stayed put as we brushed it onto the chicken. During the last 10 or 15 minutes of grilling the chicken, we painted on 3 or 4 layers of the sauce – building up a nice, thick, dark sweet BBQ coating.

rcsw-cue-chicken

The taste of the sauce on the chicken holds true to the initial straight-up taste test. The sweet black cherry comes through with a nice supporting back end of a traditional tomato based BBQ sauce. Slightly sweet and savory and very unique. And consider for a moment, Chad came up with “smoked tomato paste”! Who thinks of this?

rcsw-cue-closeup

Texture & Appearance: Very dark mahogany color and medium thick in consistency, there is a lot going on, visually, in this sauce. Bits of onion, garlic and other spices are abundant.

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Taste Straight Up: Appalacian Moonshine Black Cherry Que is very sweet at first, with a pungent aroma of smoke and vinegar. A big zesty flavor of spices and onion and garlic are tempered by the exotic and sour tasting tamarind along with the tangy black cherries. Rounding out the flavors are the classic brown sugar and honey combo. Deliciously flavorful, with some zing from the bing! (Oops… wrong cherry).

rcsw-moonshine-label

Label/Graphics: I do have an issue with the dark label and airbrush artwork of the abandoned car/truck that one might find near a still in the backwoods or hills of North Carolina. I get the reference to moonshiners, but I think it could have a brighter overall look. Something with more “pop” in appearance. Perhaps an archival photo of an actual moonshine still with a few proud Agents standing near their conquest? By the way, a quick Google search turned up news items of over 50 stills being destroyed just in early 2013 alone. It’s a good thing Race City is only making hot sauces and condiments!

Heat Level: N/A. Only slightly spicy. Very mild.

Final Thoughts: Slathered onto the chicken as it cooked on the grill, this sauce set up nicely and yielded a great coating. The sugar caramelized nicely and made for not only good looking chicken, but great tasting chicken too. The sweet slightly tangy cherries really made a difference.

As good as it was on the grilled chicken, I can imagine this on some bacon wrapped meatballs (MOINK balls) too. Yes, that’s on my to-do list now.

Ingredients: water, smoked tomato paste, sugar, molasses, distilled vinegar, black cherries, brown sugar, honey, natural mesquite smoke flavor, spices, caramelized onion, garlic, tamarind, natural flavor, corn liquor, salt.

Our Ratings

Heat: N/A – Slightly spicy from some cracked black pepper that we believe to be in the spices. There’s a nice peppery edge to the sauce.

Flavor: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – Sweet, tangy, thick, and full of flavor.

Overall: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – For overall quality of flavor, ingredients, and finish, Race City Sauce Works Appalacian Moonshine and Black Cherry ‘Cue BBQ Sauce ranks very high with us for taste and unique flavor profile.

About Race City Sauce Works

Race City Sauce Works has the worlds most creative and out of the box thinking when it comes to pepper sauces and mustards with just the right amount of heat to serve every taste. Their sauces and condiments are known the world over as being truly one of a kind.

Where to buy: Available in 16 ounce pint jars for $6.99 at: http://racecitysauceworks.com

Social Media: Follow Race City Sauce Works on Twitter and on Facebook.

Branford’s Originals Serrano Hot Sauce

With over 15 products in their lineup, Branford’s Originals Serrano Hot Sauce is their top selling item, followed closely by their Roasted Garlic Hot Sauce. This cilantro and lime based serrano hot sauce brings on fresh flavor and decent heat in a bright green sauce.

Branford's Serrano Hot Sauce Bottle

Branford’s Originals Serrano Hot Sauce would be a perfect sauce to pour on your nachos or pizza, but it also works really well on tacos and burritos. You could also kick up any salsa by adding a few tablespoons to add a little “green” serrano pepper edge.

Serrano Hot Sauce by Branford’s Originals

Serrano peppers are one of my favorite chiles to include in our fresh homemade salsas. So whenever I get a chance to sample some new serrano sauces or salsas, I’m all in. Branford’s Originals has a slogan – “The Flavor is in the Bottle”. Let’s see what that flavor is…

Ingredients: cilantro, green onions, water, lime juices from concentrate, sugar, salt, serrano peppers, tomatoes, xanthan gum.

Branford's Serrano has a great texture.

Nice texture and color. Great bite and mouth feel.

Texture & Appearance: This medium-thin sauce has a nice, yet small chunkiness to it that I just love. The texture has a bit of a bite to it. It’s bright green in color and pours nicely but quickly. On one burrito, I used up about 1 ounce of the 5 ounce bottle.

Taste Straight Up: First up, this sauce is unique in that there is no vinegar in it. So the big first hit is of the cilantro, followed by a pretty strong onion flavor. A huge hit of lime juice is next (almost too much for me) along with some sweetness from the sugar. Then the green serrano flavor kicks in quickly, rounding out the classic bright flavor that is serrano chiles.

Heat Level: Rated 1.5 out of 5 Stars – 1.5/5 Yea, it’s fairly mild, even for serranos (10-23,000 Scoville units). Not a bad thing for those of you that want to explore new flavors without getting “burnt”. (See what I did there?)

Branford's Serrano Label

Clean, professional label.

Label/Graphics: Clean graphics. The branding is strong with the “Branford’s Originals” in a bold circle, and the flavor/name of the sauce is in a bold ribbon banner beneath. It reminds me of any number of sauces you may find at local roadside stands (McCutcheon’s in Maryland, for example). But it’s clear what you are buying, and has a solid, trusting look to it.

Branford's Serrano on Tacos and Burritos

Just perfect on tacos and burritos.

Overall Rating (Taste on Food, Final Thoughts): Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – 4/5 stars – Very flavorful with quality ingredients and a nice fresh, bright taste. I tried this sauce on homemade burritos and a few tacos recently and it was delicious. Highly recommended.

About Branford’s Originals

BRANFORD’S ORIGINAL’S Hot Sauces and products were created based on my grandmother’s hot sauce recipe. I have followed in her footsteps making her sauce while adding my own touch to it! Making this sauce makes me very proud because it’s a part of our family tradition. That’s what BRANFORD’S ORIGINALS is all about, family tradition and good flavor.

With an extensive lineup of sauces, marinades and rubs, we hope to explore more of the Branford’s Originals products in the future.

Where to order Branford’s Originals:
Shop for Branford’s Originals on their website here.
Follow Branford’s on Facebook.
Branford’s Originals on Twitter.

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