Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tabasco Buffalo Hot Sauce Review

Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce

While I applaud the Tabasco hot sauce company for what they've done for hot sauce in general, loosely and more fervently applaud their attempts at innovation, I sometimes get the feeling they don't know what they're doing and are just resting on their considerable, though dated, laurels.

Case in point, this sauce. Buffalo sauce has been around a long while and while I feel it is mostly derived from the Cayenne-based Lousiana-style sauce, at least when it is best, it is a very well-established style. Those who do it well, do it well and everyone else takes a swinging pass at it, which is sometimes good and sometimes a salvo across the bow that is the exact kind of thing that could result in someone getting knocked out.

This one would be more towards the latter. Tabasco itself, we all know (and if you're me, mostly hate) and them stepping into this arena means a very harsh sort of loose Buffalo-flavored concoction with that sweetness associated with Tabasco peppers. Little to no heat to speak of, but a flavor that is best left unspeakable, actually. If I put a sauce down, such as I did with this, to reach for Original Tabasco, to me, it speaks that something is really wrong and this is a race to the gutter to find something as ill-conceived and delivered as this. Sure, you would be hard-pressed to do it, but could probably find something as dreadful, but this is not why we look to hot sauce. This is the kind of thing we avoid.

Bottom line: Things like this make me wonder if sauce makers are tasting the product they put on shelves and if they are, how they can, in good conscience, sleep after doing so. Certainly not the worst I've ever had, but also not worth consuming.


            Heat level: 0
            Flavor: 2
            Flexibility: 1
            Enjoyment to dollar factor: 0

Overall: 1

Sunday, February 1, 2015

El Yucateco Caribbean Hot Sauce Review

El Yucateco Caribbean Chile Habanero Sauce

Continuing along with another of the El Yucateco line-up, we have this sort of oddly-named sauce. When we see the name Caribbean, we might think of a sort of Louisiana-styled sauce or we might think of something along the lines of a "jerk" seasoning. This, however, is neither.

In fact, this one is nothing so much as a sort of typical carrot-Habanero sauce and most closely resembles its much tastier big brother, the Green sauce, though it is notably distant from that. The usual El Yucateco coloring weirdness is in full effect. So far, we have the ultra-bright Red, the borderline fluorescent Green, the black-flecked nauseating ashy Private Reserve and now this, baby-diarrhea Light Brown. That their sauces continue to sell so well points to one or maybe a combination of two factors: a dearth in the marketplace or the quality of their sauces. As wild popularity bears little to no relation to actual quality, I'm leaning more towards the former, though, to be fair, their sauces are unique and in the case of at least the Green, fantastic.

This one doesn't quite get up to those lofty heights and in fact, was one that had to grow on me a bit. It is not one I would consider immediately or readily accessible to the palate. It's around the same heat level as the Red, maybe a little less, slight compared to the Green, but the flavoring does not play nicely at all with a wide variety of foods. In fact, if you're not sticking mainly to Mexican, where it does a fair job only, it's better to leave this one on the shelf, as several others fill that niche much better. Given that this one is rare, it might be worthwhile to pick up if you see it, as you're not especially likely to come by it again, but that's probably for the more diehard fans of hot sauce or the manufacturer in general.

Bottom line: It's worth a try if you haven't already had carrot-Habanero, but definitely stick to more Mexican-y foods with it for best results. I probably will not be obtaining a bottle of this again.


            Heat level: 2
            Flavor: 5
            Flexibility: 3
            Enjoyment to dollar factor: 4

Overall: 4

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bee Sting Habanero Hot Sauce

Bee Sting Honey n' Habanero Pepper Sauce

Some of you have had some KFC. I've had some, probably everyone has had some. I say this because at KFC, they not too long ago became the subject of a national report on HFCS in which it publicized them spiking their honey packets with that noxious derivative. They were far from alone and several other producers, including grocery store brands, were equally guilty of this addition, which was likely made in the name of price, but has the additional side effect of over-sweetening the product.

I mention all this because this sauce has, as its first ingredient, HFCS. So, if you've guessed by now that this is an over-sweetened product along those lines, give yourself a cigar. The other elements of this, some onion flavoring, garlic, various peppers, sort of come together to create a rather noxious overtone to this when eaten straight. On food, it does slightly better, but this is not a well-executed sauce. Conceptually, mixing honey with habanero is not a bad idea, but as with everything else food-related, quality of ingredients leads to quality of product and not only using a substandard element, such as HFCS, but leading with it, adds a cheapness to the taste.

Heat here is precious little. One of the suggestions is for ice cream, which evidently is the new trend of sauce makers - to try and wreck everyone's desserts with hot sauce - but this wouldn't be particularly good there. As it stands, it does well with fried foods or wherever else you'd use a dipping sauce, but either registers as too cloying or having a noticeable off-taste on other foods.

Bottom line: While I give this high marks conceptually, the execution is frankly horrid and this is neither a good-tasting nor particularly useful, flavorful or picante sauce.


            Heat level: 2
            Flavor: 2
            Flexibility: 3
            Enjoyment to dollar factor: 2

Overall: 2

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Pukka Hot Sauce Review

Busha Browne's Pukka Hot Pepper Sauce

I sometimes wonder from what planet the guys who write the copy for hot sauce labels emerge. Take this one, "BE WARNED. IT IS VERY HOT AND NOT FOR THE FAINTHEARTED." From the front, "EXTRA HOT AND FIERY. USE WITH DISCRETION." Evidently whoever wrote it didn't also taste it, as the only way this sauce is actually hot is if you make it physically that way, in a temperature sense. As far as spiciness, this has precious little heat, maybe slightly more than a Tabasco or in that range somewhere.

But...and this is a big one...we all know by now that the only thing which matters is flavor and in that regard, this one delivers in a major way. The Scotch Bonnet, one of my personal favorites, is in full force here and delivers not only major deliciousness, but that slight bit of sweetness along with it as well. Heat, as mentioned, is miniscule, but that can mostly be forgiven. Could I have used more? Certainly, but not enough people are utilizing that pepper these days, so part of me is just glad someone is, though the Bad Brains Burn Babylon (ahhh, the alliteration!) sauce is notably better.

This is a Caribbean sauce, which is similar in many ways to a Louisiana-style sauce, but carries a bit more heat, a lot more spices generally and definitely an undeniable sweetness element to it that sets it apart. Still, practical usage puts these on the same types of foods. Personally, as much as I'm enjoying some of these diversions into the Caribbean, my money is still on the diehard, tried-and-true and often brutal and bracing Louisiana side of things.

Bottom line: This one has been around for a while and with good reason. It is a very flavorful sauce that adds a nice cutting element to foods, though a very minor amount of heat.


            Heat level: 2
            Flavor: 7
            Flexibility: 6
            Enjoyment to dollar factor: 6

Overall: 5

Friday, January 9, 2015

Slap Ya Mama Hot Sauce Review

Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce

Then there's this, not to be confused with "Slap Yo Momma" or "Slap Your Momma" or any other "Slap-" named hot sauce. This one is calling itself a Cajun sauce, but it is your basic Louisiana-style sauce, albeit an extremely poor one. There's no real way that someone should be able to take the ingredients of aged red pepper mash (I'm guessing Jalapeno, but possibly also Cayenne), vinegar, salt and water and make an actual bad-tasting sauce, but these guys have managed it, possibly due to the "other spices" constituting part of the ingredient list.

I have recently discovered World Market and this is one from there, but it definitely will be the last one. Over-salty, no heat, tends to make food taste not only worse but much worse and poor flavor, this is one of the worst sauces I've encountered, an anomaly in a category where the difficulty level to create something palatable is fairly low.

Bottom line: I would rather eat Tabasco than this and I typically avoid Tabasco like the plague.


            Heat level: 0
            Flavor: -8
            Flexibility: 0
            Enjoyment to dollar factor:0

Overall: 0 (or -2)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

El Yucateco Black Label Reserve Hot Sauce Review

El Yucateco Black Label Reserve Chile Habanero Sauce

Ahhh, the "reserve" tag, which is frequently used to market things as "special" or of limited quantity, usually hopefully to receive a better price. Pricing is the same on this, but I don't know why they'd call it a reserve, especially, as there is nothing particularly special about it and the "black label" part only serves to really set it aside from their more common market entries.

El Yucateco is a sauce manufacturer I've always sort of struggled with a bit as their sauces are inconsistent in terms of cost per ounce with a lot of their competitors in the market yet the quality is nowhere near enough to get it in the leagues with a lot of the more specialty makers. They have some interesting sauces, but aside from El Yucateco Green, which is a true taste marvel (despite that odd bright green coloring), they are just not really overall at a high level.

I do love that Green, however and when this came out, I was hoping for a much more amplified version of that sauce. What we have here, though, is more coloration problems. This one is thick, oily, sludgy-looking and maybe the most unappealing, unappetizing and borderline nauseating sauce I've yet seen. Taste-wise it is much better, but my immediate impression was a mouthful of ash. My love for fire-roasted things is well, well documented, both in this blog and elsewhere, but like everything else, only when it contributes positively to the flavor. Here it does not. Additionally, the flavor here has a sort of off-beat to it, which adds to the oddness and heat here is much milder, maybe half of the Green, maybe even less than that.

Bottom line: Although I was initially happy to discover it there, this is not at all another Wal-Mart gem. Instead, this is as near a total misfire as a sauce can get. It has limited availability, which is ultimately a blessing here, since this seems very unlikely to catch on.


            Heat level: 2
            Flavor: 1
            Flexibility: 1
            Enjoyment to dollar factor: 0

Overall: 1

Friday, December 26, 2014

Best Hot Sauce 2014 + Recap

After 2 years and change, I'm strongly considering the first major change to this blog. It will not be videos or audio blogs or anything along those lines, though I may wind up adding pictures of the sauce labels/bottles at some point, for recognition. This would include retroactively, if I have enough time and can find the actual bottles. My overall stance on the other elements (expanded more in some of the earlier posts of this blog) has not changed and I frankly don’t have the available time to spend on that, even if it did. Fact is, I have not quite decided exactly what it will be, though I wouldn't be surprised it if does turn out to be pictures of at least the sauce labels. More on that as it develops in 2015...

When we last left off, I was working my way down through several open bottles of sauce in the fridge (aside from pitching the awful Scorned Woman) in order to make room. After having done that and going through almost all my remaining shelf stock, as well as ordering more stuff through a couple Black Friday sales, I now have new stock to play with as well as another shift that is lately enabling me to use more sauce, albeit mostly on fish. Many of these new sauces seem to be of the “blast furnace” variety, so this new wave should be interesting, as most seem destined to be “back of the fridge” sauces.  I do have enough on tap to exceed 100 sauces reviewed, though I’m not sure I’ll be getting to all of them next year. Then again, if I don’t, it won’t be for lack of trying. One of them I had when I made the recap post last year, though that is admittedly rare, although, the trend of posting having fallen way off from years prior will likely continue to hold in 2015 as well.

My current standby sauces have changed little. They are currently:

*Emeritus Everyday sauce: Trappey's Red Devil
*Everyday sauce: Blair’s Pure Death Sauce
*Grilling sauce: CaJohn's Bourbon-Infused Chipotle Habanero (BICH)
 Mexican-style sauce: Arizona Pepper’s Chipotle Habanero Pepper Sauce
*Emeritus Asian-style sauce: Huy Fong Chili-Garlic Sauce
 *Asian-style sauce: Wicked Cactus Wrath Of The Tiger/Zenso Sweet Chili Sauce
 Louisiana-style sauce: Trappey's Red Devil
 Sweet-hot sauce: CaJohn's Happy Beaver
 *Wife's sauce: Danny Cash's Salvation Garlic-Serrano and/or Bottled-Up Anger

 *= Not looking for a replacement

Last year, my sauce of the year was given away in the Standby list, where the mighty Blair’s Pure Death did the unthinkable, something I never thought would happen, didn’t even think was possible and certainly never foresaw and usurped Red Devil as my Everyday sauce and basically retired it. This year, things are not so clear-cut. “9” seems to be the magic number overall rating as both the winner of 2012, CaJohn’s Happy Beaver and last year’s winner, Blair’s Pure Death, came in at “9” as well. Those other two sauces had some strong contenders along the way and this year, the winner, Born ToHula’s Ghost Of Ancho, was the only sauce to register that high. There were a few at 7, but nothing seriously challenged or presented much competition to this one, which clocked in right out of the gate in January and held off everything else all year.  Despite having a much smaller pool against it, Born To Hula’s Ghost Of Ancho is every bit as deserving and rightfully takes its place up against those other worthies.
The others are as follows:

2012 Sauce Of The Year: CaJohn’s Happy Beaver
2013 Sauce Of The Year: Blair’s Pure Death
2014 Sauce Of The Year: Born To Hula’s Ghost Of Ancho

Now, I could open up all the years to the running and have the only qualification be that they have not won in years past (otherwise Pure Death is my sauce of the year forever), but as mentioned, by leaving it open to strictly the year in which a particular sauce is reviewed, it keeps things fresher and current. All of these winners were at least available in the year they were rated, in case anyone wants to go get a bottle for themselves and for all of these winners (I think they are all still available), interested readers definitely should. I may recant on this and if I have a year with particularly low-rated sauces, I might go back through all of the other “9”s and do a run-off, but so far, there hasn’t been need.

Let’s get to some metrics. This is post 106, which makes 23 for 2014, compared to 21 for the last quarter of 2012 and 61 for 2013. The total of hot sauces reviewed this year is 17, bringing the grand total of hot sauce reviews to 78. That number is right around 74% of the total posts. I’m not going to do a cumulative average rating or anything like that as I largely don’t think it matters in light of the fact that several of the sauces appear to be off the market, which seems to be somewhat of a trend for hot sauce makers; make and bottle a batch and then go off on to something else. It’s nice for the exclusivity, I guess, but can’t be too wonderful for sales, unless they just intend to bring it back if something takes off.

That aside, more blog numbers:

Total posts (including this post): 106
Total views (as of this writing): 5172
Total single sauce reviews: 76
Total double sauce reviews: 1
Total sauces reviewed: 78
Total unopened sauces waiting on shelf for review: 15
Total opened sauces waiting for review: 0
Total open bottles in fridge: 11
Door sauces: 7
Back of fridge sauces: 4
Highest viewed review (separate from the overall blog generally): 242  - Valentina's Extra Hot
Highest viewed article, any type: 242  -  Valentina's Extra Hot
Most posts, month, 2014: 6 - December
Most sauces reviewed, month, 2014:  4 - December
Most posts, month, overall: 10 - June 2013
Most sauces reviewed, month, overall: 8 - June 2013

Along the way, I’ve also had a number of “hot” food items at restaurants and much less so, but also “hot” snacks in 2014, of varying quality in both heat and taste, mostly nothing I’d care to repeat. That is generally reported to my Yelp account, but occasionally it will make it into these type of posts, if notable. Speaking of Yelp, here are some updated metrics there, current as of this posting:

My review count is now 540 reviews and 72 updates, which is a total of 612 reviews, all in. Further, I was "First To Review" 57 times or slightly over 10.5% of the time.  I also have 309 "Friends" (feel free to add me, if you wish), 9 "Fans", submitted 1 Event, which was one I'm enormously gratified to have been able to take part in (Inland/Outland from Svavar J√≥natansson) and created 11 Lists. Rounding this out was 541 "Useful" votes, 147 "Cool" votes, 172 "Funny" votes and 42  Compliments. My distribution of ratings falls in the order of: 29 or ~5.5% at 5 stars, 173 or ~32%  at 4 stars, 241 or ~44.5% at 3 stars, 83 or ~15.5% at 2 stars and 14 or 2.5% for 1 star, which, again, is well in line with expected results as the pool grows larger.

It takes quite a bit for a place to get 5 stars, in that it has to either be the best of its kind, live way up to or beyond my expectations, blow my socks off, be near perfect or be something that I literally cannot think of a way to do better. Most of my 5s are not restaurants, in fact, as of now, there are only 8 of that 29 count for the 5 star reviews that are for restaurants. Likewise, if I give something a 1 rating, it generally means I think the place should be closed. Those are also exceedingly rare and perhaps somewhat harder to get than the 5s.  Most of the places I’m trying to find are either places that will be comfy and reliable “regulars”, places I can take someone to impress them (work-related, for the most part) or useful in some other way. A lot of it, in practice, winds up with me just canvassing geographical areas around places I’m at normally, i.e. where I live, where I work, where I travel on a somewhat frequent basis for work, my PO box, etc. This is useful, though, after a fashion, as information is always good to have in hand. Given that this frequently results in costing me a lot more than I’m reimbursed, sometimes the trade-off is less in my favor, though.

I also keep 5 separate lists of future places to visit (much as I do with hot sauces and wines, actually, though those two are only single lists, respectively), so those Yelp totals will only continue to increase. Of course, I have no idea how well the actual reviews there draw and I’m not sure Yelp will either divulge that information or ever plans on publishing it. For further discussion of Yelp, please refer back to my Q3 2K14 post in September 2014.

As to my wine blog, that sits at 20 posts, with all but 3 of them reviews. That one still continues to draw very slowly, hovering right around 3.5% of this one. This, of course, is a spin-off of my wife’s very quickly started and ended website from spring of 2014, but it also is intended to be one fairly specific thing and I think the inherent audience for that is a much narrower band than even this.

As always, I welcome your companionship in future times…in any or all of these arenas.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hellfire Blueberry Hell Hot Sauce Review

Hellfire Blueberry Hell Hot Sauce

This is one I've had on my radar for a long, long while and finally took the plunge during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday business going on this year and I'm reasonably glad I did. The sauce is reminiscent of Grapes Of Wrath, though on a much more focused and frankly, tastier, level. This not really a sauce that is an all-over whiz, though. I've seen a lot of commentary, including from the manufacturer, about putting this on ice cream, but it's not an ice cream topping, as a more traditional blueberry sauce would be. To function there, it would need to be much better-tasting. Despite the visual appearance, where it is around the same consistency as maybe a blueberry syrup, this is definitely not a blueberry sauce, nor is it interchangeable like that. Instead, it is clearly a fruit-based hot sauce and as such, like Grapes, does better with lighter meats, such as pork and chicken. I personally also like to use the fruit-based sauces on meats where I would use a Louisiana sauce, so fried foods, shrimp, chicken and so on. In fact, on those foods, it has a certain addictive quality that kept me eating more and more of it.

Despite containing a laundry list of upper-end heat on the pepper side, including Scorpions and 7-Pot, the overall sauce is not particularly scorching. There's enough there to get one to take notice, particularly in the somewhat intrusive nature of the taste, but heat-wise, this builds to a fairly immediate level and then dissipates quickly after. I'd put this maybe in the low 30Ks or so, SHU. Besides the heat, the peppers also contribute a very immediate bitter aspects from the super-hots that sort of follows the sweet nature of the blueberry flavoring reminiscent of a straight blueberry sauce. Once that bitter part kicks in, at about the same time as the heat, it is never really tempered and becomes a noticeable aspect of the flavoring, which can be off-putting, especially if attempting to use this as a straight blueberry sauce.

Bottom line: This is moderate enough in heat for chileheads (probably more than would be comfortable for everyone else) to eat directly, but probably ultimately not tasty enough to do that nor does it do much but wreck ice cream, if you choose to use it there. This, however, would be a great addition to a fruit-based sauce line-up, if you make one and represents the blueberry very well overall. While it can be a bit pricey, it could easily wind up being a staple, as the positives here overwhelmingly outweigh the negatives. If it's not my outright favorite fruit-based sauce, it's definitely in the running.


            Heat level: 5
            Flavor: 7
            Flexibility: 7
            Enjoyment to dollar factor: 7

Overall: 7

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Online Hot Sauce Shopping: A Slight Digression

I may have mentioned in the past, but as others have noted, being a chilehead who loves hot sauce, particularly a chilehead on a budget and who is not getting comped product, can be a challenge. You have basically brick-and-mortars, sections of grocery or specialty stores or online. In many areas, brick-and-mortars are hard to come by and even when they do exist, such as a few around in the Salt Lake City area, the stock is so badly in need of rotation that you can frequently have a sauce that is spoiled or that has its taste severely modified and compromised by age. Unlike wine, hot sauce does not do particularly well with age, especially those with no preservatives at all, save for what salt and vinegar is in there...which is generally not enough to do the job.

After having mined all of the specialty sections of every place I could find within approximately an hour driving radius of Salt Lake City, as well as the existing brick-and-mortars (most of those appear as posts in these pages), I ran into an empty well...that and the fact that I could not get anywhere near the selection of some of the great sauces I'd seen discussed at some of the various chilehead informational spots online. So, like any good red-blooded American, I turned to Amazon to see what they could offer. Their selection is probably the worst of any online retailer, since food items are still relatively new to them and what is there is grossly overpriced. The shipping threshold admittedly is lower (still $25 when I first started looking, now $35, depending on the source), but with such an obscene markup, it was hardly a value. To date, I have yet to buy anything from this purveyor and it seems less likely I will.

From there, given the somewhat recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday wave that has hit the actual hot sauce vendors themselves, timing happened to coincide with this and I was able to take advantage of specials offered by Blair's, CaJohn's and Torchbearer. All of them, I'm pleased to say, conducted themselves well and I have no that you can wind up spending a lot more with one particular manufacturer than you had otherwise intended, in order to get to that vaunted free shipping.

From there, it was on to some of the aggregate providers online. I can say with certainty that none of them that I've found are the one true good source. I have used probably the most, but they're frequently out of stock of a number of bottles and their selection seems at times to be almost whimsical. Their pricing, however, is structured well, free shipping is at $75 and the packaging that it comes in is excellent. It happened they were out of stock of a number of things I wanted this year, in fact, which caused me to look around and try out Hot Again, packaging was excellent and they had the most of what I wanted, though they also were far from perfect. Pricing was about right in line, though slightly more than Peppers.

I get it; selection is hard here, with vendors adding and deleting sauces seemingly constantly. Add to that a shelf life, a somewhat small (though expanding) market base and perhaps a lack of historical data to draw from by way of predicting where the sales will go and it definitely proves to be challenging, since probably everyone is also price shopping. Speaking for myself, I also took a look at Insane Chicken, iBurn, The Hot Sauce Stop and Mo Hotta. While I know everyone can't carry everything and some of the smaller sauce makers probably don't have deals, none of those I mentioned were enough to convince me to place an order.

Selection, while hard, is really the big deal here, though, as most of us have a lot of sauces we want to try, but don't particularly want to put our entire budget to strictly one manufacturer, particularly if trying a sauce for the first time. I'm hopeful that eventually someone will come out with a one-stop shop that does a better job of having everything in inventory, but I suspect that will take a very concerted effort on the part of the packager, to go out and get those smaller run sauce makers and a solid investment and commitment to create basically the ultimate in specialty shops. I notice that most of them also have subsidiary crap like t-shirts, hats, dry spices, BBQ and/or wing sauce and other food items and I suppose we could take from that the market is not yet enough to support a shop slinging strictly hot sauces. I know from what I've seen of the brick-and-mortars here, it's not enough to support one of those, as the market is not enough to bear that kind of overhead, but an online sauce shop should carry a lot less of that. I think the day is coming and I really hope it gets here soon, as wading through a stable of sites to place a bulk order is not the most enjoyable expenditure of time...the way that hot sauce in general is expanding, it seems likely and I think it would almost be worthwhile to trade some of our chilehead exclusivity for it...on the other hand, if you really look at the explosion, it's all in generally mass-produced crap, with little of it breaking the 10K SHU barrier, let alone upwards, where all the real fun is...could go either way, I guess, but it would still be really nice to have one shop you could count on to not only have everything, but also be competitive price-wise...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ass Kickin' Cajun Hot Sauce Review

Ass Kickin' Cajun Hot Sauce

The tagline on the bottle claims it is "Kick Yo' Ass Hot!" but what we're dealing with is a fairly successful blend of a Louisiana-style sauce with something more along the lines of one of those Habanero sauces that relies on a blend of carrots to help smooth it out. Like Scorned Woman, this one features both white and black pepper, but where that one turned right to bitter, this one is concocted to be a lot more creamier, sort of like one of those Buffalo sauces that is silky to the palate rather than harsh and abrasive (for wings, I personally prefer the latter, incidentally). All of those are mild, of course and this one racks in some very solid Habanero to boost up the heat build decently. Because it is the slow-burn Habanero, it also carries on for a good lingering bit afterwards, though never really gets anywhere near a level I'd consider challenging to chileheads.

It is a very good-tasting sauce that does a great job of melding the two aforementioned sauce types, that of the Habanero-carrot (I should note there are no actual carrots in this sauce, but it's that kind of vibe) and a more typical Louisiana-style, but the addition of Habaneros does not automatically incline it to Mexican food. In point of fact, it clashes heavily there, so it's best used in places you would use a Louisiana-style sauce, which is more closely resembles ultimately. Habaneros do have an aspect of overpowering and diminishing the overall taste in various sauces, though that is definitely not the case here. Here, they are a welcome accent.

Bottom line: This is a very solid sauce more akin in taste to a Louisiana, though notably hotter than sauces typically in that vein. It also has an appealing smoothness, also atypical for that type.


            Heat level: 4
            Flavor: 8
            Flexibility: 6
            Enjoyment to dollar factor: 7

Overall: 6