Long time readers will know, I am a big fan of Hot Ones. In a land of pure celebrity worship, I think it managed to do something that very few recorded celebrity interactions ever manage to do, make the person real, even for a second. I’ve got to believe that with fame comes a callus. You have to shield yourself from a ton of bullshit that hits your orbit on a daily basis.
A combination of well researched questions and tough as fuck sauces can crack that shell. Maybe just for a second. Maybe even just for one wing. But, they can do it. People have imitated this type of thing. But no one else has succeeded like this.
The show also started my fascination with hot sauces. Given some of the reactions, I kind of feel like I wanted to see if the hype lived up to it. Or, I wanted to live that bigger condiment life. Hot sauce was not a big thing growing up. It totally is now back home, but it wasn’t way back when, so I felt like I missed out on something.
I started down this path with the stuff you can get at your local store and some amazon purchases….then I made the big dive and did the Hot Ones box. And I have been subscribing to it for about a year. So, I have consumed somewhere around 50 different hot sauces, so I figure I would present my findings to the dear reader.
Lets get the easy one out of the way. There is absolutely no reason to get a mega-hot hotsauce. It ain’t worth it. Like all of the Last Dabs have good flavor, but I would never imagine eating them regularly. Then you have the shit that is just fucking stupid. The shit that was not made to even taste good. The worst hot sauce I had was the Culley’s Brutality. That shit is just fucking unpleasant. Like this category of sauces are generally just not good. Also, the highest scoville doesn’t mean its the worst. The Last Dabs are NOT the hottest sauces I had this year. Shit like the Brutality (where there is a moment you think you may go blind) is that kind of bad.
And no, I didn’t try Da Bomb. Why? Because everyone who bought it regardless of social media all say the same thing. It tastes like battery acid; you pay $12-18 for a bottle of something you will never consume ever again. So yeah, don’t get mega hot stuff.
All of that said, this journey made me a lover of spice. There is something about the capsaicin plus the flavorings that makers add that really bring extra flavor to dishes.
I now look for hot sauces to bring something to the table, or sometimes just to get a swift kick in the ass. Reset my brain a little.
Ill go over a few different sauces that were the top of the pack to explain:
El Yucateco is the best hot sauce you can buy in the grocery story. Its unique, consistently fantastic, and just adds a world of flavor to your dish. Habanero has kind of a hidden savory flavor that is hard for me to describe. Its a little sweet but not way over sweet like Sriracha. This goes great with everything. Especially chili, eggs, chips and dip, hummus, just really anything. You should get a bottle. Its cheap and its everywhere.
Hear me out. These motherfuckers at Heartbeat know what the fuck they are doing. I haven’t had a single sauce of theirs that has been anything but excellent. Their Piri Piri almost made the list instead of this cause its that fucking good. But I have only been through one bottle of Piri Piri but I have been through 3 bottles of this. You think it would be sugary and syrup-y but it totally isn’t. Have you ever had a great savory fruit reduction. Like something that goes with steak that doesn’t have any sugar added. A reduction. This is like a hot sauce blueberry reduction, and it is FAN FUCKING TASTIC. Like the above its good with everything but I really recommend it with meat or hummus. Anything earthy it will really knock your shit up.
This one was a total surprise. If you are like me, and you eat a bunch of frozen indian food. This will make it infinitely better. Its the hottest sauce of the three, but it is also the biggest flavor. This is like the fucking trip to Flavortown. Any prefab or mediocre indian food is instantly better with this. I would recommend it for other purposes, but honestly it is so dominating that you have to be prepared for whatever you are eating to taste like Indian curry. That being said, its also phenomenal.
So, at least for now, my journey has come to an end. I think ill be canceling my subscription next year. Why? For every Assam sauce that comes out of the box, Ill get a whole month of crap, like anything made by Dawson’s. There is just alot of junk or like mediocre stuff out there. I have regulars, and I will continue to buy random hot sauces I want to try from time to time. And Ill continue to buy my regulars (these three among them). But for now, the journey comes to an end.
One last point of advice. If you get sick, get something with the Carolina Reaper in it. It goes straight for your fucking sinuses and will clear them out, no matter how blocked up. Guaranteed.