Exploring American Hot Sauces

There are few pleasures in life that can equal the slow burn of a well-made American hot sauce. Heat lovers put their favorite sauces on everything from tacos and pizza to ice cream and plain white rice. Tens of thousands of people attend a number of hot sauce festivals held in the U.S. where many enterprising sauce companies put out there best products for all to taste. Crafting these taste​ bud burners takes a lot of dedication and there are only a few out there that can truly call themselves masters. If you are a student taking online culinary courses or a hot sauce connoisseur who hasn’t had a drop of a commercial brand in years, here are a few of the tastiest sauces around from some lesser-known producers:

Boulder Hot Sauce Company – Founded by Harry Robertson, the Boulder Hot Sauce Company features some of the spiciest sauces on the West Coast. One of it’s most popular sauces is the Serrano. Its heat starts off with a slow build up, where you can sense the subtle nuances of the blend of peppers, vinegar and vegetables. There is also a hint of sweetness added to the smoky aftertaste. Harry’s Habanero, arguably the hottest in the company’s roster, doesn’t exude as much of a menacing odor as other habanero sauces. The smoky flavor that you find in Serrano isn’t quite matched here either, but that’s because your focus is completely on the mind-bending heat scorching your tongue.

Hellfire Hot Sauce – The creators of these devilish concoctions have been growing hot peppers, herbs and spices for more than three decades. They have competed at the New York City Hot Sauce Expo and Cajun Hot Sauce festival, earning praise from thousands of heat lovers. Hellfire’s most tongue-numbing sauce is Beyond Extreme Heat. It is made of some of the hottest peppers in the world including the Trinidad Scorpion, 7-pot, Carolina Reaper and Bhut Jolokia. The sauce doesn’t dump pure lava onto your taste buds, however. It is tempered with a delicious mix of heirloom garlic, vegetables, vinegar, salt and other spices.

Bravado Spice Co – The sole mission of the Bravado Spice Co founders was to create boldly flavored sauces that were equally spicy and delicious. Bravado’s flagship sauce, the pineapple habanero, blends fresh pineapple and fiery habaneros.

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