Sriracha has been the hottest hot sauce on the market for some time and with a recent “shutdown,” lovers of spicy condiments have been left wanting. But fear not. Small-batch hot sauce purveyors across the country have answered the call of spice lovers everywhere. Here are four of the best from around the nation:
Bat’s Brew Hot Sauce
Lousiana is the birthplace of American hot sauces so no best-of list would be complete without a sauce from the bayou. Everyone’s heard of Tabasco but the Panola Pepper Corporation, launched in 1983 in Lake Providence, Louisiana, also makes quite a few unique hot sauces, from basic varieties to mango and Cajun-spiced versions. The best of the bunch is Bat’s Brew. A blend of habanero and jalapeno peppers with the requisite vinegar and a hint of lemon, this super spicy sauce packs a big kick. It works great on catfish and poultry.
Midwesterners love their condiments, especially hot sauce. Volcano Sauce from the tiny town of Kingsley in Northern Michigan has a loyal following and with good reason. Owners Jeff and Jean Ackerman, who bought the business from restaurateur Tom Tiberii, recently converted an outbuilding at their farm into a new production facility to accommodate the growing demand for their homegrown sauce. The Ackermans prefer using Thai chiles instead of Stateside versions. Garlic, sugar, vinegar, salt and other spices are added to counter the spiciness. It’s a sauce that works on all types of meat and fish.
Sancto Scorpio Hot Sauce
In New Mexico, spiciness is a religion, according to state lore. You’d be hard pressed to argue with that statement when you spy the sheer number of homegrown hot sauces on supermarket shelves. Narrowing down a favorite is difficult but the Sancto Scorpio hot sauce by CaJohn’s is hard to beat. A ZestFest winner, the Sancto Scorpio sauce is not for the faint of heart. It contains the feared Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper, considered the hottest on earth. The spiciness of the pepper is cut with the help of sugar and lemon. But it still packs a flavor wallop so beware.
Da Sauce Original Cambodian Dipping Sauce
Oregonians have a passion for hot sauces and it seems every local restaurateur and food truck in Portland wants to get in on the act. If you love Sriracha but want a more unique sauce, try Da Sauce. Much like Sriracha, it has a garlic and peppery spiciness but, unlike the more popular sauce, it uses fish sauce as a base, with lime juice and ginger added. Sweet and fiery, it will leave you wanting more. Pour it on poultry, fish and appetizers to jazz up your dishes.