Sadowski's Hot Sauce Primer
Today's blog is a guest-post from my friend (and star of Young & Hungry) Jonathan Sadowski. You may know Jonathan as a talented actor (he recently played William Shatner's son), but one did you also know he's a passionate hot sauce expert? We're talking a massive hot sauce collection, extensive knowledge of chile varietals, and a deep love for the varying subtleties (or lack thereof) between different sauces.
I asked Jonathan to pull together a list of his favorites. Read on for a post from Sadowski on his hot sauce must-haves.
Let’s be honest...who doesn’t like a good cry? The swelling of the eyes...the tickle of a tear as it salts down your cheek. The sting of air every time you exhale. Throbbing lips. The incessant “razor blades on your tongue” inferno... “Sadowski, what the hell are you talking about?” Hot sauce, y’all. Hot sauce. I’m talking about jalapeños. I’m talking about habaneros. I’m talking bhut jolokia, naga jolokia, butch T’s, Trinidad Moruga scorpion, scotch bonnets...I’m talking THE CAROLINA (MF-ing) REAPER.
If you couldn’t tell by my unbridled enthusiasm, I am a chili addict. Over the years I have accumulated quite the collection of hot sauces, and today I’m gonna share with you some of my favorites.
D.L. JARDINE’S TEXAS KICKER: “Move over Tabasco...”
This habanero based sauce is a great stepping stone for those who want to stick their toes in the water. You’ll notice the garlic and onion on the nose, with a hint of citrus finish. It kinda has a southwest vibe to it, and goes great with Mexican food, or as an everyday hot sauce.
DOCTOR ASSBURN’S FIRE ROASTED HABANERO PEPPER SAUCE: “Where there’s smoke...”
Folks, this bottle is a gem. Dr. Aiken Assburn (he’s not a real doctor) prides himself on making all natural heat “elixirs”. This particular one will have you feeling like you ate a habanero fresh off the grill. Flavored with cane vinegar, tomatoes, and roasted peppers, the smoky flavor with have you hooked after the first drop. The addition of hot pepper extract gives you a little extra kick.
CAUTION: this hot sauce is no joke. At around $30 a bottle, it is also a collector’s item. Every year Dave makes a limited edition sauce that is FOUR TIMES HOTTER than his other batches. Upon first taste, you might think “I got this.”....just wait. The slow burn is completely unrelenting. Your eyes will tear. Your nose will run. I guarantee it. This bottle is loaded with Scorpion Pepper extract. If you can get past the heat, you will notice a leathery flavor with a sweet finish.
THE REAPER: “The almighty”
Last year, Ed Currie (from the Puckerbutt Pepper Company) cultivated a hybrid chili which was awarded the spiciest pepper in the world. He named it THE CAROLINA REAPER. The first time I tried this sauce it literally took my breath away. No joke. It actually constricted my breathing for a split second. These bad daddies top out at 2.2 million scoville units (that’s the unit of measurement for “heat”). To give you an idea of how hot that is, Tabasco sauce is around 5,000 scoville units. This is hands down my favorite hot sauce that I own. The flavor is alive with chocolate undertones and hints of orange peel. The funny thing is, this puree only has two ingredients: CAROLINA REAPERS and VINEGAR. That’s all. The friendly folks at CaJohn have really done something special here. A little bit goes a long way, and the heat is BLINDING. A must have for any hot sauce enthusiast.
Hopefully you get a chance to try some of these. You will not be disappointed. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@sadowski23) and send me your own recommendations. Until next time... CRANK IT UP A NOTCH.
- Jonathan “The Heat Guy” Sadowski