By Rice Honeywell
As a proud citizen of Ottawa and hot sauce fan, I couldn’t resist buying the first Ottawa Hot Sauce Box from Heating Up the Capital, which featured top sauces from several local producers, and was inspired to film some video reviews.
Unfortunately the first box is now sold out, but all the hot sauces I’ve reviewed are available from their makers in the websites linked below. As well, the second Ottawa Hot Sauce Box, now with eight local sauces (all different from the selections in the first box), is available for purchase at Heating Up the Capital, so don’t miss your chance to grab this great deal and support local producers before it sells out again!
Overall, I really enjoyed all seven hot sauces in the first box, and appreciated how they offered a wide range of heat levels and flavour profiles. If you’re looking for a delicious hot sauce to try out, a way to support local makers, or getting a gift for the chili head in your family, any of these sauces is a great purchase.
Sauce #1 – Meow! That’s Hot Wasabi Tabby
Wasabi Tabby is a beautiful green tomatillo sauce with jalapeño, habanero, and wasabi notes. It’s one of my all-time favourite sauces that works well on just about anything, especially Mexican food and eggs. The mild heat is perfect for hot sauce beginners, but even spice lovers will appreciate the flavours in this sauce. Highly recommended!
From the website: “Our take on a traditional salsa verde, with a twist! Tomatillos, jalapeño, habanero, and a wasabi horseradish kick.”
Sauce #2 – Gringo’s Blazing Sauces Smouldering Ambrosia
Smouldering Ambrosia is a deep red tomato-based sauce with a lower level of heat. I’m not a fan of many chipotle sauces because of the overpowering nature of the ingredient, but this sauce strikes a perfect balance between the smoky chipotle flavour and the roasted tomatoes and jalapeños. It’s fantastic on tacos and nachos, and is another great pick for hot sauce beginners.
From the website: “This smokey sauce brings tons of flavour, pairs perfectly with egg, tacos, nachos and burgers!”
Sauce #3 – Saucy B Sauces B-Sting
B-Sting is a thicker, medium-heat sauce with spice that hits your tongue right off the bat. The blend of peppers provides a really nice depth of flavour that compliments the sweeter nature of this sauce quite well. I tried it on hot dogs and hamburgers to replace my usual addition of ketchup and I don’t think I can go back! Overall, this sauce is a great step up for hot sauce beginners looking to try something a little more intense.
From the website: “Smoky, medium heat. Winner of best overall sauce at the 13th annual Hot Pepper awards!”
Sauce #4 – Simple Simons Complicated
Complicated is a sweeter medium-heat sauce that really brings the spice to the back of your throat. I found that the blend of peppers combined perfectly with the sweetness from the pineapples and honey. I’ve used it on pizza, eggs and Whalesbone fish sandwiches with great success, and the larger 296ml bottle size means I get to enjoy it for twice as long as the typical 150ml hot sauce bottle. This is another sauce that provides a solid stepping stone for beginners looking to take things up a notch.
From the website: “A blend of hot peppers from Asia and the Americas that triumphantly brings together the heat of East and West. The bold heat of habanero peppers in the forefront combine down the middle with delicious Thai chilies and lingers on with the long finish of jalapeños.”
Sauce #5 – Gordz Hot Sauce
Gordz Hot Sauce is a spicier sauce with a chunky consistency and a delayed and lingering heat. I found that the pepper blend for this sauce complimented the carrot and onion flavours really well, and I’ve enjoyed it on sandwiches for both the flavour and the texture it brings with every bite.
From the website: “An all-natural unique blend of flavour and fire with seven varieties of hot peppers from seed to bottle.”
Sauce #6 – Haico’s Hot Sauce Garlic Ghost
Garlic Ghost is a higher heat sauce with a beautiful blend of naga, ghost, and Hungarian wax peppers. The mustard base of this sauce really compliments the kick from the peppers and the garlic flavour, and I’ve used it with great success on pasta, hot dogs, and hamburgers. This is definitely a sauce for people who want a higher level of heat but still want great flavours.
From the website: “A fan favourite, Garlic, Ghost peppers balanced with Hungarian wax peppers, fresh oregano, and chives. Can be used as a cooking ingredient or enjoyed on its own!”
Sauce #7: Jargon Preserves Deadly Medley
Deadly Medley is definitely the spiciest sauce in the bunch and it brought some powerful heat with every bite. It comes in a smaller dropper bottle, but even a small amount of sauce contains some very big unripened pepper flavours. A great sauce to use when you really want to amp things up and challenge yourself!
From the website: “This is a very spicy green sauce with that traditional green sauce flavour, perfect for people who want something hotter for pizza, eggs, soup, etc. Made with unripened green peppers from jalapeños to Carolina Reapers.”