hot sauce

Why so many super hot sauces taste bad

Why so many super hot sauces taste bad

What even is a super hot sauce?

In my mind a super-hot sauce is basically any hot sauce that contains a super hot chilli. Like one of these:

Most of these chillies are actually varieties of Naga that have been bread for potency. So flavours are quite similar (but the Reaper is still my fav, it's nice tasting pain).

The sauce itself can vary in heat, but generally if you have one of these in it's going to make you sweat. Think the top 3/4 sauces on Hot Ones.

Why do so many super hot sauces taste bad?

Now don't get me wrong there's some lovely super-hot sauces out there. Especially over the last few years there's been some corkers released. But when we used to review sauces back at the beginning, i'd find time and time again that the hotter ones tended to sacrifice flavour for heat.

So why does this happen? Well two reasons...

1) They producers don't really care. You know the sauces. It's just a gimmick, they want to make something as hot as possible mainly for the "I'm buying this to prank my mate" market, rather than people that enjoy the flavour of hot sauces. So they cut costs, use extracts etc.

2) The producer has made the decision to pack in more chilli at the expense of other ingredients because they're worried it will dilute the heat. Meaning the end result is fine, but not that interesting.

Both of these people tend to use Capsiasin extract. Which is basically the pure stuff that makes chillies hot. On it's own it tastes really bad.

How do you avoid sacrificing the flavour?

The art to good super-hot sauce is quality over quantity.

So that means really fresh ingredients (Fresh chillies not from mash pictured), keeping the ingredients list short AND choosing ingredients that pack a lot of flavour into a small space.

This could mean spices but people often overlook things like a really good quality vinegar. It makes all the difference.

How did we approach ours?

All of these things were on our mind when we approached our recipe for Flying Fox.

Now I'm not going to pretend that Flying Fox is the hottest sauce on the market. It's not. It's designed for connoisseurs, definitely not the mate-pranking bro-dudes out there.

But it won two starts at the Great Taste Awards. Along with only a few other hot sauces that year. And it does hurt. Take it from me we just made a batch today and I got a bit on my upper lip 😭

How did we get there? We put into practice everything that I've set out above. We selected garlic and blood orange juice as a bass, two ingredients that have LOTS of flavour. We use extremely fresh chillies and kept the ingredients list short.

It's now one of our best selling sauces.

You can do it too!

So get inspired! Take what I said here and give it a go yourself. We have a basic hot sauce recipe here.

Thanks for reading all that. I know you're busy.

Love Kier


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