less sugar, more spice

Rule 1: The first ingredient of hot sauce is peppers. Not sugar... And definitely not white vinegar. Read on for recipes, reviews, & general burnination.

Top Ten Most Unique Hot Sauces 

Of these so far I’ve tried Secret Aarvark—everyone in the Pacific Northwest has a bottle in the fridge, right? And Chicoaji, which they carry at my favorite vegan restaurant, Chaco Canyon. Both are great which makes me eager to try the other eight on this list!

Especially Lucky Dogg and Bravado because they use apples and I have a friend with an apple tree. Side note: Bravado is the best possible name for a hot sauce. «<BRANDY ENVY»> Anyway… Is this article gospel? Certainly not. Is it my new hot sauce shopping list? Hell yes.

Let’s Start A #Mustard Otaku

Seth Godin says the reason there are millions of hot sauces on the market but few mustards is that there’s no “mustard otaku.” He’s right: there is no elite class of mustard nerds that I know of. And it’s a crying shame. 

Because today at Husky Deli I sampled (and then bought) a truly inspired condiment concocted by @MustardandCo. Their curry honey blend, which contains olive oil and balsamic as well as (duh) mustard. I couldn’t stop adding more and more onto my sandwich. And I’m not the only one—the sample bottles were almost all empty! If you’re curious what a high-end mustard with refined ingredients tastes like, check this one out. Unless you hate curry. Because you can really taste the curry. Seattle-folk, apparently the owners might even hand deliver it to your house! Now that’s local.


P.S. While at Husky I also picked up a tube of Chipotle Paste. Haven’t tried it yet so I can’t give a review… but it sure sounds like a sensible idea. I look forward to using it in an enchilada sauce soon.


Most of these do nothing for me as I’m into hot sauce, not some sort of textile culture around hot sauce. But… let’s just that if I ever have a baby, that kid’s first Halloween costume has been chosen.

What do you do with a drunken strawberry?

Ok, so my strawberries are not drunken.(Yet anyway. A heavenly dessert I know involves dipping each strawb in the boozahol of your choice, then rolling it in dark brown sugar and adding a dollop of sour cream to it… but I digress. This is after all Less Sugar Mo’ Spice.)

Fact is, I have too many strawberries. I also have some jalepenos. So, I’m going to attempt this recipe.

Though, I confess, the thought of buying pectin and jelly jars makes me feel like I should star in this Portlandia clip… Wish me luck!

Wicked Cactus Sauce Ghost of the Samurai - 5oz. - Hot Sauces - Peppers.com offers hot sauce, bbq sauce, wing sauce and more. 

@Mehals brought this excellent hot sauce to our Labor Day barbecue last year, and the vibe of the party instantly charged up as we split into two groups: those dying to try it and those who would rather die than try it. In the end, it turned out that Ghost of the Samurai was in the middle: not quite spicy enough to make the spice-junkies cry, but way too spicy for the non-spice-junkies to safely enjoy. This means that a couple of drops are great addition to a pot of food. Ghost of the Samurai is unusual in that it’s got Asian flavors—in fact, it’s like a spicy teriyaki sauce. It’s salty and sweet in addition to spicy. As I said, it makes a great stir-fry addition and cooking sauce. We also added it to some dips with great success. And the fact that it’s handcrafted and has a pretty label means it also makes an awesome gift for your fellow chili-hounds. Recommend!

Ingredients: Teriyaki Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, Ghost Pepper, Garlic, Ginger, and Honey

Drying Hot Peppers 

My roommate grew 7 hot peppers in pots on our deck and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them. I think what I want to do is dry them and feed them into a pepper mill to grind and crush hot peppers that will garnish and spice up salsa, hummus, tasty melon cocktails, etc. So first thing I have to do is dry them, which I’ve never done before. I’m planning to use the oven method simply because most of the others aren’t an option for me. If anyone’s ever done this before, tips appreciated!

Lulu's Mexican Chocolate 

HotWired Cafe in West Seattle uses this blend in their Mexican mochas, and now they sell the packets straight from Lulu’s. It also goes great in drip coffee or, of course, added to milk for a spicy hot cocoa.

Robert’s Mango Salsa Recipe:

2 large mangos, diced

1 small red onion, diced

2 red fresno peppers, roasted, peeled and diced*

~5 cloves roasted garlic, minced

handful chopped cilantro

dash of kosher salt

dash of red pepper flakes

~2 Tablespoons olive oil

~1 Tablesppon rice wine vinegar

juice of one small lime

Mix ‘em all up and let sit for at least a half hour. Super tasty on salmon.

* To roast the peppers and garlic, line a heavy baking sheet with foil, and toss them under the broiler — peppers by themselves, garlic split into cloves, but not peeled. Flip everything over after a few minutes, when the pepper skin is blackening, and get the other side to blacken as well. Peel the garlic then, but stick the peppers in a plastic bag for 10-15 minutes, and the skin will just come right off.

You can also roast a lot more garlic while you do this, for use in marinades and other tasty foodstuffs.

Make your own spicy tuna sushi 

from TheKitchn.com

A Recipe from Chili Cookoff World Champion 

Alas, this version lacks deer, buffalo, rattlesnake and rhino meat. I strongly suspect that the magic won’t happen if the chili powder you use is subpar.

More Information