Friends and family frequently ask me, “What’s your favorite hot sauce?” For me, that’s a question without an answer. There is no “favorite” sauce of mine. If I try every hot sauce ever manufactured, maybe I’d be able to narrow the list down to a few dozen. The problem is not with just the sauce. The problem is that each sauce has such a unique profile and pairs well with such a variety of foods. Similar to my post about bad hot sauce, good hot sauce is all about the end user. Being from Louisiana, I’ve met dozens of people who tell me that Crystal or Tabasco are the only real hot sauces one should buy. Brand and regional loyalty are great things, and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the tastes of my childhood, but I’m also never content. I need to know what else is out there, which flavors I didn’t know I was craving, and where I can find them.
What I can tell you, at any given time, is which hot sauce in my arsenal is my favorite for the meal I’m about to eat. I can also suggest one of them for any one of my guests, given their preferences and the meal ingredients. Sometimes I sit in front of my open bottles for several minutes debating the meal on my plate and which sauce may compliment it the most. Other times, I feel the need to use up a bottle because I need the space for something new and exciting. On occasion, I completely draw a blank and select something seemingly complimentary from the stash of “yet to be reviewed” unopened bottles.
Some people have favorites, other people have their old standby. I have a deep desire to keep trying new hot sauces and find a fun one to recommend to the people who ask about my favorites. I’ll never know about every hot sauce available, so I love hearing from people who have a favorite or a brand recommendation. Keep sending them my way, and I’ll be happy to give my take on each one!