I like my foods with a little bit of heat and I buy Frank’s Red Hot Original by the gallon.
Yes, we buy 3-4 gallons of Frank’s Red Hot Original every year. We like to add it to traditionally spicy foods such as chili, jambalaya or Bloody Marys, but I will also use Frank’s Red Hot in place of black pepper in some soups and chowders.
At any given time, we usually have five or six bottles of pepper sauce in the kitchen, including the Sriracha Hot Sauce we fell in love with at Lac Viet in the North Market and the man’s nemesis “Da’Bomb Ground Zero” which is just for show these days. One major brand of hot sauce we don’t keep in our kitchen is Tabasco.
I used to buy Tabasco exclusively, especially after visiting the factory in New Iberia, Louisiana. Then, something strange happened with our Bloody Marys. I had developed the recipe over years of bartending and ran out of Tabasco. The man made a quick trip to the grocery store and brought back a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Original because it was less expensive.
On that particular day, I was making a pitcher of Bloody Mary mix and counted the shakes of Frank’s Red Hot. Everything tasted great and we went about our business until I went to the store and bought another bottle of Tabasco sauce.
The next time I made a pitcher of Bloody Marys, I counted the shakes of Tabasco and we readied ourselves for a Saturday of college football. We both noticed the difference. The Bloody Mary Mix I had been making for years tasted “off”, too hot for our tastes and I ended up adding more tomato juice to the mix to make it drinkable.
I still had the Frank’s Red Hot in the pantry so we decided to taste-test the two side-by-side.
Most of the major brand hot sauces are similar in ingredients with a blend of peppers, vinegar and salt. When compared on an oyster cracker, I noticed the heavy vinegar taste with a bitterness in the heat in the Tabasco sauce. The Frank’s Red Hot, which includes water and garlic powder, had a more smooth bite and a distinctive flavor instead of just “heat”. Perhaps we liked the garlic taste underneath the heat as garlic is another of our primary kitchen ingredients.
Comparing two of the biggest-selling brands of hot sauce in the world side by side will make their differences obvious.
I’m a Frank’s Red Hot Original fan.
Frank’s Red Hot