Yeah, yeah, you love Secret Aardvark. We know. But there's a whole grocery shelf of locally made hot sauces out there just waiting to burn your face off. We put five to a blind taste test using crackers and cukes.
âItâs not very hot, but itâs sweet and really good.â
âI would eat this on just about anything.â
âItâs like someone combined sriracha and some of that Thai chicken sauce and combined them.â
Use it on: Hot wings, rice, noodles.
âWatery, watery, watery.â
âA whole lotta clove. Itâs really off-putting.â
âIt tastes like chai. I feel like Iâm in Townshendâs tea shop right now.â
âWay too vinegary for my tastes.â
âItâs super smoky.â
âItâs a real back-of-the-throat burn.â
Use it on: Eggs, pulled pork.
âI want to know if thatâs artificial color, itâs an amazing color.â
âItâs good, kinda sweet.â
âThis would be a great cocktail hot sauce, or if youâre just looking for something to keep on your table because youâre a capsaicin addict.â
âI think this has a depth of flavor the others donât.â
Best: The overall favorite was Thai and True. Though not exactly a traditional hot sauce, most agreed they would happily use it in place of one. For a more everyday condiment, Portland Pepper Sauce also had some strong supporters.
Best bottle: Flameboy's hip-flask shape and retro label was a standout, with all agreeing it was the sauce they would most likely give as a gift for that reason. For practicality, the squeeze bottles and thin spouts of Thai and True and Secret Aardvark came up trump.