Monday, August 30, 2010

A Full-Flavor, No Burn, All-Purpose Hot Sauce

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 7:08 AM

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The proliferation of hot sauces that want to burn my face off is puzzling — anyone can make a sauce that's excruciatingly hot, but the market must be really small, so what is the point, exactly?

It's much more difficult to make a sauce with a pepper flavor that approximates fresh and is strong but not bitter. Equally important is a light touch with the vinegar — it shouldn't alter the flavor profile of the food.

This mental checklist on hot sauce goes with me as I pick up and examine the many hot sauces that cross my path. I feel like Goldilocks: This one's too hot, this one's too sweet, this one is too sour. I found a good one last week that's got a different approach.

Gunshot Sauce is a vinegar-based sauce that uses a touch of horseradish, lemon juice and lime juice. It's warm, not hot, and calls itself a barbecue sauce, not a hot sauce. It would make a good mop for pork, but unlike most vinegar mops, it has enough balance and complexity to also work as a condiment.

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It was great on a smoked prime rib sandwich, for instance.

There's also some celery salt in there, so it has an undeniable Bloody Mary kick to it. That's what I'll be using it for, and deviled eggs, which the website recommends.

It's for sale The Market in Maryville, Tenn., and at the hot sauce store in Gatlinburg and Gourmet's Market in Knoxville. Get in touch with Bites if you find it closer to home.

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