Scoville, USA: 5 Hot Sauces To Try in 2021
With International Spicy Food Day on January 16th, we thought we’d turn to the king of spicy foods: Hot sauce! Any food becomes delightfully spicy with just a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce bottle, whether you’re inclined toward a classic Tabasco-style or something a little more complex. From a simple combination of chiles, salt and vinegar, hot sauces have evolved into their own genre of creative flavors across multiple continents. With so many to choose from, there’s a hot sauce for every personality. Here at Provisions, we try not to play favorites, but we definitely have a few hot sauces we’re happy to highlight!
SD Sauce brings the heat and flavor, earning its reputation as one of the best hot sauces in our store. Sutta Saraphum grew up in Thailand, learning to cook both at her mother’s side and in some of Thailand’s most popular restaurants. When she came to the US, however, she couldn’t find her favorite Nam Jim dipping sauce. Frustrated by “ethnic aisle” sauces full of vinegar and preservatives, Sutta began making her own from scratch with straightforward, fresh ingredients. This made for such bold flavors that in 2015 Sutta began bottling her “spicy delicious” (SD!) sauce, and it’s been a hit ever since. We're happy to now carry their Vegan Ginger Sauce as well! Unlike their original delicious recipe, there’s no fish sauce here, but being vegan is not the only thing that sets it apart. Anyone would be happy to have both sauces in their fridge, because this sauce is totally different! Packed with fresh ginger, this Thai chile hot sauce’s bright flavor is complemented by bean paste and brown sugar, along with SD Sauce’s signature additions of cilantro and garlic.
Co-op’s many eye-catching bottles of hot sauces have been gracing the shelves of Provisions for nearly ten years now, and we don’t see that stopping anytime soon. Co-op’s creative spirit embodies everything that makes hot sauce so varied and fun. They bring that spirit both to their original sauces, like Chi-racha or Chchcherry Bomb (yep, spelled just like that!), and in their Collabosauces, like their Stonebend Farm Hot Sauce. This tangy, sweet sauce isn’t quite like any other, combining habanero peppers, mezcal and honey with local NY produce, like pumpkin and Buddha’s Hand citrus, for an unforgettable meeting of Chicago style and New York flavor.
When we onboarded Secret Aardvark a few years ago, we didn’t know just how popular it really was, but we suppose that’s the secret to its staying power on our shelves. Made in Portland, Oregon, their flavorful Habanero Hot Sauce is set apart by its rich tomato-carrot base, with habanero pepper heat that builds with every bite. It bills itself as a Caribbean/Tex-Mex hybrid, but the truth is that this sauce goes with everything and anything, from spicing up a simple plate of eggs to squeezing the whole bottle out for an incredible marinade. Secret Aardvark even recommends trying it in your beer—seriously!
Brooklyn Grange has been one of our favorite sources of local greens, with three rooftop farms in the Navy Yards, Sunset Park, and Long Island City. These are the largest rooftop soil farms worldwide, growing delicious organically-cultivated produce like everything that goes into this peppery salad blend. Brooklyn Grange also operates a rooftop apiary, maintains green spaces for many others, and collaborates with non-profit and community service organizations throughout New York, all contributing to a greener city. With such an extensive resumé, is it any wonder Brooklyn Grange also makes excellent hot sauce? Made with herbs and peppers from their own rooftop farms and blended with organic vinegar, both the Classic Red and Tangy Herb hot sauces have vibrant, layered flavors you won’t be able to put down.
Shaquanda’s Hot Sauce
Every hot sauce we bring to Provisions has an origin story motivated by flavor and quality, but the origin of Shaquanda’s Hot Sauce is just as motivated by art and performance! Back in 2013, Shaquanda agreed to perform at Bushwig, an annual drag festival, only if she could incorporate food into her act. Once the night was over, Shaquanda and her friends wandered the streets of Bushwick with the remaining hot sauce, serving strangers a flavorful blend of peppers and herbs that didn’t rely on sugar or salt to be good. With such a positive reception, Shaquanda took her opportunity and started bottling her sauce, and the rest is history. We’re proud to now carry Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce—the Bushwig original recipe—as well as Oooohmami, an earthy but no less spicy sauce that combines habanero heat with molasses and blackberries. We can’t pick a favorite, and we’re betting you won’t be able to, either.