Spicy carrot juice

By Razib Khan | August 8, 2012 11:49 pm

Those who have dined with me in “real life” know that when I eat savory foods, with the occasional exception of salads, I tend to enjoy a great deal of spice. By “great deal,” I am someone who can down eight habaneros in 15 minutes while eating potato bread, even if I’m going to regret it later (true incident from June of 2010). Now, I understand for my long term sanity I need to be a bit more moderate, so I usually limit myself to two habaneros per sitting. Additionally, I’m always on the look out for habanero sauces which can combine spice with a richer flavor. Dave’s Insanity hits the spice spot, but unfortunately it lacks the fresh and subtle flavor which can be imparted by Thai peppers.

So today I was curious when I saw a habanero sauce from an outfit called The Cultured Kitchen. It was more than $5.00 for a small container, but I decided to get it. I was very disappointed, as it was basically spice flavored carrot juice. Instead of putting it on my salad, as was my intention, I just drank it down like an energy drink so as not to waste it. The Cultured Kitchen seems to market itself as the true “symbiosis of flavor and nutrition.” If so, why may I ask do you have to make your habanero sauces so insipid? I have a nice little pitch for the habanero sauces which The Culture Kitchen produces: hot sauce so bland that even a W.A.S.P. will retain their composure and grace!

If you are a small company which produces spicy and delicious hot sauces, feel free to contact me. I’ll send you a mailing address, and if I like your stuff I’ll be happy to tell everyone that it’s great. Of course to be frank I doubt that the market for my level of spice is going to be very large, but there are always suckers out there who want to impress their girlfriends!

Image credit: Ryan Bushby.

MORE ABOUT: Food, Hot Sauce

Comments (18)

  1. David

    I have many of the same culinary dispositions, and I was driven into making my own habanero sauces. I found it rather satisfying and surprisingly easy. I just blend up a very ripe peach and a peeled lime with a hand blender, add a bit of salt and vinegar as a preservative, and then throw in a bag full of habaneros. With a correct manipulation of a hand blender, you can make a sauce that’s satisfyingly thick. At first I experimented with extra ingredients like coriander, garlic, cumin, etc., but these days I favor the minimalistic sauce described, which is basically 75% habaneros by weight. I love their intrinsic flavor, and occasionally find myself wishing they were less spicy, so that I could use more of this sauce.

  2. #1, interesting. i’ll try that out.

  3. Chill

    Have you tried Trader Joe’s habenero hot sauce? I have 3 bottles cause they’re one of the hottest I’ve tasted. Also Mammoun’s in NYC has hot one too, but I’m not sure what pepper it is. It’s more hot than it is spicy or flavorful.

  4. #3, i will tomorrow 🙂

  5. So you are saying you don’t like Taco Bell Fire sauce? I have a feeling people fail to mention how great it is because it is from ‘Taco Bell’ and so it’s automatically bad.

  6. #5, only moderately spicy. and it has a monotone flavor.

  7. Vic

    I’m right there with you, along with my fiance. We both eat most food extremely spicy (if the cuisine warrants it). I believe that at least half of the “super hot” store-bought sauces are made for and marketed towards people who just want something like that for a gag or as a novelty, which means they have bad (if any) flavor. And the offerings in that category are meager.

    I’ve found that if one is really that picky about getting the perfect mix of flavor and getting the extreme spiciness in one bottle, it is better to make your own sauce/salsa. It isn’t hard and it’s actually quite fun experimenting with the various bases and spices, making different varieties, etc. That way you’re really getting exactly what you’re looking for. Once you get your recipe down, just make it in bulk.

    You just need a good blender, possibly a molcajete, and asian + latino food markets nearby… and you’ve got all the fixings. Fortunately I live around the corner from a shopping center with both… fresh and dried chilis of almost all types. Just a thought. 🙂

  8. Vic

    Oh and I clicked on the link for this entry only because I thought you were actually describing spicy carrot juice, which I thought might be delicious.

  9. deirdrebeth

    My husband loves the really spicy pepper sauces while I do not (I’m all about curry) so generally we never put the same thing on food – until now. Firehouse Subs has a Datil Pepper Sauce that has a kick and SO MUCH FLAVOR. I don’t know if it would be spicy enough for you, but I’d suggest it’s worth a try. We started with it on Mexican, moved on to omelets, mixed into salsa, over burgers, on sandwiches, etc., etc., etc.

    http://www.firehousesubs.com/Captain-Sorensen.aspx (the excellent fire hydrant shaped bottle is a bonus, if you’re not a collector of cool bottles they also sell it in a perfectly normal container.)

  10. Gaige

    I eat habeneros almost daily as well :). I found some really good hot sauces from buffulo wild wings that are actually hot. The hotter one is called blazin. It’s about same heat as habenero but the spice doesn’t stain in your mouth the same way. The second one I use is habenero mango sauce. It’s less spicy but it is so amazingly good. Sweet and spicy. You can get 3 bottles of hot sauce from buffulo wild wings for like 12$ or something. I honestly think its great 😀

  11. Dwight E. Howell

    My Uncle gave me a bag of these things and I froze them. At the rate I’m using them in soups they are going to last a long time. My God have mercy on your intestinal parasites. I have the feeling they suffer a great deal of pain.

  12. #5

    Yes, but you can hoard lots and it’s complimentary (free) which probably ceased to be a consideration for you decades ago.

    The only sauce I can recommend is the Melinda’s xxxtra(?) hot pepper sauce(?) which has a habanero base. In the east coast you could find it in whole foods or any organic/hipster grocery. I really liked the flavor but was too expensive to afford it in my undergrad days.

    To be honest, I suspect you probably won’t find what you are looking for because there is no audience for the level of spicy/hot you like. I found myself in Buffalo Wild Wings chugging down the hottest/spiciest sauce-dip on their menu (which amusingly came with a note warning me not to make direct contact with skin!) just to prove a point to my friends that North America (non-hispanic?) have a ridiculously low tolerance for spice. The waitress, by the way had a smug look on her face as she served and just a few minutes later was visibly distressed and wanting to call ‘help’.

    In conclusion, I haven’t had a very satisfactory out-of-bottle spicy sauce experience in the US. There was one Mexican restaurant however that consistently had the right flavor+spice for my liking, but I suspect that’s because they wanted to kill me.

  13. Matija

    You probably already heard of these, but let me share anyway. Being another spice fiend, here are my favourites:

    Betty B’s Pepper Sauce: Canadian, of Caribbean extraction
    (absolutely murderous, hard to find in the US)

    Mr. Naga pickle, from your neck of the woods:
    (hottest Desi pickle I have tasted; found it in a Bangladeshi grocery in Boston)

    Holy Jolokia from NMSU, very scientific:
    (just very, very spicy; for some reason available at Houston airport)



  14. keon

    you might enjoy marie sharp’s beware sauce. i buy it by the gallon jug at drchilepepper.com, which lasts for around a year or so at my house (i decant it into more manageably-sized containers). the first ingredients listed are habanero mash and capsaicin oil, so it has a good amount of spice for most dishes, but it also has some pureed carrot and lime juice to add a decent flavor to it.

    i’m surprised that you’re limiting your habanero intake, though, any explicit reason for that? i still munch habaneros with the best of them, but in a similar vein i have decided that eating the famed bhut jolokia straight is no longer something i should do frequently.

  15. Tom Bri

    Try Louisiana Hot Sauce. It is the best mass produced brand I have found. You probably won’t find it particularly hot, but it has a nice flavor. This one seems to be big in the Black community. At least, I had never heard about it until I started eating lunch with a bunch of Black guys, and one or another of them was always pulling a bottle out of his lunch bag, and everyone would join in. In fact, people would congregate at out table to beg some.

  16. zach

    I second what #3 said. The Habenaro sauce from TJs is great (I suspect you might even find it relatively mild) Habeneros have such a great intrinsic flavor and this sauce has got it. TJ’s sauce is also $3-4 dollars cheaper than I’ve seen for similar volumes of hot sauces that claim to be the same strength.

  17. Clwaller

    I know funding has ended, but there is likely a website for later purchases
    Exlirirs of Pain http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/714810375/elixirs-of-pain?ref=users

  18. Miles Archer

    Maria Maria’s mexican restaurant has an awesome habenaro sauce that’s not on the menu. Nice flavor and very spicy.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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