We’ve all been there. A group of fine gentlemen sit down in the local mexican cantina or Portuguese Piri-Piri Chicken establishment *i.e. the one that rhymes with mangos”.
We are then presented with the choice – how HOT a hot sauce does one go for? You want flavour, but really you want to show your masculine prowess, preferably measured in how many millilitres of sweat you can mop from your brow!
We caught up with Stuart McCallister of Hot-Headz! Chilli Sauces – to get the download on how to handle that hot sauce!
Stuart’s Chilli Sauce Tasting Tips:
Look before you leap
1. If your pallet is not up to handling the heat then look for high chilli pepper content on ingredients list (20% plus) – simple really – the more chilli the hotter the heat! However bear in mind if your sauce uses Naga or Habanero chilli a little goes a long way – it’ll be hot anyway!
Check the ‘extract’
2. Not all chilli sauces are created equal. Check the ingredients list and look for “Pepper Extract”, “Capsaicin oil”, or “oleoresin” as these will be Super Hot i.e. made with pepper extracts for
incredible heat. Also the above have a bitter taste to them.
3. You can literally SEE a good chilli sauce. Look for a good consistency and no separation of ingredients. Thin Louisiana style sauces can still be good if the consistency is good.
4. Tasting chilli sauces is as much as an art form as wine, whisky or coffee tasting. For maximum enjoyment taste on the palm of your hand! Often crackers, tortilla chips etc. will interfere with the pure taste of a sauce.
5. Any dairy product like milk, yoghurt, ice cream or cheese will help ease the burn after eating chillies because a protein called casein breaks the bond between the pain receptors and the capsaicin. Also milk chocolate works very well. Don’t drink water, it’s like pouring petrol on a fire! Capsacin is not soluble in water so it just makes it worse!
Founded in 1994 by Stuart McAllister, chilli officiando and a world authority on the subject, Hot-Headz! has become a mecca for those seeking not just extreme heat but the whole variety and subtleties of flavour that chillies bring to the world of cuisine.