If I were stranded on an island with nothing but the clothes on my back and five hot sauces to spice up the wild boars and fish that wander into my banana leaf net, these five would be my picks:
Dave’s Gourmet Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce – No man has been able to tame the beast that is the Ghost Chili better than the “Spice Meister” Dave Hirschkop. Hirschkop, a Virginia native now living in San Francisco, got his start making award-winning pasta sauces. Dave’s Gourmet Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce is a pungent yet delectable beast. A single drop of the sauce into a serving of Spanish rice is enough to detect the spice. The reason I would have Dave’s Gourmet is that it will last a lifetime. I got a bottle of Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce when I was 14 years old and I’m only now halfway done.
Sriracha- Huy Fong’s Sriracha is the Soong Emperor of East Asian hot sauces. Coming from suburban Los Angeles, the first time I came face to face with Sriracha was at a hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant. Being a Hispanic, I did not yet recognize the distinction in quantities between salsa and sriracha and drenched my pho into a glowing orange hue. After the resulting terror and subsequent flashbacks subsided, sriracha earned a special place in my heart.
Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce- If Sriracha is the Emperor, then Chili Garlic Sauce is the Prime Minister of East Asian hot sauces. Stately, but spicy. While Sriracha’s main appeal is its spiciness and acetic flavor, Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce brings new elements into the dish yet is less obtrusive to the original taste. It also goes fantastically with cabbage.
Cosecha P’urhepecha- This is a gem that seems to not be all too popular outside of my area. This Mexican salsa earns its place along less chunky and more traditional sauces due to its delicate flavor, its intense punchy spice, and its ability to complement most savory foods.
Valentina- If Sriracha is the Emperor of the East, Valentina is El Presidente of the South. This spicy sauce is not as hot as the other ones on this list, but boy is it the nectar of the gods (of breakfast burritos anyways). When I’m stranded on an island, this sauce will make my banana leaf wild boar dinners all the more enjoyable.