Some like it hot.
We drizzle it over spaghetti, pour it over cornbread, sprinkle it over tacos, and even dribble it over scrambled eggs. Hot sauce - Southern folks can’t live without it. We usually have a hidden stash in our purse, car, and workplace just in case the food is a little too bland. Most like it hot below the Mason-Dixon!
There’s just one problem – too many choices. In a world where hundreds of hot sauces line the shelves of our local grocery stores, how can we possibly choose? Don’t fret. The editors here at Southern Living have done all the work. We selected five of the most popular hot sauce brands and did a blind taste test. While some opinions differed, there was a clear winner.
Winner: Crystal Hot Sauce
This hot sauce was the clear winner in the taste test. Our editors said it was a classic flavor that would pair nicely with a variety of Southern cuisine. While it wasn’t as hot as many of the other sauces, the heat seemed to linger long after the test was over. Interestingly, many folks said this hot sauce was a bit sweeter than what they were use to; it was a refreshing surprise.
2: Cholula Hot Sauce
This flavorful sauce was a close second. Everyone agreed that it was the most unique of the bunch. It has a Mexican-style taste, and most folks said they noticed hints of cumin, garlic, and chili pepper. This hot sauce would be the perfect choice for tacos, fajitas, and tamales.
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3: Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Coming in at third place was Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. This was a crowd favorite because it wasn’t too hot, and the buffalo flavor was delicious without being overwhelming. Be sure to have this sauce on hand when preparing game-day food like wings, meatballs, and buffalo chicken dip.
4: Texas Pete Hot Sauce
Texas Pete Hot Sauce took fourth place in our taste test tournament. Everyone agreed it was the spiciest by far. Just a few drops will do the trick. One of our editors said it “hits you right in the throat.”
5: Louisiana Hot Sauce
Last but not least is Louisiana Hot Sauce. While no one particularly disliked this choice, the overwhelming vinegar flavor seemed to be the deciding factor. Most folks worried that the distinct taste would drown out the flavor of the food. However, one editor said that she would like it over collard greens because of the thin consistency.