Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dat’l Definitely Not Do

by M

Several months ago, I received the best gift ever: a set of eight hot sauces from around the world. I am the kind of person who puts hot sauce on anything. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, any meal can be improved with a little (or a lot of) kick! So I eagerly set out to explore the wide world of hot sauces. For a few weeks, I peppered my food from different bottles, and I started to notice something: all of the hot sauces tasted more or less the same. I looked at the ingredients and, sure enough, they were basically the same across all eight bottles. Then, I began to look a little closer at the bottles. They had fake “imported” labels, but really they were all made and bottled in St. Augustine, Florida. The set wasn’t from all around the world, it was from all around one factory! The name of the company, Dat'l Do-it, Inc., was already setting a pretty low bar for itself, but Dat’l Definitely Not Do.

I was deeply disappointed. My hot-sauce-induced depression went on for weeks, putting a strain on my marriage first, then noticed by people at work. When asked what was wrong, I told them about my disappointment in the best gift ever. Then, like an apple falling on my head from a tree, an idea struck. I work with people from all over the world: India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, the UK, Russia, Mexico, Romania, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea, and the weirdest region of all, Texas. In an office of more than fifty people, fewer than ten were born in the USA. I issued an edict: “Go to your native lands or their local import stores. Give me your cayenne, your jalapeno, your habanero yearning to be eaten. Search high and low and far and wide, and share your hot sauces.”

This blog is dedicated to hot sauces and the hot sauce lovers out there. Each week, we will be covering a new hot sauce, ranging in source from local to far, far away. My team and I will share our lunch break experiences with you so that you, too, can learn about hot sauces from around the world. Feel free to recommend your own favorite sauces in the comments!

The first taste test: The original hot sauces “from around the world”, remaining six of eight bottles.
Country of origin: United States of America

M finished two of the eight bottles before having the idea strike for this blog, so your fearless* testers will only be reporting on six bottles. The bottles are pictured above and include:
-Pharoah’s Revenge: We don’t know why there is Greek lettering on the bottle for this one.
-Southwest Jalapeno
-Asian Soy
-West Indies Cayenne
-Amazon Hot Sauce with Spices
-Jamaican Habanero
Normally, we would give you a one at a time review of each hot sauce. However, as we mentioned before, they all taste pretty much the same, and that taste is a pretty bland, mildly spicy vinegar.  I mean, no Jerk from Jamaica!  No Curry from the West Indies!  WTF!

L thought there was a tiny hint of soy in the Asian sauce, but we do not leave out the possibility that she was influenced by color. R, our official Mexican, did a blind taste test of the various sauces on pizza crust and determined that only the jalapeno sauce tastes different from the others. (More jalapeno-y!) Guessing which was which turned out to be completely futile. We wondered at the fact that hot sauces from all over the world all rely on a vinegar, pepper, and corn syrup (?!) base. We are decidedly not impressed. Altogether, Dat’ll Don’t.  

*L would like you to know that she is not actually fearless and will probably end up quite cowed by some future sauces once we get to some that are actually spicy.

Rating:  -72/10

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with some kick!