Saturday, March 2, 2013

Texas Two-Step

by L

We are long overdue for an update here at The Hot Sauce Diaries, so we are giving you a two-for-one deal on hot sauces from Texas.

“Everything’s bigger in Texas,” the motto says. I haven’t spent too much time in Texas, but here are some things that I know to be bigger: 1) the DFW airport (seriously, it’s huge, get stuck there for twelve hours someday with constant gate changes and see what I mean); 2) thunderstorms (see #1); 3) Houston (which takes approximately 17 hours to drive across); 4) adventures had by Pee-Wee Herman. Texas is our second-largest state in the USA (in both area and population) and it’s on the Mexican border, so it’s not surprising that we’ve received multiple hot sauces from that constantly-threatening-to-secede location from our colleagues to review. This combo post will cover both August in Austin sauce from the Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop in Austin, TX, as well as Truly Texas/Texas Fire Water.

Name: August in Austin
Manufacturer: Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop
Chili pepper: Habanero (Capsicum chinense)
Country of origin: United States of America
Rating: 8.0

Name: Texas Fire Water
Manufacturer: Truly Texas
Chile pepper: Habanero (Capsicum chinense) and Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
Rating: 3.0

Review--August in Austin

“This is the bottled fury of our meanest month,” the bottle says. I don’t think I’d want to be in Austin in August, in that case. The sauce is a straightforward recipe containing habaneros, vinegar, a twist of lime, a touch of garlic, and a hint of salt. This sauce makes you break a sweat and feel the burn. If you are looking for some no-nonsense kick, this would be a great sauce for you. Even our native Texan was feeling the burn.

Review--Texas Fire Water

Truly Texas makes a lot of claims on its label, including “Not suggested for use by Yankees.” Now, two out of three of our reviewers count themselves as both Yankees in the traditional sense of the term AND Yankees fans. We disregarded this suggestion and went ahead, consuming the sauce anyway. I wouldn’t say we were filled with regret or anything after that decision, but we were not overwhelmed by delight. This is one of the mildest hot sauces we’ve ever had, and possibly the mildest we’ve reviewed. The bottle says that the sauce is not mild; that is because the sauce has not even achieved a rating of mild. There was more water than fire in our fire water. Now, that is not to say that this sauce does not have any potential role in life--the people of Scotland might want to use it to step their way towards real sauce. I think M and R downed about half of it in just one lunch though. It is more of a ketchup-like condiment--add some flavor, no tears--than a hot sauce. The flavor you’re adding is more like mild pepper juice than anything else.

Texas is a big land with a lot of variety, we think. Choose your sauces wisely.