Around the world in almost 80 hot sauce bottles

Hot Zones

Whoever said it’s a small world never tried to count all the hot sauces in it. Local ingredients and tastes have influenced everything from the giants like Tabasco and Heinz to a guy an hour outside of Kyoto with a habanero farm. We surveyed hot sauces from every continent except the one covered in ice and boy are our tongues tired.


United States and Canada

Montreal, Québec, Canada
Smoke Show Hot Sauce
Take two brothers, one with a hangover, add a load of jalapeños, a smoker and maple syrup (because Canada) and you get this, eh.
Spice Level: X X

Norwell, Massachusetts + now Vermont
Dirty Dick’s Hot Pepper Sauce with a Tropical Twist 
Richard “Dirty Dick” Westhaver, who is a horticulturist by trade and a former competitive BBQ cook, actually came up with this sauce while at his family’s home in Montserrat, which gives it the “tropical twist” of mangoes, pineapple and bananas, but it’s got some heat.
Spice Level: X X X

Brooklyn, New York
Mike’s Hot Honey
Mike is a guy from Brooklyn who ate at a pizza joint in Brazil that had jars of honey with chilis steeping in them to drizzle on the pies. Mike fell in love, started making his own back in New York and brought it to a pizza place in Brooklyn run by a guy named Paulie and BADABOOM.
Spice Level: X X

Highlands, New Jersey
Blair’s Hot Sauce 
Blair’s comes in Sudden Death, Mega Death and Ultra Death varieties. About as subtle as a gesture from a trucker you cut off to get into the Clara Barton Rest Stop on the Turnpike because you were in the wrong lane to exit.
Spice Level: X X X X X

Levittown, Pennsylvania
Griffin’s Wing Sauce 
The company ships oceans of fiery wing accompaniment in gallon jugs—heat levels basically start at hot and move on from there to
“nuclear,” “hotter than balls” and “lethal injection.”
Spice Level: X X X X

Washington, DC
Uncle Brutha’s Gourmet Allsauce 
Brennan “Uncle Brutha” Proctor tinkered with variations on recipes and styles, then collected armfuls of trophies at hot sauce competitions and emerged from a nascent craft hot sauce scene without gimmicks like an obscene name or flashy artwork to develop a cult Mid-Atlantic following.
Spice Level: X

Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Texas Pete
This classic, conjured in 1929, doesn’t actually come from the Lone Star State. Didn’t see that coming, did you, partner?
Spice Level: X

Cincinnati, Ohio
Frank’s Red Hot
This mild hot sauce somehow birthed the hot wing with the addition of some beer, some butter and bleu cheese dip at the Anchor Bar & Grill in Buffalo, NY.
Spice Level: X

Detroit, Michigan
The Brinery 
Carrying on the Midwest tradition of making its own style of Louisiana hot sauce with Aura Solanales, this newcomer specializes in pickled things but branched out.
Spice Level: X X

New Orleans, Louisiana
Legend has it that Alvin Baumer found a recipe for a hot sauce that dated back to the Civil War labeled “Crystal Pure” in a drawer in 1923. Still produced by the Baumer family, to the tune of 4.5m gallons a year, that same cayenne, vinegar and salt recipe is a New Orleans standby.
Spice Level: X X

New Iberia, Louisiana
Original “Louisiana” Brand Hot Sauce 
Claims of “perfect” and “original” notwithstanding, this one is a classic that cements the region’s ownership of this style.
Spice Level: X X

Avery Island, Louisiana
About 150 years ago Edmund McIlhenny started with some pepper seeds (the brand is named for the variety) and set the standard for the thin, vinegary spice accompaniment to everything from oysters to eggs.
Spice Level: X X

Austin, Texas
Yellowbird Serrano Condiment 
Birds do the work of spreading hot pepper seeds far and wide because they are immune to the spicy heat, so the company’s motto to “Be the bird,” is a little Zen and a little West Texas.
Spice Level: X X X

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe Seasons Green Chili Hot Sauce 
Sort of like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (popularized by New Mexico’s other biggest export besides the Hatch chili) the heat and flavor of sauces made from the Hatch (which brings more of the latter) is a moving target.
Spice Level: X X

Irwindale, California
Huy Fong Foods “Rooster” Sriracha Hot Sauce 
A Thai sauce created by a Vietnamese immigrant and adapted with red jalapeños from Southern California is about as LA as they come.
Spice Level: X

Vernon, California
Just as many people assume Huy Fong is Asian, many likely do not know that Tapatío got its start in East Los Angeles in 1971 and is still run by the family that founded it.
Spice Level: X X

Healdsburg, California
Mateo Granados “El Yuca”
Chef Mateo brought his mother Delmi’s recipe from the Yucatán and adds a wine country twist with Healdsburg habaneros and olive oil from a local biodynamic vineyard.
Spice Level: X X X

Portland, Oregon
Marshall’s Haute Sauce 
Born of a passion for farmers’ markets, canning and community, this is a farm-to-table sauce of Portlandian proportions using fresh, local ingredients like heirloom habaneros.
Spice Level: X X

Hilo, Hawaii
Da Secret Sauce 
Chili pepper water has yet to reach the mass export status of poke, but Hawaii’s ubiquitous but historically homemade spin on hot sauce is made with the island’s own very hot chilis.
Spice Level: X X


Chapala, Jalisco
Hands down, one of the most popular hot sauces on this side of the Rio Grande, the Order of Cholula boasts fans such as New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who knows.
Spice Level: X X

Guadalajara, Jalisco
Basically the Tabasco of Mexico, Valentina is the most widely used hot sauce in the country. Everything from pizza to hot dogs to enchiladas gets drowned in it.
Spice Level: X

Culiacán, Sinaloa
Dried Cora chilis or chiles de árbol give this deep red sauce, named for the type of parrot the family of the founder fed dried chilis too, its hue.
Spice Level: X

Lomas de Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City
Ground guajillo peppers give the Salsa Classica its spice, but the focus is on the flavor.
Spice Level: X

Xalisco, Nayarit
Salsa Huichol
True to its coastal Nayarit roots, in the early days (around 1950) founder Roberto Lopez used emptied bottles of Pacifico to hold his concoction of cascabel peppers, cumin, salt and vinegar. But that strategy is no longer tenable with the company producing upwards of 100,000 bottles a day.
Spice Level: X

Yucatán, Mexico
El Yucateco 
The classic version is available in red habanero or green habanero, both of which are nearly as ubiquitous in US taquerias as they are in Mexico with good reason.
Spice Level: X X X

Central America

Picamas Salsa Brava 
A thick, bright green sauce (its unnatural tint might come from more than serranos) that has enough of a following that folks stock up on huge squeeze bottles of the stuff.
Spice Level: X

Mustard and habaneros give this muy auténtica sazón Panamanian its amarillo hue.
Spice Level: X

Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce 
Carrot-based and with red habaneros, the hottest of the habaneros, providing the heat, this is one hails from a farm on the Mayan Mountains.
Spice Level: X X X

Tabasco peppers grown in the Olancho Valley give this barrel-aged “major sabor” its kick.
Spice Level: X

Matouk’s West Indian Flambeau 
A scorching blend of aged pickled scotch bonnet peppers with mustard packed with flavor but also a punch.
Spice Level: X X X


Windmill Hot Pepper Sauce 
Bajans mix their scotch bonnet peppers with mustard for the best of both worlds, and this brand, one of the first bottled versions, was started 60 years ago by a father and son team.
Spice Level: X X X X

Pickapeppa Sauce 
A unique blend of fruit and hot peppers and fruit (including mangoes and raisins) and cane vinegar aged in oak barrels that has been called “Jamaican ketchup”—which should give you some idea how many things it gets put on.
Spice Level: X X X

Nap Boule! 
The name of this pepper sauce made with the Haitian goat pepper, is the traditional Haitian Creole reply to “What’s up?” (or “Sak pase?”) but technically it means “We’re burning,” because Haiti is hot. So is this sauce.
Spice Level: X X X X


The peri-peri (or African bird’s eye) chili can be very hot, but this sauce with garlic and bay leaf comes in on the medium spice side. Nando’s sells its sauce but is also a fried chicken chain.
Spice Level: X X

Mina Spicy Red Harissa 
A hallmark of Moroccan cuisine, Mina adds in some extra-virgin olive oil and a touch of vinegar to the red pepper base for a less paste-y version. This is the one spice the French actually will put in their mouths.
Spice Level: X

Canary Shatta Hot Pepper Sauce 
Giving couscous and koshari a kick, shatta is especially popular in the shadow of Sphinx but can be found throughout the Middle East.
Spice Level: X X X

Small Small Awaze
Driven by the Ethiopian berbere spice, with a balance of heat and flavor, this is made for dousing and injera dipping.
Spice Level: X X

Goody’s Lovely Shito 
Major points to Ghana for upping the umami game with dried black peppers and adding dried fish to the mix. Goody’s also makes some vegan options with mushrooms.
Spice Level: X X X

South America

Anápolis, Goiás, Brazil
Mendez Hot Sauce 
The yellow malagueta pepper features here in a thicker pepper sauce that has an almost mayo-like consistency (but is vegan).
Spice Level: X X

Diaguitas, Valle del Elqui, Chile
The most popular hot sauce in Chile, there isn’t much to it besides very hot Chilean chilis, water and salt.
Spice Level: X X X

Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Amazon Pepper Sauce 
A tropical flavor comes from the mix of peppers that grow at the edge of a rainforest in the Andes Cauca Valley mixed with guava. Sauve, Rico.
Spice Level: X

Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Olé Hot ‘n Fruity 
This is based on a typical Ecuadorian recipe and using the tamarillo, or “tree tomato,” a tropical fruit native to the Andes, and tena pepper.
Spice Level: X

Santiago de Surco, Lima, Peru
The Perú Chef’s Pasta De Aji Amarillo 
Far more commonly made at home this very spicy cornerstone of Peruvian food serves as the basis huancaína, a burning yellow cheese sauce.
Spice Level: X X X


Golegã, Santarém District, Portugal
Paladin’s Sacana Piri-Piri
Vasco de Gama brought the fiery Piri-Piri pepper from Africa to Portugal (or maybe vice-versa), so you’ll find the sauce made from it on both Portuguese and African tables (though in Africa the spelling is usually peri-peri). “Sacana” translates to approximately to “bastard,” so this one notches a few more Scovilles than the standard Piri-Piri.
Spice Level: X X X

Catalonia, Spain
Ferrer Salsa Romesco 
The ñora, a small, round, mild cherry pepper, is dried and provides a mild heat—the addition of crushed hazelnuts and almonds round things out with a unique earthiness.
Spice Level: X

Isigny-sur-Mer, France
Beurre D’Isigny 
We asked a Frenchman, “What is the most popular hot sauce in France?” His reply: “Do you mean butter? We put that shit on everything.”
Spice Level:

Stavanger, Norway
Midsummer NB19 
If Norwegian black metal were a hot sauce this would be it. Fermented black garlic and black habanero bring the darkness, a touch of Brettanomyces is in there somewhere and it’s finished with a 10-year-barrel-aged sherry.
Spice Level: X X

Aarhus, Denmark
Chili Klaus Pure Habanero
In the fall of 2019, 165 lbs. of habanero were cleaned, salted and fermented in a country house kitchen south of Aarhus, Denmark. This is the result with each bottle signed and numbered by Chili Klaus, himself.
Spice Level: X X X X

Kecskemét, Hungary
Eros Pista 
It’s just not goulash if it doesn’t have a dollop of fiery red Er”os Pista—made from raw, crushed, hot paprika peppers—in it.
Spice Level: X X

Mis Biber Salçasi Aci 
This paste is made from sun-dried and roasted red peppers with salt and olive oil flavors dishes like shakshuka or just throw it on some flatbread with a strong coffee to wash it down.
Spice Level: X

Calabria, Italy
Casarecci Bomba Ortoboom Explosive Hot Sauce 
Calabrian hot peppers bring the fire, but this almost paste-like sauce is tempered with eggplant, squash, carrots and mushrooms. Ciao.
Spice Level: X X


Sunchang, South Korea
Chung Jung Won Gochujang 
Is there a chicken in here? Are you supposed to put it on chicken? Seems delicious on ramen and just about anything, but we don’t know because our Korean is a little rusty and the translator is out today.
Spice Level: X X

South Korea
Samyang Original Spicy Chicken Buldak Sauce 
This thick and sticky pungent hot pepper paste made with fermented soybeans is a friend to kimchi, bulgogi and bibimbap.
Spice Level: X X X X

Sasayama, Hyogo, Japan
Mellow Habanero 
A take on Tabasco sauce (down to the iconic red and green label but with the addition of a cute panda) that includes pickled plums (umeboshi) and yuzu zest in the mix.
Spice Level: X X X

Mera, Miyazaki, Japan
As the name implies this guy brings plenty of yuzu citron to the party of vinegar and green chilis.
Spice Level: X

Si Racha, Thailand
Sriraja Panich
This is reportedly the original sriracha created by Ms. Thanom Chakkapak 80 years ago (or maybe she learned it from her father) and made with the spicy spur chili native to Si Racha. A precursor to the Red Rooster, and something to crow about.
Spice Level: X X

Si Racha, Thailand
Shark Brand Sriracha
Another classic original Thai hot chili sauce, bright heat, tanginess and less sweet than the Rooster, plus with a badass shark logo.
Spice Level: X X

Tean’s Gourmet Sambal Rangup Ikan Bilis Halus 
This Maylasian twist on sambal adds in crispy anchovies to the chili flakes for an umami bomb to go with your heat. h h h h h

Lingham’s Hot Sauce
Sweet and spicy, the label says it is multi-use and boy is it ever. The sort of thing you want to dip your spring rolls in or pour on your hot dog or douse your tuna fish sandwich in or drown your beer-battered shrimp in or…you get the idea.
Spice Level: X X

ABC Sambal Extra Pedas 
Heinz owns ABC, the most popular chili sauce in Indonesia, which might explain why the thick bright red stuff is so difficult to pour.
Spice Level: X

Pohon Cabe’s Sambal Istimewa 
The name means extraordinary sambal and it’s really something. Besides there being the claim on the label that this might make a good source of vitamin C (another trick chili peppers have up their sleeve), the stuff is damn tasty.
Spice Level: X X X

Cap Ibu Jari Jempol Sambel Asli 
One of Indonesia’s most popular hot sauces, with strong garlic flavor and a bit of heat.
Spice Level: X X

Cholimex Tuong Ớtcholimex Tuong Ớt
Popular sweet and sour chili sauce that is available by the jug, so pour it on.
Spice Level: X

Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Jufran Hot And Spicy Banana Sauce 
After WWII the Philippines experienced a shortage of ketchup (because war is hell) and came up with the solution of banana sauce or “banana ketchup,” which would be brown but they dyed it red and spiced the hot version with chilis.
Spice Level: X

Maggi Masala Chilli Sauce 
This Masala hot sauce is a little extra. Extra sweet, extra spicy and extra pungent and the go-to topping for your samosas, pakoras and spring rolls.
Spice Level: X X X

Jalan Senang, Singapore
Glory Chicken Chili Sauce 
Really bucking the trend of putting that shit on everything this hot sauce is made for one very specific dish: Hainanese chicken rice, but you can try it on whatever you like. Hallelujah.
Spice Level: X

Guizhou, China
Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp Sauce 
A household name in China (literally translates to “old grandmother’s”) and arguably the most popular Chinese chili sauce in the world, slather it on and add some umami and heat to any old rice and noodle dish.
Spice Level: X

Shandong, China
Yingchao Devil Chili Sauce 
If the roaring tiger with chili peppers for horns on the label did not tip you off, use this with caution.
Spice Level: X X X X


Melbourne, Victoria
Diemen’s Stinger 
This Aussie staple gets its name and its heat from the native Diemen pepper berries, which lend it a fruitier flavor and releases a Sichuan burn.
Spice Level: X X X

Perth, Western Australia
Bunsters Shit The Bed 
This colorfully named sauce, which was created by a mom from Perth, isn’t writing checks it can’t cash. With a healthy sting of Trinidad Moruga scorpion chilies, one of the world’s hottest peppers, it may make good on the promise of the name. The even higher heat Bunsters Black Label has taken out the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Natalie Portman and Johnny Knoxville on Hot Ones.
Spice Level: X X X X X