That I am a total foodie is no secret. That I love spicy food, the hotter the better, may be; not to my friends, of course, but to the world at large.
Needless to say, when the Retro Teapot presented with the chance by new company Texas Tears to review two of their hot sauces–their Habanero Sauce and Garlic Habanero Sauce–I leapt at the opportunity.
Texas Tears Habanero Sauce
Ingredients: Habanero, vinegar, salt
The Look & Feel: Burnt orange in color. Consistency is closer to a Louisiana-style hot sauce than many of the habanero sauces on the market, though still thicker than the likes of a Tabasco. This most likely has to do with carrots not being one of the ingredients, as they frequently are in habanero sauces with the pulp of the carrots acting as a thickening agent (among other things).
Spice Level: I’m not going to attempt to give a rating on a 1-10 spice scale, since heat perception is very subjective. To a spice fiend such as myself, most sauces don’t even land on my bottom rung. That fact that the Habanero Sauce does register means it has a really nice kick–in other words, it is not a sauce for the faint of spice heart. The lack of carrots again serves the sauce well here, since the inclusion of other veggies tends to cut the heat. At the same time, this sauce is not one of those capsaicin-concentrate mega bombs created only for those seeking to test their spice merits. The Texas Tears Habanero Sauce is not so spicy that it fails to be food friendly even for those who can handle a decent amount of heat.
Flavor: A nice, clean, pure habanero flavor. I love habaneros; I have always found them to be amongst the most flavorful and delicious of all peppers, if not the most flavorful and delicious. It’s a shame so many people find them too spicy–they are truly missing out. So a sauce highlighting that flavor in its purity receives two thumbs up in my book.
Texas Tears Garlic Habanero Sauce
Ingredients: Habanero, vinegar, garlic, salt
The Look & Feel: Dark orange-brown in color, slightly darker than the Habanero Sauce. Consistency is the same as the Habanero Sauce.
Spice Level: The Garlic Habanero Sauce is not quite as spicy as its pure habanero brother due to the blending of garlic with the peppers, but it still has a decent kick. The Garlic Habanero Sauce does, however, have an impressive cumulative build after repeated servings that could catch the mild off-guard.
Flavor: As much as I love the pure taste of the straight Habanero Sauce, the Garlic Habanero Sauce stands out due to a unique flavor profile that evolves over time. First taste favors the garlic with an underlying habanero compliment, transitioning to more and more pepper flavor until the habaneros form the entirety of the taste. This nuanced evolution makes the Garlic Habanero Sauce truly delicious.
I enjoyed both of these sauces and will be incorporating them into my hot sauce rotation. Habaneros are excellent complimentary peppers for other foods, both enhancing flavor and increasing hotness. With its pure habanero flavor, the Habanero Sauce is very versatile in this regard, a great general purpose hot sauce. While the Garlic Habanero Sauce has a uniquely interesting taste, that same unique flavor profile limits the range of food with which the sauce can be paired. That’s not a knock on the sauce at all; just like fine wine, not all hot sauces are ideal in every situation.
Texas Tears is a new company, and I wish its founders the best of luck with their products. If you would like to support Texas Tears, the company has a Kickstarter campaign you can visit by clicking here, by going to Kickstarter.com and searching for “Texas Tears,” or by going to TexasTears.com and clicking the Kickstarter button. The campaign ends on October 25th at 8:00 PM Central time.