All that to preface .... when I was approached by the people at Cholula Hot Sauce, I had to check them out. Typically, although I like spice in my food - I'm really a wimp and go for mild versions of Indian, Mexican, Caribbean... you get the idea. I knew I'd love a dash of the sauce in my mid-morning V-8 snack, but what would I do with 4 different bottles of hot sauce - chipotle, chili & garlic, chili lime or the original version.
But first... did you know that:
- the recipe is over 100 years old;
- it blends pequin peppers, red peppers and spices in a delicate process that produces a perfect balance between flavor and heat;
- Cholula Hot Sauce was named after the 2,500 year old city in Mexico famous for its 365 churches;
- the term Cholula is derived from the pre-Hispanic word "Chollollan" meaning "the place of the retreat";
- Cholula's wooden cap and distinctive yellow label represent the care and quality tradition of Mexican artisanship;
- the sauce is made in Chapala, an hour's drive from Guadalajara
You can find other info about them on their site, but the real question everyone asks is... just how "hot" is it?
In other words... not "burn your mouth off" as I had feared, just a wonderful heat jam-packed with flavor. Which leads me to my real challenge... what to do with it. Lucky for me... and the rest of you... their website has lots of wonderful recipes to choose from.
"Cholula is flavor with a strong character. Capsaicin is the "heat" substance in a pepper. In 1912, Wilbur Scoville developed a test to measure heat in a pepper. Bell peppers range from 0-100 Scoville units, pure Capsaicin ranks at about 15,000,000. Habenaros, a very hot pepper used by some other hot sauces, ranks between 200,000-300,000 Scoville units. Pequin peppers, used in the delicate yet robust potion that is Cholula, ranks 3,600 Scoville units on the scale."
I started with my take on their absolutely fantastic Southern Grilled Shrimp - it was even more awesome than I expected and will be made here often. Now I have to choose from their other great looking recipes... the "not so New England Clam Chowder" has me drooling, as does the Cucumber and Mango Salad, the Chipotle Spiced Pasta, ... The recipe list, from appetizers, to soups, sides, and naturally drinks will definitely find something that is right up your alley.
Bottom line: I love this product! My question, to those of you who like some heat in your food, what do you add hot sauce to?