Salamander Original Hot Sauce Review
Our favorite of the three hot sauces we reviewed, “Original”, comes from Salamander Sauce Company in Brooklyn, NY. Salamander's Founder, Timothy Kavarnos, declares this product description on his company's website: “Origins. The foundation. We wanted to make a hot sauce that was seriously hot but also a serious sauce. So we took red bell pepper, habanero and jalapeño, and blended in carrot, garlic, ginger and cilantro. Smoky and intense, our original hot sauce brings extra fire to any food, but never burns.”
Red Bell Pepper, Habanero, Jalapeño, Carrot, Garlic, Ginger, Cilantro, Lime, White Vinegar, Apple Vinegar, Champagne Vinegar, Sea Salt, Shallot, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Smooth, bright, rusty orange and light brown colors filled our bottle. Similar to the color of a sweet potato, it gave a warm glow behind the glass and label.
Smoky, bacon-like, and cilantro filled and aroused our noses. We know it wasn’t on their list of all natural ingredients, but it did give us a scent slightly reminiscent to Slim Jim. The aroma of this hot sauce alone is a wake-up call to the senses and made our mouths slick.
Texture aka “The Pour”
Our refrigerated and room temperature tests produced the same results for this hot sauce’s texture. A thick, paste-like substance oozed slowly from the bottle onto our plate keeping its shape. Was this sauce a little too thick? Maybe. Then again, we could see this sauce being easily applied to any food item and not falling off.
A few, short moments after tasting this sauce. . .and the habanero, cilantro, and carrot hit our taste buds with a unique splash of white, apple and champagne vinegars. We have not seen this combination of vinegars used together before and we were pleasantly surprised. Our lips smacked from the hints of sea salt and ginger.
Heat aka “Numb Bum”
We weren’t knocked to the ground from the heat of this hot sauce (our tolerances are very high), but we were intrigued by the back-of-throat heat which stayed with us long after our first swallow. We also noticed a sting on the tip of our tongues. That was enjoyable and kept us interested. We had no trouble at all digesting this hot sauce hours and a day later.
The label shape is rectangular with round corners and the label design of Salamander Original Hot Sauce is simple and flat, but elegant. Great choice of fonts are used and a clever, artsy way of tying in a salamander illustration in the shape of an “S” is well executed. The label is two colors (black and smoky orange) and uses a sunburst or halo effect on the edges allowing the center to highlight the memorable salamander. While the nutritional information is not on the label (it is forthcoming in the next phase of production), every other detail is there—the name of the hot sauce, the ingredients, the name of the company, and the company web address. Salamander Sauce Company may consider adding a heat scale and a short description with food pairing suggestions. However, less may be more in this case to keep the simple, but elegant look. Companies often use too many fonts, colors, patterns and messages. That is not the case here.
The bottle is a tall and slender, 8oz. clear glass that includes a small, metal cap which screws on top. Because of the length of the bottle it is easy to hold and pour. It also may stand out from the shorter, 5oz. bottles that are common in restaurants and on store shelves.
HotSauceAddicts.com enjoyed Salamander Sauce Company’s Original Hot Sauce and it was the favorite of the three Salamander sauces we reviewed. Its deep, smoky flavor was good and its heat level was just enough to keep us coming back. Because of its versatility, we could easily see this hot sauce being used on food items such as pizza, sandwiches, burgers, meatloaves, chicken, and in stews, bisques and chowders. Probably would fare well on eggs and omelets.
Overall Rating: 4 out 5 stars
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