Cold Winter, Hot Sauce

Locally made condiments bring on the firepower


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Michigan winter. There is denial, there is anger, and there is snow and ice. But in the end, there is only acceptance — that and whatever strategy we can devise to brace ourselves against the biting chill. Enter the hot sauce. These Detroit-area-made condiments are capable of heating things up any time of year, but their firepower becomes ever more crucial as winter sets in. They make a great team with any foodstuff — on tacos, burgers, hot wings, or eggs. And they make great stocking stuffers, too.

 

  

Street Eatzz: 313 Foodie Sauce

Spice rating [1/5]

Now a Detroit staple, the habanero sauce crafted with Michigan dried cherries, tomatoes, carrots, and cider vinegar packs a pleasant cherry sweetness up front followed by a spicy kick at the back. With an emphasis on flavor over heat, it’s right to be dubbed a “foodie” sauce instead of a hot one. streeteatzz.com

 

Swat! Sauce Lil' Prik Thai Pepper Concoction

Spice rating [2/5]

Swat! Sauce comes from the kitchen of The Fly Trap in Ferndale. The Thai-style concoction includes dried chilies, rice vinegar, garlic, tamari, and brown sugar, resulting in more of a sweet experience than a spicy one. Excellent for marinades, tofu, or whatever you want to swat it on. theflytrapferndale.com

 

Clancy's Fancy Hot Sauce: Mild

Spice rating [2.5/5]

Clancy’s is the Ann Arbor go-to, and for good reason. The tamari and bouillon concentrate lend it an umami (savory) flavor while the Michigan honey, ginger, and cayenne peppers add a mix of sweet and spicy. Originally crafted more than 30 years ago, nowadays it’s hard to eat in A2 without finding some on the table. clancysfancy.com

 

Scotty O'Hotty: Premium Habanero Sauce

Spice rating [3.5/5]

The award-winning, Dearborn-based Scotty O’ Hotty Premium Habanero is a spicy, peppery concoction with a lingering habanero burn. Like all of Scotty O’Hotty’s sauces, it’s beer-based, gluten-free,and low in sodium, making for a distinct choice among condiments. As the O’Hottys like to say, “It’s not your grandma’s hot sauce.” scottyohotty.com

 

Papa Turt's: So Hot It Hurts

Spice rating [4/5]

There are no big surprises in Papa Turts’ list of ingredients; instead, the surprise is in the heat that sneaks up slowly, which is just what you’d expect from the sinister-looking turtle on the label. Among the five tasted here, Fowlerville-based Papa Turt’s was deemed the hottest, though not to the point of inducing pain, thankfully. papaturts.com

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