Move over, warm apple cider. Nov. 5 is National Hot Sauce Day — can you think of a better way to fight the fall chill than spicing up your favorite foods? Instead of turning to Tabasco or Sriracha, try one of these five metro Detroit hot sauces with a kick.
Hell Fire Detroit
Based out of Royal Oak, Hell Fire Detroit has been making hot sauce with simple ingredients since 2015. Made with just five ingredients, the company’s Habanero sauce is a customer favorite and was featured in season nine of the First We Feast online interview show Hot Ones. Celebrities Trevor Noah and Aubrey Plaza braved a taste of the sauce, which ranks within the 100,000-300,000 range on the Scoville Scale, which measures the level of spice in a dish or ingredient. To try the star-studded sauce yourself, visit hellfiredetroit.com.
Founded in 2011, this Inkster-based sauce producer has racked up award after award. Scotty O’Hotty sauces won the prestigious Scovie Awards, which name the best fiery foods and barbecue products in the world, in 2015, 2016, and 2018, on top of victories and top finishes in about 20 other competitions. The brand sells seven hot sauces, its newest being the Tequila Ghost Sauce, infused with pineapple and tequila to create a medium-heat blend. Sauces and salsa can be found at scottyohotty.com as well as at local supermarkets.
Clancy’s Fancy Hot Sauce
Founded by Colleen Clancy, this hot sauce line is an Ann Arbor classic. Clancy’s experimentation with flavor began in the 1960s at an Irish boarding school, but her original sauce came about in the ’70s while she was trying to make pepperoni-flavored tofu for her friends. The sauce has since become a local hit. Clancy’s Fancy Hot Sauce is now owned by the Traverse City-based company Food for Thought, which produces a range of organic preserves, salsas, dressings, and more. Visit foodforthought.net for Clancy’s Fancy Hot Sauce and more.
Founded in Ferndale and bottled in Warren, 2 Dogs Hot Sauce started in 2017 with a Kickstarter campaign. The brand launched with just two original sauces — Black Garlic Habanero and Michigan Cherry Habanero — and the lineup has since expanded to four sauces. Try its latest blend, the Give up the Ghost, a citrus-based sauce made with orange and lemon juice, white onion, yellow bell pepper, and ghost pepper flakes. Visit 2dogshotsauce.com for retailers.
Committed to preserving foods through fermentation rather than vinegar-based pickling, The Brinery started selling sauerkraut in 2010 and has expanded its offerings to include kimchi, tempeh, kvass, and hot sauces. The Ann Arbor-based company sells four hot sauces, including a Sriracha sauce and the Holy Matrimony, the brand’s hottest sauce named in honor of a family member’s wedding. Ingredients for The Brinery’s myriad products are sourced throughout Michigan — including the Michigan State University student farm — as well as Ohio. Visit thebrinery.com for your sauce of choice.