Review: Tabanero Hot Sauce

TabaneroSo a few months ago the makers of Tabanero Hot Sauce sent me a tweet wanting me to try their product.  I said, sure, send some on over.  They mailed me two bottles.

So what’s the deal with Tabanero?  Well, it’s a different hot sauce.  First off, it is 100% all natural.  That means there is no water or vinegar making the quality and consistency one of a kind.  In place of the vinegar they use Key lime juice as their acid.  So that’s the recipe chilies and lime juice?  Hardly.

The chilies are habanero and tabasco (no relation).  Additionally they add fresh carrots, onions and garlic plus salt (duh), grapeseed seed extract and agave nectar.  I know that raises several questions.  Luckily they’ve addressed them in the about section of their site.  Here’s a snipit:

Agave Nectar in hot sauce?

That’s right! Agave is one of our key flavor ingredients that gives Tabanero a subtle sweetness and the distinct flavor we have become known for. The sweetness of the agave also helps accentuate other flavors.

That’s a funny name.

Tabanero was named after the state of Tabasco, Mexico and the habanero pepper. Combining the two words: Tabasco + Habanero = Tabanero.

But I thought Tabasco, was “Tabasco”.

Tabanero hot sauce is from the state of Tabasco, Mexico and has no affiliation with the hot sauce made in Louisiana named Tabasco Hot Sauce.

So the only question that remains is how does it taste?

Good.  Really, really good.  I didn’t know what to think at first.  Without having vinegar I was worried that it wouldn’t have the depth of flavor I love so much from other sauces.  It has a different mouth feel, it’s crisper than standard sauces.  There is plenty of heat but the habaneros do not overpower it.  I assume the agave and carrots help with that.  Sugar diffuses the painful aspects of capsaicin – it makes it fade faster.

I used it to make a terrific wing sauce.  I sprinkled it on various things and found it is great with seafood especially grilled shrimp.  It really is a great sauce so if you think you’d like to try here’s the link to find a dealer near you or click on the bottle above to order direct from Tabanero.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
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2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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