Cruising the hot sauce aisle at Whole Foods Market, I stumbled upon the three Bravado Spice sauces: Jalapeno & Green Apple, Pineapple & Habanero, and Ghost Pepper & Blueberry, increasing in heat. With varying levels of heat and sweetness, all three hot sauces are great accompaniments to chips and grilled proteins for Labor Day.
If you have to try one of the Bravado Spice products, then take the opportunity to do so this upcoming holiday. Of course, you don't have to wait until September 1.
Jalapeno & Green Apple Initially, this sauce is tart, tasting exactly like a Granny Smith apple, but a couple of seconds later you feel the tingle from the poblano peppers and jalapenos. It's a chunky sauce similar to a green salsa, making it an excellent dip for crunchy blue or yellow corn tortilla chips. The mild spice and strong sweetness lets you easily eat it by the spoonful, or the scoopful with chips. Create a Southwest burger with the Jalapeno & Green Apple sauce as well as more grilled jalapenos, onions and avocado. Try it on a black bean burger to enhance the vegetarian patty's sweetness, too. You could also place a scoop in your fish tacos instead of a chipotle aioli.
Pineapple & Habanero For a bit more heat, opt for the Pineapple & Habanero hot sauce. Just like the Jalapeno & Green Apple sauce, you're hit with the initial sweetness from the bright, sugary pineapple, but that taste is quickly taken over by the hot habanero peppers. Bravado Spice enhances the two main ingredients with yellow bell pepper, which balances the two contrasting flavors. It's a bit thinner than the green hot sauce, but it still goes great with chips. The fruitiness also lends itself to being a great marinade for fish or seafood, such as tilapia, scallops or shrimp. Throw in a margarita or piña colada for a relaxing way to spend your Labor Day holiday.
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Ghost Pepper & Blueberry Heat seekers, rejoice, because this hot sauce doesn't disappoint. The taste of sweet blueberries and raspberries lingers on the tip of your tongue, while the strong spice from the ghost peppers enhanced by black pepper explodes in your mouth. You might need a glass of water by your side. The consistency is a lot thinner than the previous two sauces, and it's a bit too spicy to dunk chips into. Try spreading the berry-ghost pepper sauce on a lamb burger or regular beef patty, or whip together some spicy barbecue chicken wings or ribs on Labor Day.
Purchase these hot sauces ($7 each) at a variety of grocery stores, including Whole Foods, Phoenicia Specialty Foods, Mercantile and Revival Market. Visit the Bravado Spice website for a complete listing of locations.