Hot, tangy, and salty, this classic Louisiana-style hot sauce is a staple in pantries, condiment caddies, and purses everywhere.
What Does Tabasco Sauce Taste Like?
Tabasco sauce is moderately spicy with a lingering heat, pungent vinegar flavor, palpable saltiness, and a hint of woodsy earthiness. It has a Scoville rating of 2500 – 5000, putting it around the same range as poblano or jalapeño peppers.
How Is Tabasco Sauce Made?
In its simplest form, Tabasco sauce is a combination of aged Tabasco peppers, salt, and vinegar. The peppers are harvested at peak ripeness, mashed into a paste, and aged with salt in white oak barrels. After around three years, the juice of the aged peppers is strained and combined with distilled vinegar. This sauce is left to sit for a month, with occasional stirring to help the flavors meld, before being bottled as Tabasco sauce.
On occasion, the Tabasco sauce company has released limited-edition varieties of Tabasco sauce made with peppers that have been aged longer (as much as 15 years!) and wine vinegar in place of distilled vinegar. There are a few different flavors of the sauce available on the market, but the Tabasco peppers used in them generally aren’t aged as long as the ones in the flagship product.
What to Do With Tabasco Sauce
Because Tabasco sauce has such a versatile flavor profile, you can add it to virtually any savory dish you can think of – and even a few cocktails and desserts. You’d be surprised what a few drops of Tabasco sauce can add to a flourless chocolate cake or a dirty martini. Its spice and tanginess play wonderfully with rich and earthy flavor profiles.
For something a little more classic, add it to Louisiana favorites like Creole red beans and rice or jambalaya. You can also mix it with melted butter to make a classic buffalo sauce for chicken wings and buffalo mac and cheese.
There are no limits to how you can use Tabasco sauce, so don’t overthink it. Remember, bottled Tabasco sauce is available in keychain form for a reason.