Learn About Cleveland’s Hot Sauces: Local Hot Sauces You Should Stock Up to Boost Flavor | cleveland
In August of this year, chili pepper breeder Ed Corey claimed a Guinness World Record for his latest creation, Pepper But even X, “the hottest pepper in the world,” fails to come close to some of the devilish hot sauces on the market that promise hours of digestive discomfort in every drop.Step into Chili’s Fire Pit in Mentor and you’ll find an elixir that’s about 16 million Scoville units, nearly 80 times hotter than a habanero. Owner Don Pesta, a local pioneer in the hot sauce world, opened the store more than two decades ago because he saw the writing on the wall. While it carries plenty of “new” sauces that would make a grown man cry, the bulk of its inventory is aimed at a much broader audience.
“There are over 10,000 different types, but I carry over 900 types of hot sauce — and that’s not including sauces, barbecue sauces and marinades,” Biesta says.
Pista’s market metric is a rough estimate, he says, of brands that constantly come and go. What’s not a guess is the fact that Americans are obsessed with hot sauce. To meet this ever-growing demand, there is a local cadre of chefs, entrepreneurs and tinkerers eager to get in the ring regarding commercially available options.
“They’re beautiful, simple things to make, and they add a lot of depth of flavor to so many things,” says Clark Pope, creator of the Pope’s range of food products.
Bob has been making hot sauces in Cleveland for more than a decade. Burning River has become a fixture at flea markets and flea markets during the holidays, with the small, portable and affordable bottles being gobbled up for gift giving.
“In Cleveland, people do a great job of supporting themselves,” he says. “We are fierce defenders of our reputation and support the local community, I think, more than many other communities.”
In this guide, we’ve rounded up every local Northeast Ohio brand we could get our hands on, and picked up one bottle of each when there’s a variety. We found a delicious variety of products ranging from mild to wild, sweet to tart, and thin to thick. When shopping for a new hot sauce, it’s smart to think about how you’ll use it; Thin sauces loosen foods while thick sauces stick. And when it comes to heat levels, the phrase “to each his own” definitely applies.
(tags for translation) Cleveland Scene