05 August 2009

Dave's Crazy Caribbean Hot Sauce

Fifteen years ago I tried a hot sauce at a seafood restaurant that was made from carrots. The sauce, not the restaurant. Despite my terrible track record in growing carrots, they're probably my favorite root vegetable. I love the touch of sweetness and that slightly astringent quality when they're fresh. One may make a case for onions being more versatile, but rarely do I grab a Vidalia from the pantry to munch on while reading a book.

Carrot-based hot sauces are delicious, but rare. It's one of the many long-lost products that I'd think about at odd moments, but never while at the grocery store. However, the shade of this bottle caught my eye at the local supermarket, and a quick scan of the label revealed a carrot hot sauce. Huzzah!

Dave's Crazy Caribbean Hot Sauce is made by the same producers of the "Dave's Insanity" series of hot sauces and mustards. Truth in advertising is important, so I'll point out that this has plenty of heat, but a good flavor as well. The carrot flavor is foremost yet it's smooth enough that you don't have hard orange chunks in the sauce (a failing of lesser carrot sauces). A little sweet, a little tangy, and balanced out well with a bass line of respectable chile power. If you can handle something like Habanero Tabasco without curling up in the fetal position and crying for your mama, you shouldn't have any problem with this sauce. I slathered it on some tamales and enjoyed the resulting eye-watering and sinus-clearing. I'd really love to try it on some raw oysters, but it's also great on eggs, and frankly, I've never met an egg of any preparation that couldn't benefit from a few dashes of hot sauce.

Some hot sauces come in a bottle with a tiny hole at the top. This is a remnant from the practice of bottling potent spicy concoctions in old perfume bottles, which would allow you to dash on a few drops here and there. But some thicker sauces like this (that begin to blur the line with salsa) come with wide mouths that let you pour it on. It's a matter of preference, but this is tasty enough that I wish it came in a bigger jar.


The Wine Commonsewer (TWC) said...

At first I was thinking huh? Carrot Hot Sauce? Then the light came on.......

One of the delicacies available to us in the southwest at most decent Mexican restaurants (not the chains) are marinated carrots. Sliced on an angle across the grain in an oblong shaped and marinated with spicy peppers they are muy bueno.

They range from quite hot to just spicy enough to be interesting without blowing holes thru the roof of your mouth.

I love them.

Benito said...


You can also think about the Italian giardiniera or pickled vegetables, which includes carrots and can have a little kick to it depending on the peppers that are used.

These carrot sauces can be hard to find, but they are well worth the search. Try it on fish tacos or carnitas.


Samantha Dugan said...

With you on the egg and hot sauce thing!

Benito said...


I'd love to hear your (and any other commenter's) favorite hot sauce here in the comments section. Lately I've been topping my eggs with Cholula, but frankly I'll use anything that's reasonably fresh and within reach.

And yes, I've been known to carry a bottle of hot sauce in my pocket to a potluck or family Thanksgiving... you never know when you might need a little extra flavor.