So I wrote recently about loading up with gourmet hot sauces. I have really enjoyed them. I think my model going forward will be to order once or twice a year, with half “staples” (as I determine them) and half new ones.
I have determined my first staple—a sauce I will always have in stock. It’s Mad Anthony’s XXXTRA HOT Private Reserve Hot Sauce, which is one of original Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony’s sauces. This was one Scott Roberts praised highly, and I heartily concur.
This is thick—thicker than Sriracha, even. It’s only a little thinner than ketchup. Actually, I like this characteristic because it makes it easier to manage. For example, it’s thick enough to use as a dipping sauce without a dedicated container. Just squirt yourself a little pile on your plate, and you’re set. Or, spread it on meat loaf or pork tenderloin without it going everywhere.
Its initial taste is much in the vein of marinara. It’s right at home on pizza, or with a spoonful stirred into spaghetti sauce. I could see downing a lot of it on garlic bread.
The burn is delayed just a few seconds, but when it comes online, you definitely feel it. Thing is, it’s never uninteresting. Accomplishing “just hot” is trivially easy and very boring (and indeed, more than one person has asked me “can you taste anything? or is it just hot?” when it comes to boutique sauces like this). The answer is yes, complex tastes are possible and appreciated, and they’re definitely here in Mad Anthony’s XXXTRA HOT Private Reserve. There’s a big shot of garlic, which is always going to turn me on. There’s also a nice sweetness that pulls up well short of cloying.
This is not a dedicated hot sauce blog, where perhaps things like what I’m about to say are more understood, so here is the explicit announcement: this sauce is very, very hot. If Tabasco roasts your tongue, and/or you think the Taco Bell Fire Sauce is on the bleeding edge, then be careful.
I have been guilty, more than once, of planning a meal to make it especially amenable to using this sauce. It’s that tasty. Like I say, it’ll always be in stock ’round these parts.