Saturday, March 1, 2008
Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces
Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces of Belize set the standard years ago for classic Caribbean hot sauces. The basic ingredients in her recipes are carrots, vinegar and one or more varieties of habanero peppers, resulting in straightforward, honest to goodness hot sauces recognized for their sharp habanero bite and fresh tropical savory flavor. This is clearly evident in Marie Sharp's original Habanero Pepper Sauce, made with red habaneros, but she also makes a much milder, gentler Mild Habanero Pepper Sauce that's perfect for folks who are ready to move beyond boring, overly vinegary grocery store hot sauces but don't want to get hurt. For serious chileheads, Marie Sharp ups the ante with her Fiery Hot Habanero Sauce that increases the proportion of red habaneros in her basic recipe. And then there's the even hotter Marie Sharp's Belizean Heat Habanero Hot Sauce, made with habanero pepper mash and capsicum oil, both of which dramatically increase the peppery bite and the length of the burn, but the Belizean Heat recipe also includes Cajun and creole spices for a more complex flavor. Her most intensely hot recipe is Marie Sharp's Beware Hot Sauce, with "comatose heat level" -- the first listed ingredient is capsicum oil, followed by habanero mash. All you need is a toothpick drop of this ultra-hot hot sauce.
Marie Sharp also makes some unusual and delicious variations of her habanero hot sauces, including Marie Sharp's Green Habanero Hot Sauce, made with nopal (prickly pear cactus) and green habaneros, both of which give this sauce a more "vegetal" or grassy flavor profile that pairs beautifully with the key lime juice in the sauce. This hot sauce is ideal for Mexican food like tamales, and also for shrimp and other seafood as well as meat dishes. And then there's Marie Sharp's Grapefruit Pulp Habanero Hot Sauce, made with yellow habanero peppers as well as grapefruit and lime juice for a citrusy and fiery hot sauce that's wonderful on seafood, poultry and stir-fry dishes, and Marie Sharp's Orange Pulp Habanero Hot Sauce, also made with yellow habanero peppers plus tropical oranges (but this is not a sweet hot sauce!), making this sauce a perfect choice for pork, poultry, seafood, and island cuisine.
So if you can't afford a trip to the Caribbean this winter but want to taste authentic Caribbean hot sauces usually only found in the islands, treat yourself to Marie Sharp's Hot Sauces.