Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green Hot Sauces for St. Patrick's Day

Green beer for St. Patrick's Day is gimmicky. But green hot sauce... now that's a natural, even though (or perhaps especially because) Irish food generally isn't spicy. There's quite a few green hot sauces on the market--after all, most jalapeno hot sauces are made with green (rather than red-ripe) jalapenos--so I thought it would be appropriate to list some of my favorite green hot sauces on St. Patrick's Day.

Jalapeno Hot Sauces: I seek out hot sauces that "wear the green" naturally, rather than through the addition of artificial green coloring. In a jalapeno hot sauce, I prefer the straightforward tangy-hot flavor of fresh jalapenos, unencumbered by additional flavorings. An excellent example of such a food-friendly, naturally green jalapeno hot sauce is Melinda's Jalapeno Hot Sauce, perhaps the purest-flavored jalapeno hot sauce on the market.

Habanero Hot Sauces: Green habanero hot sauces are a little harder to find, as most habanero hot sauces use the yellow, orange or red varieties of habanero peppers. Although there are some very good "plain" green habanero hot sauces on the market, my favorite is the unique and delicious Marie Sharp's Green Habanero Hot Sauce, which gets its intriguingly pleasant flavor from nopal (prickly pear cactus). This gem of a hot sauce packs plenty of habanero fire, but the nopal provides a rich, vegetal flavor and more substantive texture that will add authentic Mexican flavor to homemade tacos, burritos, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, nachos and more.

Multi-Pepper Hot Sauces: Made with 4 different chili peppers--habanero, pasilla, yellow and serrano--Ring of Fire Tomatillo Hot Sauce delivers a burst of savory heat with layers of garden-fresh flavor. This is a foodie's hot sauce, as well as a favorite of chiliheads who enjoy good-tasting food. Made with all-natural ingredients including tangy tomatillos, garlic, and southwestern spices, Ring of Fire Tomatillo comes in a generous 12.5 oz bottle, more than twice the size of your typical hot sauce bottle!

Salsas: I have a "thing" for salsa verde, or green salsa. Made with green tomatillos instead of red tomatoes, salsa verde has more of a clean tang and less sweetness than regular tomato salsa, making it ideal for seafood dishes as well as other foods. Pepper Dog Salsa Verde is a superb example of a true salsa verde, made with the finest natural ingredients and sporting a spoonable, smooth (not chunky) texture that makes it excellent for cooking. Another favorite of mine is not really a salsa but rather an all-purpose jalapeno condiment: Just My Taste Jalapeno Dip. If you love jalapeno peppers, you must try this product! Nothing but fresh jalapenos, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt & just a touch of spices, combined into a thick, rich blend for spooning on your favorite foods, dipping chips, pouring over cream cheese, or adding to your recipes. Speaking of which, Just My Taste comes with pages of free recipes when you order it from the Carolina Sauce Company!

I haven't found a green barbecue sauce on the market, so if anyone knows of one--that's naturally green, not artificially dyed!--please let me know.

Zestfully yours,

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