Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Mmmm, Tabasco

I think the thing I like about Tabasco is it's simplicity: Salt-cured red peppers and vinegar, aged and fermented for up to three years. No added preservatives; salt and vinegar keep make it incapable of supporting bacterial life. I like it on fried eggs, particularly the yolk. As food products go, it's pretty successful, so it should be no surprise that there are spin-off flavors. And as you'd expect, the spin-offs are not always as good as the original.


The first, and worst, of the spin-offs. Originally this was billed as JalapeƱo, but now it's Green, which I think says a lot. Green food coloring and xanthan gum (last time I checked the label). It's not that it tastes bad (it's been a long time since I've tried it); I just have philosophical problems with it. Weak.


This is touted as a Jamaican-style pepper sauce, and based on the real Jamaican pepper sauces I have had at Jamaican restaurants, it's a failure in this respect. It's got some tropical fruits and sugar and other spices, and has a regular Tabasco base. It also has tomatoes, which do not seem to be an ingredient that is very common in Jamaican pepper sauces; the ones I am familiar with are mostly yellow-orange from all the habanero peppers. The Tabasco version is orangish-red. It's kind of like comparing the "Lord of the Rings" movies to the books: If you've never read the books and go watch the movies with no expectations, the movies are pretty good. If you've read the books, the movies are an affront. If you avoid comparisions to Jamaican pepper sauces, this is a good pepper sauce. I still like it, even it is not a faithful adaptation of the original. It's about twice as hot as regular Tabasco.


Chipolte peppers are really smoked jalapeƱos, and based on my previous comments, you'd think this sucks. Actually, I think the chipolte is the best of the bunch. The smokiness really adds a lot to the flavor. It's roughly as hot as regular Tabasco, and good for kicking up weak salsa.


It sounds interesting, but I haven't tried it yet.

Tabasco: Eat some today before you die.

No, I really don't have anything more interesting to talk about on my lunch break.

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