Believe it or not, we already have all the heat we could possibly need to spice up our food right here in Central Ohio. In addition to the city’s bustling food scene, Columbus is also home to a wide variety of top-notch hot sauces. And from flaming-hot to fermented and flavorful, here’s a list of local sauce purveyors to chase away that winter chill.
If you have a bold mind and are ready to taste something a little wild, consider joining the Sauce Boss Gang. The brand seeks to inspire confidence and promote the infusion of wild flavors in both food and drinks. Find their sauces on the menu of local partners including Gallo’s on High and Buckeye Bourbon House, or shop online for flavors like Granada (with Spanish chipotle pepper) and La Jefa (featuring garlic and scorpion pepper).
Priding themselves on artfully concocted products, the North Market staple Flavor and Fire features a line of hot sauces, along with salsas & condiments, many of which are inspired by and named after the City of Columbus. Check out the more mild and flavorful Columbus Black Garlic, or take on the imposing Crybaby 6—a furiously-hot sauce packing six million Scoville units per serving—if you dare.
Hot sauce designed for (not made from) coffee that’s also delicious on food? Ujjo has you covered. With a concept created on a dare, owner Lauren D’Souza crafted her own recipe, launched a Kickstarter campaign, and now sells her hot sauce for coffee all over the world. Choose from sauces designed for both dark and light roast coffee, or a sampler pack to elevate your morning brew. And then throw some on your eggs, bacon and hash browns for good measure.
With names like Ginger Reaper and Scorpion Garlic, Fartley Farms is crafting small-batch hot sauces packed with heat from peppers they grow themselves. And if you want to try before you buy, head to Atlas Tavern and order some wings coated with one of their flavors, or scope out their sample tray at the Powell Farmers Market. Their website also features an extensive list of recipes, perfect for crafting your own spicy dishes at home.
Most people wouldn’t think to add strawberries, kiwi, honey and basil to a hot sauce, but most people aren’t Haff’s. With flavor-forward profiles using locally sourced ingredients, Haff’s Hot Sauce is easily recognized by both its unique blends and distinctive bottle art. Choose from milder versions, including Trippy Pickle and Maine Squeeze, or go for broke with Hot Tropic and More Cowbell.
Former Executive Chef Jack Moore has stepped away from Watershed Kitchen & Bar to follow his passion. And that passion is Black Cap, a freshly fermented, unpasteurized, vegan hot sauce, and the first brand from Ruffled Feather Ferments, his official LLC. Equal parts savory, spicy and funky, Moore created Black Cap with fresno chilies, garlic, ginger, lime and chia seeds. With zero additives and more flavor than fire, it’s a great topping for everything from pizza to pie.
This story originally appeared in Stock & Barrel winter 2021
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