Sing of Fire

Local hot sauces with extra spice

Hot. Incendiary. Extremely punishing.

Hot sauces seem to measure their appeal in Scoville units alone. Not these three, all from local producers. For them, chile is not the only spice:

Business-school pals Lalit Kalani and Dan Garblik based their Bandar Spicy Mango Chili Sauce ($4 for 7 ounces at Buyer's Best Friend) on Kalani's family pickle recipe. A hyperbolic tanginess hits, followed by a full complement of Indian spices, before the chiles begin to burn; it's a good match for grilled meats.

Sosu's Lisa Murphy concocts a variety of ketchups out of heirloom tomatoes, but her Srirachup ($6.50 for 9 ounces at Bi-Rite Market) is the one we dredge roast potatoes through. Made with Early Girl tomatoes and fermented Fresno chiles, the sauce has a bright acidity, softened with a little brown sugar, and measured, fruity heat.

Peter Fikaris, who has been making Pretty Dog Hot Sauce since 2012, is cooking them in the kitchens of Beauty's Bagel Shop during its off hours; the shop returns the favor by carrying his full product line. The Mole-Style Hot Sauce ($5 for 5 ounces) gives you a three-second window to savor the smoked salt, garlic and sweet spices before the habaneros kick in. 

Beauty's Bagel Shop 3838 Telegraph Ave. Oakland CA 94609 510-788-6098 Bi-Rite Market 3639 18th St. San Francisco CA 94110 415-241-9760 Buyer's Best Friend 1740 Haight St. San Francisco CA 94117 415-375-0439 Buyer's Best Friend Mercato 450 Columbus Ave. San Francisco CA 94133 415-223-3912
Indian Mexican


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