I like it pretty hot, so when Tabanero Hot Sauces offered to send us a package of their three most popular sauces to taste test, I happily volunteered as tribute. Tabanero began in 2004 by seeking out a place where rainfall was plentiful enough to grow their peppers. In 2007 a massive flood wiped out the region of Tabasco, Mexico, and instead of moving production elsewhere, the team at Tabanero helped rebuild the area and prepare it for harvest again. They still donate a portion of their sales to a church in the region as an ongoing dedication to giving back and helping the community that helps them. How awesome is that?! All Tabanero sauces are gluten free and not vinegar based, which allows for the pure taste of the peppers to shine through. I opted to taste test the sauces with some Publix chicken wings and then cook a recipe provided to me by Tabanero for one of their sauces.
For the taste test, I simply poured a small amount of each sauce onto a plate and went from mildest to hottest so as not to mess with my taste buds too much on heat level evaluation. Each sauce got an individual wing dedicated as it’s vessel. The Agave Sweet and Spicy sauce came first, which has the highest concentration of Agave nectar to Habanero ratio. It also has a touch of key lime, pickled garlic, carrots, and spices. This is definitely a very mild hot sauce appropriate for anyone. It’s the thickest of the sauces and would make a great coating to toss chicken in with a little heat to add to the top of a salad. The sweetness of the agave mellows out the habanero to barely noticeable, it’ll just leave a slight tingle on your tongue when you’re done. This is definitely a heat level 1, and for Habanero that says a lot!
Sauce #2 was the Hot Sauce Picante, which ups the heat level to a solid 3 and a much longer after-burn. I found a lot more garlic and onion flavor in this sauce versus the Agave sauce since there isn’t as much sugar. It’s slightly thinner and has a more immediate hot flavor to it as well. For those who don’t tolerate heat well this will be on the higher end of that. While it’s not set you on fire spicy, it is definitely warming! Sauce #3 and the final trial was the Extra Hot. This heat you taste right off the bat as the fiery habaneros are the top note. The heat is still very tolerable though. You can definitely toss wings in this without being in pain later , but you will need something to cool it down mid-meal. I’d give it a solid 4 on the heat meter out of 5. What I do like about all the sauces individually is that they truly aren’t acidic tasting since they aren’t vinegar based. You get pure flavor of the habanero without it being cut by unnecessary preservatives. The Extra Hot was by far my favorite of the three and I’ll definitely be buying another few bottles when I’m done with this one!
Tabanero was kind enough to send three recipes along with the box of hot sauces which I’ve included pictures of for all our Tabanero current and future fans! Of the three, I miraculously had everything lying around the house to concoct the Sweet and Spicy Corn Dog Muffins, so I opted to make that for a mid-afternoon snack. It was super easy–I just mixed two boxes of cornbread mix, two eggs, sour cream, and and the Agave Sweet and Spicy in a bowl. I added the cheese and let that rest for a few minutes while I sliced sausages and preheated the oven. I poured the batter into a greased muffin tin, added the sausages to the center of each muffin, and into the oven it went! Twenty minutes later I had a delicious cornbread handheld snack that is perfect for tailgates and parties! Next time I make it I think I’ll opt for the Extra Hot in place of the Sweet and Spicy for a little more kick. Also if you want it extra cheesy, you won’t hurt a thing adding more cheese to the recipe!
I’d never heard of Tabanero prior to my experience this weekend, but I can say with certainty they’ve made a lifelong fan out of me. The flavors of these sauces are pure, authentic, and crafted with the elegance of simplicity. You can find Tabanero at several local Publixes around town, or opt for online ordering to see their full range of products including Bloody Mary mixes and additional hot sauce flavors including an extra-extra-hot which I have my eye on for the next round! Bring on the habaneros Tabanero, we’ve fallen in love!