Chile-heads don’t wait for taco night to bust out their collection of hot sauces. True heat-seekers slather fiery condiments on scrambled eggs, a hunk of cheese, a bowl of ramen, a plate of fries or just about anything.
For those who prefer a burst of flavor, not just a wallop of heat, several hot sauces deliver the kind of sweet-spicy-salty-sour combination that will please most any palate.
Here are three to try:• A&B American-Style Pepper Sauce: This small-batch Brooklyn condiment balances heat from Fresno and habanero chiles with natural sweetness from carrots, which also contribute to A&B’s vibrant red-orange color. The fact that the hot sauce contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives boosts its foodie cred.
Try it with: Cold oysters on the half shell, a bloody mary. $12 per 8-ounce bottle; abamerican.com.• Cholula Chili Garlic: Mexican favorite Cholula Hot Sauce gives garlic lovers something to cheer about with this extension of its original brand. Salt, the second listed ingredient, is a bit pronounced, but the garlic kick seems to have an affinity for Italian comfort food.
Try it with: Pizza, eggplant parmesan. $4 per 5-ounce bottle; Publix.• Piñata Hot Sauce: A South Florida couple is just starting to get the word out about its Piñata hot sauces (available in original and extra hot varieties), which marry pineapple with habanero peppers. Sweetness from pineapple and honey come out first, followed by a lasting smack of heat.
Try it with: Grilled tuna steaks, tacos al pastor. $6 per 5-ounce bottle; pinatahotsauce.com.
Evan S. Benn is the Miami Herald food editor. Follow him on Twitter: @EvanBenn .