There are those that love heat and are devoted to spicy food to the point of no return, and by no return, I mean that they go to the washroom and don’t return for quite some time. Then there are those, like me, that like to toy with fiery foods. A chopped chilli here and a splash of hot sauce there, I’m a casual player and enthusiast of the heat game and that is why hot sauce will always have a special place in my heart, and my fridge, which is basically the same thing anyway.
For that reason, I am forever on the hunt for new and interesting hot sauces to the extent that I will order them from different countries to create my own hot sauce challenge that takes me from mild to face-melting heat. So, you can imagine my joy when I heard that Hong Kong would be getting its very own hot sauce store in the form of Fiyah Heat Store, an online marketplace that houses over 150 hot sauces created by craft producers from all over the world.
The store focuses on small-batch producers with many sauces that have never been commercially available outside their own market. Ensuring there’s something for everyone’s taste, Fiyah also offers a variety of sauces that range from mild, to medium, hot, and very hot, and they even have a neat selection of mustards to sample.
Naturally, I took it upon myself to try a few of these hot sauces first, for research purposes of course, and this is what I found.
Secret Aardvark, Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce
Origin: Portland, Oregon, USA
Heat level: Medium
Try it on: Anything
Description: A versatile Caribbean and Tex-Mex hybrid hot sauce made with flavourful habanero peppers and roasted tomatoes. The sauce is rich, a little sweet, and tangy with a decent heat that hits quickly. It comes in a squeeze bottle which makes adding this to all food items very easy.
Mellow Habanero, Yuzu Heaven
Origin: Osaka, Japan
Heat level: Medium to Hot
Try it on: Fish, chicken, pork, and even cocktails!
Description: Made by Taku Kondo, also known as the Habanero Man, of Ta-nm farm in Hyogo in Japan, Yuzu Heaven is a beautifully bright and fragrant hot sauce with the citrusy zing of yuzu and a sweet kick of heat from golden habaneros. A splash of mango and sea salt help to bring out the flavours and fruitiness before it’s grounded with a slight bitterness.
Bravado Spice Co, Crimson Special Reserve
Origin: Houston, Texas, USA
Heat level: Hot to very hot
Try it on: Fried chicken, pizza, burgers, and stews.
Description: This fiery sauce is blended with Mexican Arbol chillies and spiked with scorpion peppers from Trinidad for a bold heat that builds. The flavour, in all its garlicky glory, offers a smooth warmth and adds a satisfying savoury element that keeps you coming back for more.
For those intrigued by these, or looking for a new hot sauce to spice up your life (pun definitely intended) then you know where to go: Fiyahheatstore.com. But if you’d like to try before you buy, then you can check Fiyah Heat Store out at Treasure Island as they will be at the Sunday Market in Pui O on March 28 and April 25, and The Pulse Market in Repulse Bay on April 5.
Photograph: Courtesy Fiyah Heat Store
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