Hot Sauce is what puts the zing in your day! Because winter in Davis tends to be wet and dreary, you'll need this magic stuff to keep that fire burning in your belly. Being a town of semi-cultured foodies, most supermarkets & grocery stores stock a decent selection of these spicy condiments, and what can't be found there can either be found in your favorite international food store, Ikeda's, or Pedrick Produce. If you've got a hot pick, add it to our list along with a description of the flavor and heat. Those who prefer their hot sauce on top should check out our Food page for places to find accompaniments.
For a sauce that originated in Davis (but has since gone national and moved out of town), try Wing-Time. Afghan Pepper Company is trying to become the new Davis-originated hot sauce.
Hot Sauces Available in Davis
- Blair's After Death Sauce - Cost Plus World Market - Powered by a blend of habanero, cayenne, and chipotle peppers, it's a moderately spicy sauce for experienced heat seekers. Bottle comes with a cute little skull keychain. ~49,000 SHU
- Border Sauce - Taco Bell, a "wannabe Mexican" chain, provides little packets of "Fire" sauce, their hottest hot sauce, which are considered mild by anyone who has ever had any real hot sauce. ~500 SHU
- Busha Browne's Pukka Sauce - Nugget - Although pretty mild in the grand range of liquid fires available, this Jamaican Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce still packs a punch compared to the most common sauces. Slightly sweet. ~4,440 SHU
- Chipotle Tabasco - This can be found at Chipotle of all places. It can also be found at grocery stores like Safeway (though not necessarily the ones in Davis). It is more mild than regular Tabasco, but has a rich, roasted flavor and is spicier in the aftertaste than it is going down. ~2,000-2,500 SHU
- Cholula - Nice wooden caps. Great on eggs and/or hash browns. Especially when you're at IHOP at 2am. ~3,600 SHU
- Da'Bomb - The Final Answer - The hottest "sauce" available at Pedrick Produce. The final answer measures a mind-blowing 1,500,000 SHU. To give you a hint, the green Tabasco is ~600-800 SHU and US Grade pepper spray is 2,000,000 to 5,300,000 SHU. Seriously folks, one drop of this to a large container of salsa from the nugget will make the whole thing rock! MIX IT IN WELL! Not really doable as a sauce, but excellent as an additive to other items.
Dave's Total Insanity Sauce - This stuff really *is* insanely hot! The flavor isn't great though
a red sauce kinda on the vinegary side. As a fairly well-seasoned veteran of hot sauces, I wouldn't recommend more than a drop or two at the absolute most until you figure out what you can handle. One friend swore it permanently damaged her taste buds. And remember to wash your hands after handling the bottle...and unless you want to go insane, don't touch your eyes when using this stuff! ~180,000 SHU
- I'm pretty sure I've seen it at Pedricks. Look low, where all the "contains mostly capsaicin" sauces are. Lots of black or "burned" cardboard boxes. — JabberWokky
- purchased at cost plus world market in Davis sometime during early 2007 (who actually have a couple interesting hot sauces for those who are looking). indeed, flavor is mediocre, but its extraordinary heat is good for big batches of stuff...or on pizza. additionally capsaicin (see mechanism of action) does not *actually* harm you. — MiranPark
- Dave's Ghost Pepper Sauce - Cost Plus World Market, Nugget - At a whopping 650,000 SHU, this is one of the hottest sauces available in the area.
- Del Scorcho - Del Taco ... Much better than Taco Bell's "Fire Sauce," but still not the liquid ulcer hot sauce of which aficionados dream.
- Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce - Nugget, Jack in the Box, Sam's Club (not in davis) - Ask for it with anything you order. It's very useful. ~450 SHU
- Green Tabasco - Also known as Jalapeno Tabasco, is the mildest and perhaps the most flavorful of Tabasco. ~600-800 SHU
- Habanero Tabasco - Is mostly for burning your mouth, and was last spotted at Crêpeville. ~7,000-12,000 SHU
- KFC Hot Sauce - A special hot sauce prepared by the Colonel himself for use at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Next time you're there, check lifelike statuary art, "The Colonel Sits on the Bench. (update August 2005: the statue is gone.)"
- Melinda's Naga Jolokia - Cost Plus World Market - Made from the incredibly spicy ghost chili, this is definitely one of the spicier sauces sold in Davis. ~575,000 SHU
- The Pepper Plant - Nugget - A thick, California-style hot sauce from Gilroy, CA. Available at Pluto's. It's great on the fries!
- Regular "Red" Tabasco - Used in Bloody Marys, is plentiful at breakfast spots, and rich in tradition and vinegar. ~2,500-5,000 SHU
- Tabasco - Many Varieties of the Louisiana Hot Sauce are available throughout Davis
- Tapatio - Perhaps the most stolen bottle of hot sauce in Davis. Made in California! ~3,000 SHU
- Sriracha - A popular condiment with pho and is put into anything spicy at Fuzio. The most popular brand of Sriracha is Chinese/Vietnamese and made by the Huy Fong company. But there are others. Sriracha can often be found at any Dining Commons. ~2,200 SHU
- Wing Time Buffalo Wing Sauces - A whole slew of hot wing sauces, made right here in Davis.
- UC Pepper Spray - UC Davis Police Department - Although its level of spiciness makes it a weapon rather than condiment, this is by far the spiciest substance found in Davis. ~5,300,000 SHU
Cost Plus World Market
Cost Plus World Market has an interesting array of hot sauces. At least two of them are made from the ghost chili, once heralded as the hottest pepper in the world.
Enter Pedrick Produce, head to the back wall, turn right and walk straight. You will then encounter a wall full of every hot sauce known to humanity. Everything from "Scorched Buttplug" to "Hillary's Hotlips" (many political sauces) to "Puckered Asshole" to all the varieties of Tabasco and popular rubs like Tony Catchetore's hot spices. It is truly an epic experience for the hot sauce aficionado. But if you're really serious about your hot sauce, head back to the checkout counter and look up. On an overhead shelf behind the counter are perhaps the most potent hot sauces you'll ever taste. With names like "Satan's Blood", it's no wonder you have to sign a release form to buy them.
Hot Sauces Consumed In, but Not Necessarily Available In Davis
If these are available in town, say where.
- Ass in the Tub - This red cayenne based sauce has a really good flavor and it's hot, but bearable though you can expect a good 15min lip burn. No vinegar, so the cayenne really shines through.
- Crazy Jerry's Brain Damage Mind Blowin' Hot Sauce - If the hot pink cap molded to look like a brain doesn't grab your attention the flavor will. Ingredients: Mandarin oranges, honey, mango fruit habanero peppers, distilled vinegar, water, garlic, chipotle peppers, sugar, spice.
- Valentina - For that "sabor autentico". Comes in regular, hot, and extra hot. Its yummy on eggs and beans...really anything. (except cereal)
- XXX Calypso Hot - I think I ordered this stuff online from a place in Louisiana the year I tried to make gator chili; looks like the sauce is made in the Tortolas, BVI though. It's a red sauce with a bonnet pepper base. Nice texture with chunks of pepper seed, but a bit 'thick'. Definitely one of the hotter ones I've tried. Not too much vinegar and not nearly as hot as Dave's Insanity Sauce; I'd recommend starting with just a few drops to be safe.
- In the "it's a small world" category, I met the woman who makes that the last time I went down to the Virgin Islands. There are a dozen or so good hot sauce companies down there, and it's one of their few exports. — JabberWokky
2005-06-18 20:51:31 the beer page really needs to take inspiration from this page and have a list of the best available labels and where to buy them. mmm... beer. beer and hot sauce. —CarlMcCabe
- Does it seem odd to anyone else that more care has been given to hot sauce than to beer? Aren't we supposed to be a college town?! :) —ss
2005-07-06 16:03:23 The Reserve of which you mention is Blair's Death. The biggest reason for me to drop the $15+ for entrance fees at The Book And The Cook Fair in Philly was visiting the Blair's Death booth and buying a case of Blair's Death Cheese Sauce. Your sauce can be found here. I'm a weenie, I know, but I forgot how to do the linky thing. —BlancheNonken
- You're not a weenie! Every time I want to upload a picture I forget how to thumbnail. :) — ss
2005-10-17 23:33:33 Anyone know where I can get Cajun Sunshine locally? Cost Plus used to carry it but doesn't anymore. —BarnabasTruman
2006-10-31 20:47:41 Does anyone ever use death sauce? —StevenDaubert
2007-04-09 10:32:43 We put Death Sauce in our friends Burrito once while he was taking a dump. He seemed perturbed, then he went back to the bathroom. Never heard from the guy again? —JarrettNoble
2008-02-10 14:49:33 Apparently wing time, which has a damn good super hot originated in Davis —StevenDaubert
2012-01-30 01:12:33 Co-op has Boulder Hot Sauce Company. Difficult to find outside of Boulder and in my opinion the best balance between heat and flavor ever invented. I prefer their Smokey Serano over Harry's Habenero but they're both outstanding. —MikeyCrews
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