Benito's Hot Sauce, one of my favorite purveyors of flavor and heat, has struck gold...this time it's white hot. I'm talking about Benito's White Hot, the stingiest, kickingest, and possibly tastiest sauce of his I've consumed to date. It arrived in the nick of time, for I had been going through a Benito's withdrawal for a few months (yes, even I can get lazy and forget to order my favorite sauces).
Ingredients: Organic bhut jolokia and habanero peppers, lime juice, ginger, onions, garlic, vinegar, EVOO
After looking at White Hot's ingredients rundown, it made me think...I'm not a guy who gets on his high horse and rails against additives, preservatives, and thickening and suspending agents being put into sauces, with the caveat that their usage actually helps the sauce in some manner, like making it stay editable longer. But with proper storage and refrigeration (and a little bottle shakin' to disperse the contents a bit), you almost always don't need this kind of stuff. Benito certainly knows this and is able to make some of the best sauces on this li'l green earth without resorting to additives.
Aroma: 4 out of 5. A beautiful blend of garlic, onions, and chiles, with a backend of sweetness.
Appearance and Texture: 3 out of 5. Benito's White Hot Sauce looks like few other hot sauces I've ever seen. It's a pale yellowish color and almost looks like watered-down applesauce. Or even banana baby food. With tiny red specks. Not the most appetizing in look but it gets the job done. It has a medium/medium-thin consistency and would go well with a number of applications, whether they call for a medium-thick or thin sauce.
Taste Straight Up: 5 out of 5. Delicious. At first lick, there's the base sensation of fresh ginger and lime juice and than a flaming brick wall of tartness and heat slams against you. All in all you get a great fresh flavor that's a Benito's trademark with a sweeter, fruitier taste than other sauces of his.
I must mention that while the all-natural ingredients make the grade, this will seemingly be "bland" in taste to some, despite that fact that garlic, vinegar and chiles put in noticeable performances. If you must absolutely have a punchy, salty and bold sauce than this probably won't be very satisfying. Expand your horizons and you may have find a great sauce in White Hot.
Taste on Food: 4.5 out of 5. Pizza for breakfast? Common occurrence for me. Some type of hot sauce or crushed chile seasoning on pizza is a must. This morning was White Hot's turn. I loved every bite of it on there and it added a bright, fresh and fiery flavor to my morning meal.
Suggested Uses: This may not be as versatile of a sauce that Benito's Original Naranja was, and perhaps may not upsurp it as my overall favorite Benito's product. But it's still worthwhile to apply it to many of your dishes. Scrambled eggs would be a no-brainer with this sauce. A wide variety of Asian foods would also benefit from White Hot's heat, garlic and ginger flavors. Even pasta with cheese or a cheese sauce (from macaroni to fettuccine and beyond) might also be worth having several shakes of White Hot blended in to give it a kick. And how about some tender, flaky grilled or baked fish lightly coated with White Hot? That's a "must-try"!
Heat: 3.5 out of 5. There's a powerful burn from this sauce. It hits you within one or two seconds of eating and lingers for a minute and steadily drops off. I felt the heat mostly on the tongue. But despite the presence of bhut jolokias - the hottest peppers in the world - and the ever reliable habaneros, this definitely is not overwhelmingly hot for fair-weather chileheads. I think the amount of heat is just right for the amount of flavor in White Hot.
In Conclusion: Benito's White Hot is a top-notch hot sauce and gets my highest recommendation. You can purchase a 5 ounce bottle at Benito's Hot Sauce website for $6.00 plus $4.00 more for shipping. I'd say that $10.00 is worth it for what I consider one of the best sauces of the year.
Good review Scott, better not let Rachel Ray see the EVOO thing, I think she trademarked it.
This is one of my top five favorite hot sauces, keep up the great work :)