Say sayōnara to Sriracha and test out some of these spicy condiments that are making waves in the world of hot sauce with their bold flavours, witty names and locally grown ingredients. And if Beyoncé carries hot sauce in her bag, you probably should too.
Meow! That's Hot (Ottawa, ON)
This small-batch hot sauce company started when restaurant goers kept begging for the chef’s recipe. Meow! That’s Hot started out with their Fire Kitty sauce, and have since expanded to eight hot sauces and one BBQ sauce. Local ingredients and flavours, like the fresh Ontario peaches used in the Persian Pyro, paired with jalapeños and Thai chillies, create a flavour kick that goes great with fish.
Smoke Show (Montreal, QC)
In only a short time, this bottle of hot sauce has grown to become a Montreal favourite. Made with a unique blend of charred and smoked jalapeños and real maple syrup, Smoke Show is flying off the shelves and being used at many of Montreal’s top restaurants. Squeeze a dollop onto a freshly shucked oyster, or use it as an alternative to Tabasco in a Caesar.
Bastid's Hot Sauce (Toronto, ON)
Toronto DJ Skratch Bastid has created a special line of three hot sauces to compliment the Bastid’s BBQ parties he throws at various Ontario locations. The three Bastid’s Hot Sauces, original hot, garlic hot, and Jamaican jerk rub are inspired by his mom’s Trinidadian roots and a love for all things spicy. Just like his BBQ parties, this hot sauce is sweeping the nation. Grab it online or at one of the upcoming Toronto and Ottawa BBQs.
Hatari Bros at Hungry Volcano (Calgary, AB)
Sam Shivji of Hatari Bros. is a force to be reckoned with in the world of hot sauce. His spicy sauces like Acid Rain and Alberta Crude need no introduction, and are certainly not for the faint of heart. These condiments are bold and fiery, and are a great addition to eggs, burgers or any Mexican foods.
Mark's Hot Sauce (Montreal, QC)
After realizing the most popular hot sauce brands in Canada were all imported (Tobasco, Sriracha, etc.), Mark decided to create his own Canadian brand, using mostly local ingredients. Mark’s Hot Sauce is currently selling three flavours with ingredients that are locally sourced in the summer months (excluding the tropical fruits). The Fermented Red Chili sauce is super tasty on anything with cheese, while the Fermented Jalapeño pairs nicely with steak tacos and eggs. The Barbados Style is best on chicken, and even better on fried chicken!
Grindrod Garlic Co (Grindrod, BC)
This is the second hot sauce venture for award-winner Denzel Sandberg of Denzel’s Gourmet Foods. He and his partners at Grindrod Garlic Co began their new hot sauce brand last fall. Everything used in the sauce is grown on their own farm or a nearby farm in Grindrod. The Roasted Tomato and Garlic Ghost Chili Sauce is to die for on chicken wings.
Maritime Madness (Cardigan, PE)
These island pepper farmers have created a variety of hot sauces with all natural products and no preservatives, with 95% of their sauces being gluten free, and the other 5% are a collaboration with local craft brewers. Maritime Madness sauces range from mild to extremely hot, each with a completely different flavour profile. Shuckin’ Delicious is a cilantro, lime and garlic combination that’s perfect on oysters. Their Ultimate Giv’er Sauce made with Carolina Reapers and Habaneros will have even the most seasoned palates sweating!
Mad Gringo Hot Sauce (Barrie, ON)
After a little soul searching in South America, Jordan Engman decided to follow his passion for cooking and spicy foods, and embark on his Mad Gringo hot sauce journey. Today, Mad Gringo sauces can be found in hundreds of retail stores, farmers’ markets and food festivals. Use Fargin Icehole Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce on ribs, or douse some Mexican grilled corn with the Chipotle Standoff.
No.7 Mexican Hot Sauce (Toronto, ON)
In 2013, Sandra DaSilva and Carlos Flores decided to share their much-loved recipe with the rest of Canada. No.7 Mexican Hot Sauce is vegan, dairy, gluten and nut free, and has no added sodium, preservatives or sugars. In just three years, they have made seven different hot sauces ranging from mild to wild, available in specialty shops and online. The Habanero Original is a customer favourite, with fans expressing their love with the hashtag #TorontoLikesItHot. The Chile Pasilla sauce is inspired by a sauce from Carlos’ childhood called Salsa Borracha, which means drunken sauce, as it’s made with tequila. This is is their mildest sauce, and works well as an alternative to BBQ sauce.
Chetty's Hot Sauce (Richmond Hill, ON)
In a land of imported hot sauces, Chetty’s Hot Sauce is working to become the sauce that Canada can call its own. Patrick Chetty has created a line of five hot sauces made from peppers imported from Guyana. Their products are all natural, and produced and packaged in Ontario. Chetty’s Lime Hot Sauce will change the way you make Caesars forever.
Bronwyn Hope is a food writer based in Toronto.