Kitchn Love Letters

The Perfect Hot Sauce for Anyone Who Can’t Handle the Heat

published Apr 30, 2021
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Credit: Jelisa Castrodale

I’ve tried and tried to be the kind of person who loves hot sauce — turns out, I’m just a big baby. I love flavor, and while I’m into the idea of dousing burritos and fried eggs in the stuff, every time I find myself with a bottle of hot sauce in hand, I chicken out and go for extra avocado or a sprinkle of flaky salt, instead. 

Years ago, I resigned myself to a life of hot sauce-free dishes due to my “delicate” palate, and would look wistfully at the plates of my friends with higher spice tolerance, wishing I was just a little tougher. One day, though, I tried Siete Foods’ Traditional Hot Sauce and everything changed.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

Siete Foods was founded by Veronica Garza, a Mexican American from Texas who set out to develop foods that fit within her dietary restrictions as she battled health issues. As a result, all of Siete Foods’ products are grain-free, and fit into many specialty diets, like Whole30 — including their hot sauce.

All of Siete Foods’ products are amazing, but their traditional hot sauce is the best hot sauce for people who are spicy-averse. It’s made with two types of peppers — jalapeño and puya — so, yes, there’s some spice. It’s just, you know, not fiery-ghost-pepper level.

Buy: Siete Foods Traditional Hot Sauce, $5.29 for 5 ounces

I think that the real magic comes from the additional ingredients, which balance the heat and make this the bottle I reach for again and again. Golden beets add a little sweetness, oregano brings out an herbal note, and the combo of apple cider vinegar plus some orange peel brighten the whole thing up. There’s flaxseed, too, which helps give the hot sauce a creamier, emulsified texture. Which is great, because nobody likes watery hot sauce.

Unlike some other specialty hot sauces, this fits within my budget. Siete Foods sells a 4-pack of the traditional hot sauce for $28 on their website, and it retails for around $5.29 a bottle at most grocery stores as well as on Amazon and Thrive Market.

If you, like me, appreciate Siete Foods’ backstory and general vibe, but unlike me, want something a little spicier, I have good news: Siete Foods sells multiple varieties of hot sauce, with varying levels of heat. While I’m not sure I’ll get to trying the Habenero, maybe I’ll get bold enough to sample Jalapeño, or Smoky Chipotle … one day.