Irazu Ghost Pepper Sauce has a nice bite to it. This product of Costa Rica uses 70% Naga Jolokia ghost peppers so it will give a nice warming sensation because this chili pepper has roughly 400 times the Scoville rating as tabasco sauce. According to the most recent ratings I have been able to find, only the “Carolina Reaper” and the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion are rated above the Naga Jolokia among the hottest chili ratings, it would seem that the government of India is looking at adapting this chili to be used for crowd control and anti-terrorist missions. So if you prefer a pepper that is an overachiever, this hot sauce may be for you!
Nice Flavor & Heat, Pretty Acidic
The hot sauce itself has a nice flavor to it. The chef that developed this sauce did not add too many ingredients, so the natural flavors of the peppers shine through without interference. Personally, I would prefer less acetic acid in the mix, but for those who like a hot sauce with a vinegar flavor, this would be an ideal. There is a distinct vinegar taste and aroma to this sauce that I found distracting during my initial tasting using a spoon straight from the bottle.
Excellent For Cooking
I found that I could cut the vinegary taste by cooking with it rather than just putting it on food. It would work with any recipe that you have that may need an extra punch of flavor because one or more ingredients are resistant to picking up flavor. This would be particularly successful with any kind of beans or black-eyed peas. Another way to use this flavor to your advantage would be to use this hot sauce to add some zing to any marinade that you might have on hand. The acidity would improve the ability of the marinade to penetrate and flavor the meat.
The flavor of this sauce is a welcome addition to a recipe for Southwestern Pork and Bean Soup that I have on file (recipe follows below.) The hot sauce was able to penetrate the density of the beans and the skin of the pinto beans to add extra heat and delicious flavor. The Irazu sauce is better in The Southwestern Pork and Bean Soup than any of the other hot sauces I have tried.
Warning: Not For the Faint of Heart
This is not a sauce for someone just starting on a journey of pepper discovery (see the Scoville rating above.) My recommendation is that you have extensive experience with, and a preference for, the stronger peppers. My wife is not ready for this hot sauce despite several years of effort trying to get her palate trained for pepper love. In fact, she would probably not want to be in the same room as an open bottle of this sauce! However, for the person who enjoys a purist approach to a hot sauce by having minimal ingredients and wants to cook with heat that is not just from the stove or oven, this would be an excellent addition to your pantry.
Southwestern Pork and Bean Soup (serves 4)
- 2 pork chops, diced>
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can Mexican-style chopped tomatoes<
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 14.5 ounces of chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Irazu Ghost Pepper Extreme 70 to taste (I used 4 teaspoons for the batch of 4 servings)
In a deep saucepan, brown pork with onion. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer 10 – 15 minutes. Note: If you have some non-pepper lovers in the house, you can always add the desired amount to individual bowls. But you may want to heat the soup on the stove after you add this hot sauce to bring down the acetic acid notes.
Crockpot Recipe Version
Add all ingredients to a crockpot and leave on low for 6 to 10 hours.
Whichever method of preparation you use, you might want to keep some bread handy, as it could be easy to overdo it with this hot sauce!