Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reviews of Spittin Fire and Papa Jack's Buffalo Hot Sauces -- 2011 First Place Scovie Award Winners

Spittin Fire and Papa Jack's Buffalo are two very good, interesting and similar Hot Sauces from Sizzlin Sauces in Conway, NH. They won the latest 2011 Scovie awards in their categories, which are Habanero and  Louisiana Style Hot Sauce, which may be, I guess, because that's how they were entered, but categories can be misleading. They are both great sauces, and I like 'em a lot, but they are more similar than they are different, and I wouldn't call either of them a classic Hab or Louisiana style hot sauce.

These are 2 complex, very fresh tasting, almost fruity sauces, medium hot, thick and a bit chunky in texture, which are assembled in an apparently modular way from the manner in which the ingredients are listed. Two of the major ingredients listed are ... Ketchup, and ... Hot Sauce! They put Hot Sauce in their Hot Sauce! Both have Cayenne and Habanero Peppers, but while the Spittin Fire has a more classic Caribbean Carrot, Lime. Mustard base, the Papa Jack's Buffalo goes a darker, spicier way with Molasses, Worcestershire, Anchovy, Raisin Paste and Orange Puree, and you can taste that difference, but still, they are more alike than not.

The Spittin Fire has a nose of lemon, herbs, tomato and mild pepper and is lemony, with almost berry-like fruit initially to the tongue, with a tiny bit of salt, and after a few seconds begins to develop the classic Habanero needle-like heat, which remains for several minutes before fading  and during which time there is a subtle background of tomato and garlic and herbs. The flavors are not super intense but they are very good. I tried the Spittin Fire on a Pork Burger Wrap, a BLT, a Chicken Sandwich, Scrambled Eggs, on Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta, and on home-made Lasagna, just for the hell of it. It was good on everything, except maybe the eggs and the lasagna, and I did not really expect the fruitiness of the sauce to complement those dishes. The balance between heat and flavor is very good and I was able to use a goodly amount of sauce on most of the dishes without changing the essential character of the food. Except for kicking it up 4 or 5 notches.  Highly Recommended.

Papa Jack's Buffalo has a nose like the Spittin Fire, that is, of lemon, herbs, tomato and mild pepper, but with spicy orange and raisin with some worcestershire, and orange/raisin/tomato/worcestershire/lemon and herb is what hits the tongue first (Wow, that's a lot of flavors!), followed shortly thereafter by the Habanero heat, which fades slowly over a couple of minutes with a pleasant raisiny, herby tomato background. A little more intense flavor-wise than the Spittin Fire,  Papa Jack's Buffalo fades a bit more slowly as well, and tastes heartier and meatier, and seems more suited to heartier and meatier dishes, which was the case with same dishes above -- great on the Pork Burger Wrap, BLT, Chicken Sandwich, and on a steak and in Beef Stew, not so great on the pasta, eggs, and shrimp. But really great on those dishes it is suited to. Highly Recommended.

The PJB is the more interesting sauce with stronger flavors and the SF is the more universally useful -- if I were to make one criticism of the sauces it would be that the non-hot flavor could be a little stronger, or more intense, and that it fades a little more quickly than I would like, but I am being very picky here and have to say that these sauces are very good with food.

You owe it to yourself to check out their website -- see the link above -- they have all kinds of awards and other sauces which, going by their success with these two, are certain to be well made and fun. FYI, I purchased my two bottles directly from Sizzlin Sauces at $6.95 ea not including delivery and they arrived promptly.

Yours in Heat and Flavor,



  1. Can't find spittin fire anywhere locally, I guess ill have to order it online.

  2. I love the caribbean hot sauces. they have great flavor and you can get anything from sweet to super hot flavors. They all have a great tangy flavor to them


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