I enjoy watching other people eat hot stuff, but when it comes to me eating spicy hot stuff—you’d better have a pretty good bribe ready. I’ve had my share of spicy foods and know my limits. Besides the heartburn aftermath, I’ve never enjoyed eating things so spicy that I can’t taste the food’s natural flavors.
That’s why I hesitated to try Tapatio for the first time…
My brother claimed it was the shizzle and had nearly polished off a full bottle by himself. We have pretty similar tastes and that’s what pushed me over the edge. I held the bottle close to my face and inspected the ingredients: water, red peppers, garlic, salt, various spices, sodium benzoate… despite it probably being loaded with preservatives, I figured it was okay to consume. At least there wasn’t a hidden chiltepe in there. I hate those little pepper bombs of death.
I unscrewed the red Tapatio cap and sprinkled the light red sauce onto the edges of my noodles and over a few pieces of my pork, chicken, and shrimp. Not wanting an overwhelmingly large amount of Tapatio on my first bite, I used my chopsticks to roll the noodles and meat together and evenly spread the sauce. I felt a little rebellious for adding a Mexican hot sauce to a Chinese cuisine.
Still hesitant, I sniffed the sauce. It was sweeter than I expected, and my nostrils detected a slight tang… just enough to give it some pizzazz without curling my nose hairs. This boosted my confidence and I lifted a small measure of Tapatio-covered noodles to my open mouth and began to chew.
This is when my taste buds were surprised with an explosive burst of flavor. It was sweet. It was tangy. It was a little spicy. And I loved it!
I couldn’t believe how awesome Tapatio was and it only took a few seconds to sprinkle even more over my noodles. It was the ideal balance of sweet and spicy, an addictive combination.
And that’s how my addiction began… I’m head over heels for this stuff. Whenever I’m cooking for myself–my wife & kids have a ridiculously low heat tolerance–or when they’re not looking, I sprinkle Tapatio over my meats and noodles, add it to my soups, spread it through my sauces, and mix it into my pizzas (my personal favorite, especially when combined with fresh lime).
If you haven’t tried Tapatio, you need to.
If you don’t like hot sauces, give this one a chance.
If you decide you don’t like it, please send me your unspoiled leftovers.
And if you’re wondering, no, I wasn’t paid to write this. In fact, Mr. Jose-Luis Saavedra, Sr. doesn’t even know I exist. Pero Senor Saavedra… si algun dia escuchas de me, me encantaria conocerte.