Dave’s Insanity Hot Sauce Review
True story. A friend of mine who went to school at Tulane in New Orleans had always boasted that he could handle any level of heat, food-wise. So one year for his birthday, I decided to buy him a selection of three hot sauces. I don’t remember the other two, but one was definitely Dave’s Insanity because it bills itself as “the original hottest sauce in the universe” and I wanted to put my friend’s limits to the ultimate test. About a week later, he called me up. He told me he had gotten some take-out Chinese food and decided to spice it up with the Dave’s Insanity Hot Sauce. He read the label’s warning about adding just a drop at a time, but figured he could withstand a mere five drops. As he explained to me through self-deprecating laughter, he took one bite and had to throw the food away.
It was simply too hot to eat. With this in mind, I was nervous about sampling it myself but in the interest of journalistic integrity, I did indeed take a taste. Two, in fact. First I put a single drop on my finger and licked it off. (The sauce is very thick and so the size of a drop will generally always be more than a drop of a purely liquid pepper sauce.) The heat was instant and piercing. It seemed like caustic vapors were moving down my throat and into my nose. But to my surprise, the initial pain wore off a little and a pleasant smokiness took over. I decided to try it on a classic comfort food: American chop suey, made with elbow macaroni, ground beef, tomato sauce, and diced onions.
Because Dave’s Insanity Hot Sauce is made with tomato paste, which accounts for its thickness, I hoped it would blend well with the American chop suey. And indeed it did. Having endured a single drop on its own, yet mindful of my friend’s experience with five drops, I decided to add three. Because my mouth was still burning a little, at first I didn’t taste the impact of the sauce on the dish; but after a few bites, I suddenly became aware that my mouth was on fire. And yet, it wasn’t an unpleasant sensation at all. Just really, really hot – though not so hot that it obscured all flavor. This sauce I had once feared was actually pretty tasty. The key is to use it sanely.
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