A Spicy Piece Of Americana
I've always had a love-hate relationship with hot sauce. Historically speaking, every experience I've had with the aforementioned condiment ended with me curled up in a dark corner of the room frantically searching Web MD to see if a human being can live a full life without a fully functioning colon. Seriously, it ain't pretty.
|Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce Tasting|
Gringo Bandito has three varieties of hot sauce: Original Red, Green, and Super Hot. There are several key elements that make Gringo Bandito's products so successful. They focus on great taste over pure heat as a way to increase both the flavor and enjoyment of food. They use hand chopped peppers. They are all natural and contain no preservatives. Gringo Bandito appeals to health conscious consumers by using 70% less salt than their competitors, they are Paleo diet friendly, and they are Gluten free.
Results Of The Tasting
The reviews of the tasting were interesting and varied. There was an overwhelming amount of positive reviews with the most negative comment being something along the lines of "not my favorite but still good." I think that's pretty darn impressive if you ask me.
After the tasting, there was a 50/50 split between people who thought The Original Red was actually hotter than the Super Hot. In my opinion, I believe there is a distinct difference between spice and heat. When I tried the Original Red, the initial rush of heat was intense but the heat faded quickly. Also, I felt the heat was derived from the spices more than the peppers themselves. On the other hand, the first taste of the Super Hot was packed full of the richness and earthiness of the peppers. The heat built slowly in a kind of secondary wave and lingered for a considerably longer period of time. My ah-ha moment regarding the Super Hot sauce was the fact that even though it was a very hot sauce, it was tolerable. No heartburn. No stomach ache.
This is why I believe Dexter and the rest of the peeps at Gringo Bandito have accomplished what they set out to do -- successfully prevent the heat level of the sauce from overshadowing the vibrant flavors of their three sauces. Well done, Gringo Bandito!
Surprisingly, I was able to handle the heat of their sauce without pain or misery. That is everything I've ever wanted in a hot sauce. In fact, I have since used Gringo's sauces on a wide variety of foods. I use it to make my tuna fish salad, I use it on burritos, and I've even been known to sprinkle it on plain popcorn as a snack when I curl up on the couch to watch Idle Hands on Netflix. (See what I did there, Dexter?)
The CompanyGringo Bandito is the brainchild of Dexter Holland, the vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the multi-platinum punk rock band, The Offspring. The band has released such hits as Self Esteem, Pretty Fly, Why Don't You Get A Job?, and Gotta Get Away.
Dexter grew up in the Southern California area where the Hispanic culture was a large part of his life. He loves the Mexican culture, and what would Mexican culture be without fantastic food.
So why hot sauce? Dexter wanted to do something fun. He's a bit of a hot sauce aficionado and over time, he came up with a recipe that he really liked. As he says, "What kind of company should I start? Life's too short to make socks."
Today, after more than a decade of making hot sauce, Dexter and the rest of the Gringo Bandito team stay motivated by keeping things interesting and fun. They built their brand to make quality hot sauce for consumers that appreciate the Mexican culture and food as much as they do.
They have many exciting upcoming plans for the company, and they are currently focusing on increasing their retail distribution across the country. Currently, Gringo Bandito is in over 7000 stores and is growing at an incredible rate. They can be found in Whole Foods, Kroger, Albertsons/Safeway, and can be ordered on Amazon. Wahoo's and Chronic Tacos serve their sauces at all locations as well.
That sentence alone is what allows me to finally say the following out loud:
I LOVE GRINGO BANDITO HOT SAUCE!
There, I've said it and I feel better for it.
So, what is Dexter's favorite hot sauce? Here's your answer. "Well, obviously I started Gringo Bandito and I love all our hot sauces. The Super Hot is my favorite at the moment, but I'm a hot sauce fan. That's why I got into this. It doesn't have to just be Gringo. I don't say stuff like our hot sauce is great and everyone else's sucks! I love most Mexican and Caribbean style hot sauces and I think there's room for it all."
I would like to thank Dexter and all the folks at Gringo Bandito for giving me the opportunity to try their products, and I look forward to watching your business grow. Rumor has it there is a taco seasoning in your future, and I can't wait to see what new products you crazy kids come up with next!
Photo Credit - Ben Reutter
Tracy Schroeder is a blogger for MenuManiacs and author who thrives and survives in the great state of Colorado.