Valentina Sauce Vs Tapatio

If youre a heat head like us, youve lined the nooks and crannies of your pantry and refrigerator with a variety of hot sauces, ranging from your basic, vinegar-based Crystal to trendy Sriracha to four million Scoville ranking Magma. Well maybe not that last one, but we can dream! From shaking it atop our eggs at breakfast to dribbling it into a burrito at lunch to folding it into a marinade before dinner, we just cant get enough of hot sauce.

One standby brand that is always a go-to is Valentina, a “Mexican hot sauce” produced in Guadalajara thats beloved both in its home country and abroad. Its a thicker, not-too-spicy sauce made from just chilis, vinegar, and salt, and as such, Valentina is an all-purpose hot sauce many people just cant get enough of. All across the internet, fans sing the praises of Valentina time and again. And theres a couple good reasons why people love it so much.

It turns out that Tapatio, which is actually made in Southern California, gets its ass kicked by Valentina, a delicious, brick-red sauce from Guadalajara. While Tapatio says “zip!” and then disappears, Valentina hangs around for a while, its vinegar mellowed out by earthy, garlicky flavors.

#1 Louisiana The Perfect Hot Sauce

$2.50 from Target Shop Now

Heat rating: 4 out of 10 Best for: Cajun food

Compared with the other Louisiana-style hot sauces made with aged cayenne peppers, this one has heat that really lingers on your lips as opposed to your tongue. Its quite thin and drips through the holes in saltine crackers. But its got a simple, classic, fermented-pepper flavor, and not too much vinegar.

$4 from Target Shop Now

Heat rating: 2 out of 10 Best for: Gifting to your enemies

Tabasco’s popularity remains a mystery. Its so thin that it doesnt stay on a cracker at all, and it tastes more like vinegar than anything else, let alone a pepper. There are flecks of pepper throughout the thin sauce base like its never actually pureed or emulsified all the way. If youre new to hot sauce, dont even bother with Tabasco despite the brand recognition.

#1 Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce

$3 on Amazon Shop Now

Heat rating: 3 out of 10 Best for: Anything Buffalo flavor

This sauce has become the standard buffalo flavoring for anything you can think of — but especially chicken wings. Its pretty mild, but the heat that it does have sneaks up on you after the initial vinegar acidity. Cutting it with melted butter for wings is ideal since it tempers the tang and saltiness. Its also got a slight hint of garlic from garlic powder. Lots of people really do put this on everything, myself included.

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$4 from Target Shop Now

Heat Rating: 2 out of 10 Best for: Dipping French fries

Cholula isnt made with cayenne peppers like a lot of sauces on this list, but instead with Mexican chiles de arbol and piquin, both of which are small, hot dried peppers. It definitely makes a difference in flavor, and this sauce is deep, mellow and slightly smoky, though a little bland overall. Its also pretty mild, but it has a smooth and viscous consistency that makes it great for dipping.

$4 from Target Shop Now

Heat rating: 2 out of 10 Best for: Barbacoa or other barbecued meats

This is not a good alternative Cholula. The smokiness is acrid, and that hits your tongue instantly. It mellows out into a familiar chipotle flavor, but the lingering aftertaste is more like inhaling campfire smoke than delicious smoked chiles.

# Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce

$7 from Meijer Shop Now

Heat rating: 5 out of 10 Best for: Nachos

Secret Aardvark has a devoted following, and its one of the more interesting sauces on this list. The first ingredient is fire-roasted tomatoes, while habaneros dont come in until after carrots, onions, and other ingredients, so its more like a tomato-based salsa than most of the other sauces. Mustard is also an interesting ingredient, giving it some tangy complexity. The aftertaste is heavy on garlic, though its a much more pleasant fresh garlic flavor than the garlic powder so many of the other sauces feature.

$6 from Meijer Shop Now

Heat rating: 6 out of 10 Best for: Sandwiches and burgers

Yellowbird calls itself a condiment, and the thick, smooth texture (and the squeeze bottle it comes in) certainly reinforces that. The heat sneaks up on you and then burns your tongue for a few minutes. Carrots are the number one ingredient, which gives it its thick consistency but it doesnt have as much flavor complexity as its ingredient list — which includes tangerine juice concentrate — lets on.

$7 from Meijer Shop Now

Heat rating: 10 out of 10 Best for: Using a drop to heat up a chili

Heed the warning on the bottle of Daves Insanity which says its a great cooking ingredient used one drop at a time. Unless youre a serious chile head, youre not going to be using this like a condiment. That’s good, because theres not much flavor to speak of that gets through the wall of heat.


Is Valentina sauce like Tapatio?

Tapatio is thick like Valentina, but no one would ever confuse the two. After a few seconds, a genuine heat floods your tongue that eclipses even Cholula. This is the hot sauce you want if you really need to spice something up.

Which is hotter Valentina or Tapatio?

Tapatio has more of just a hot spicy. Valentina has more flavor of spice.

Is Tapatio the best hot sauce?

Valentina is arguably the most popular Mexican hot sauce in Mexico. This might be the most classic hot sauce you could choose, and it goes with practically everything. This sauce uses puya chiles and the flavor is more chile-forward than vinegar. Use Valentina with your main course, especially seafood!

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