It’s time I up my game. I’ve been eating some weaksauce products lately. They’ve been delicious, of course, but not exactly the type of terrifying heat that we love at this site. My tolerance is probably lower than I want it to be, but I’m going to relearn to swim by diving into the deep end. I’ve got a Wicked Tickle product with me today, and that’s a brand name you’re sure to recognize if you’re a self-respecting hot sauce fan. This particular sauce is El Humo, and we all know that foreign language names make anything more intimidating. I’m a little scared, but let’s do this.
Vinegar, Smoked Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper), Tomato, Smoked Garlic, Smoked Onion, Smoked Salt, Xanthan Gum
If you wondering why this sauce is called El Humo, well, that’s because the name translates to “The Smoke.” Look at that ingredients list and tell me that isn’t a fitting name. I’m most excited about the smoked ghost peppers, but the fact that most of the other ingredients are smoked has me pretty stoked, too.
The sauce itself is a beautiful deep red, with a thick consistency and a lot of clinginess. It isn’t a revolutionary appearance, but it sure gets the job done. On the other hand, my bottle was sealed with a kickass red wax skull mold, the top of which I managed to preserve on the cap. It’s pretty sweet, and certainly adds to this sauce’s intimidation factor.
Smell and Taste:
I can say with 100% certainty that the smell lives up to the product’s name. Despite the fact that vinegar is the first ingredient, the smell is pure smoked peppers, with the tomatoes and vegetables playing a supporting role. And the taste? Yeah, it carries the appropriate amount of smokiness as well. The tomato and garlic flavor is subdued, leading to a taste this is predominantly pepper.
Oh sweet Valhalla, this stuff is hot! Unlike most ghost pepper products, which feature a heat that sneaks up on you, El Humo’s heat hits almost immediately, and it hits hard. This is the hottest damn thing I have had in recent memory. I’m still alive, but one sauce-slathered chip is enough to make me back off for a bit. This one gets a Madness. I would love to give it top marks in flavor, but it’s hard to taste anything beyond the intense peppery heat. The pepper flavor is great, but I would love for the tomato and garlic to play larger roles. Nevertheless, I like it (even if I can’t eat too much of it at once right now), so it gets a Nice.
If you’re a masochist, you could eat this straight, but I can’t advise it for most people. This is one of those sauces that would mix perfectly into a thick soup or pasta sauce, lending a smoky heat to the whole dish. If you’re brave, it would also mix well with cream cheese for a dip.
That heat is only just now dying down, so if you want a good burn that lasts for quite a while, give El Humo a shot.