Thanks to some friends of mine, I have recently gotten into utilizing hot sauce for my food. Turns out it is pretty much delicious on anything, and more than that, it makes everything taste better. I have bought all kinds of interesting hot sauces from the different markets I go to and they each have a distinct flavor profile, so it’s like a whole new party in my mouth each time I try one. It kind of feels like meeting a new friend who is really interesting and spunky and who also happens to make my food a lot more awesome.
But I have to take a moment here to recognize an old friend, one who has always been good to me and who was always the life of the party before I became more adventurous…
Frank’s Red Hot is a hot sauce masterpiece. It isn’t actually that hot, but the heat it does add is invigorating alongside it’s cayenne-ey goodness. The bottle reads, “The Perfect blend of flavor & heat”, never has marketing and advertising gotten something so right.
Now, I won’t pretend that I’m as seasoned with hot sauce as my friends are (pun intended), as they have a much higher tolerance for intense heat and they have been at this longer; but I’ve been eating Frank’s for years. It was there for me before I knew what else was out there. Even now, it is still the largest bottle of hot sauce in my collection, because it is one of the only ones I want to just smother my food in until I’m basically just eating Frank’s, with a side of sandwich.
I can always tell when someone has used this dreamy red sauce in a recipe because it makes everything taste like Frank’s, one of the greatest things your food could taste like.
The sauce was created in the early 1900’s by Jacob Frank and Adam Estilette when Mr. Frank contracted Mr. Estilette’s Pepper Farm and the two spent several years creating a consummate blend of vinegar, garlic and cayenne peppers. Shall I repeat those ingredients? Vinegar… also used to make pickles and salad dressing, so we know that is a key ingredient for deliciousness. Then garlic, enough said. Frank’s was then used in 1935 as the primary ingredient in the first buffalo wing sauce at a bar in New York, thus changing football parties and late night college snacking forever.
I am feeling particularly inspired now because I recently tried Frank’s on my Subway breakfast sandwich. I always get a ton of veggies with spicy mustard and vinaigrette dressing, but the other day I was stopped in my tracks when I looked behind the glass and saw, with the other condiment options, a generic bottle that read “hot sauce”. I knew I wanted to try it but when I asked the sandwich artist to add some and he responded, “Ok, you want some Frank’s too?” my heart skipped a beat. I would have wanted that hot sauce regardless of what type it was. When I got to my car with my breakfast, knowing that I was about to eat some Frank’s, I was temped to call everyone I knew to share the news. I felt joy because I knew it was going to be amazing, yet silly because I hadn’t thought of it myself sooner.
Let me tell you, the sauce that is created when the Frank’s mixes with the spicy mustard and vinaigrette dressing is what I now call “awesome sauce”. It drips from the back end of my sandwich as I eat and at the end I am rewarded with putting the plate right up to my face and licking every drop of it off. Don’t judge me, I’m classy.