1) It was called Dirty Dick’s, a reference to the maker of the sauce whose first name is Richard, but it’s called Dirty Dick’s, which is still funny.
2) I learned of Dirty Dick’s because of a video review, and I had liked the Hotmaple hot sauce from Portland, Oregon, which used habanero peppers and I wanted to taste another habanero hot sauce variation.
3) The label states it is a hot pepper sauce “with a tropical twist”. While I am Hawaiian, it seems most things with a tropical twist tends to cater to Jamaican/Caribbean flavors, but I am an islander, we all love tropical things so in the spirit of island love, I was eager to try it.
4) It was called Dirty Dick’s.
I decided to order it and it had taken about a week (if that) to arrive. The first thing I noticed was the color of the sauce, a nice and rich maroon, or close to maroon. I also liked the smiling pig as the hot sauce’s mascot, which reminded me a lot of the logo for the bootleg record label, Trademark Of Quality. It was as if they were cousins, with one making fine illegal records, the other making hot sauce.
Heading to Dirty Dick’s website, you’re able to see the label in full with nutritional facts (55mg of sodium per serving) and ingredients, and I wanted to see what made it tropical: mangoes, pineapple, bananas, and sultanas. I noted that it was vinegar based, but my first thought was “oh, a hot sauce with bananas? Interesting.” The ingredient mixture sounded great, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it would taste like. Then I opened the bottle and had my first taste.
Wow. In comparison, the hot of the habaneros is more immediate than the Hotmaple sauce, and it lasts longer too. I found myself getting a sense of each fruit with each tasting, very much getting a sense of mango, sometimes getting a bit of that pineapple, sometimes a bit of the banana, or some mixture of the three in some form. The nice kick of the heat was awesome and throughout the week I tried on different foods, from scrambled eggs to chicken, and it got to where I found myself trying to conserve as much as I could because I had reached the end of the bottle in less than a week. It was too good and I had to buy another.
I want to try it with different dishes and had hoped to try it on a taco from a local tack truck, I figured it would be a great way to utilize the flavors of the sauce with the contents of the taco. Instead, I found myself in a dilemma and ended up buying a Jack In The Box taco. Good idea? Not at all, especially when I waited until I got home to try the taco, and the shell was completely soaked and far from what it had looked like when I was given the bag. I will say that Dirty Dick’s made the taco bearable, but barely.
I then had it with chicken again, and later within a sandwich and I could easily see a lot of uses with it. It’s not thick but it can be used as a dipping sauce, in fact, get rid of your ketchup right now, toss it in the trash and replace it with this. You can use it over fries, potato or tortilla chips (the latter of which I found was a great way to take in the flavors of the sauce), and I could easily see it being used as a marinade, add it over some popcorn to spice things up. After I used up two bottles, I wondered what else I could have it with and I want more. I want boxes of this stuff not only for myself, but to give as gifts. Without hesitation, this is an incredible tasting hot sauce. The heat is very nice, but don’t expect super hot on the level of a Dave’s Insanity or hotter. Some might consider this mild, and it is, but the heat that is there lasts for awhile. There’s a good reason why Dirty Dick’s website shows a list of them winning awards for it since 2006, and they should be proud of it.
(You may order a bottle or a pack of 12 bottles directly from DirtyDicksHotSauce.com.)
(NOTE: This review comes unsolicited, I paid for this sauce and wrote the review without compensation.)