Jersey Shore Vacations (NJ’s largest vacation rentals website) together with event promoter Jersey Shore Premiere, hosted a competition for the best Made in New Jersey hot sauces. The panel made of food writers, media personalities and other sauce afficionados met on March 28, 2015 at the Chilangos Authentic Mexican restaurant in Highlands and performed a blind tasting. In competition were six hot and six medium sauces, from the following NJ producers: Heartbreaking Dawns (Midland Park), Born to Hula (Highlands), Hot Sauce 4 Good (Hillsborough), Krazy Flav (Holmdel), Blair’s (Highlands) and Sea Isle-based Hank Sauce.
Here are the winners, according to the panel vote:
BEST MEDIUM / MILD SAUCE
1. Heartbreaking Dawns Mango Habanero
2. Hanks Camouflage
3. Hot Sauce 4 Good Sublime Cilantro
1. Krazy Flav Digestive Turmoil
2. Born to Hula Habanero Guajillo
3. Blair’s Soul
As some of the sauce manufacturers were present with samples for the public, a small crowd assembled, eager to go through a spicy experience. While voting was based on overall taste, and flavor, most people seemed to agree that Blair’s Passion was the hottest of them all, and more than a few seemed to suffer after sampling too much Passion. Panelist Cal Schwarz, from NJ Discover, called it “painfully pleasurably hot stuff”,
The winners will be officially presented at the Jersey Shore Biz Fest, the region’s largest business expo, which takes place on April 15 at the Sheraton in Eatontown.
For more background information, here are our original reviews of the top placed hot sauces:
Best Hot Sauce Winner: Blair’s FF15 Passion
Made with Scorpion, 7 Pot, Jolokia and Fatalii peppers, it’s the hottest one of Blair’s new FF15 Barrel Reserve. But due to the blending of coconut, mango puree, passion fruit, rum, lime juice and guava nectar it was also the most flavorful. It’s a rare situation where the hottest sauce in a collection also has the heaviest flavor. It might burn, but it’s a very pleasant, fruit-infused burn.
Best Medium Sauce Winner: Heartbreaking Dawns Mango Habanero
It has a sweet taste, quite a tropical flavor. It’s also a bit light and easily edible, and would be usually recommended with seafood. I don’t usually like the taste of mango, but this habanero combination was very good.
Best Flavor Winner: Krazy Flav Digestive Turmoil
Made with habanero and pineapple, this sauce definitely has a scary name. I should said it didn’t live up to its name (which is good, in this case), but it’s a great sauce. It is very hot, but you can still taste the fruit. My favorite of the Holmdel-based producer’s batch.
Best Hot Sauce Runner-Up: Hot Sauce 4 Good Autumn Spice
This cayenne & habanero sauce is hot AND has a very nice flavor of fall harvest spices. I loved it, a close 2nd favorite of their line and I can’t wait to use it on pulled pork.
Best Medium Sauce Runner-Up: Hanks Camouflage
In a line of easy, mild, versatile sauces, this one has slightly more bite, but still with a nice sweet flavor. Would be my favorite with meats, whether it is barbeque, pulled pork or wings.
Best Flavor Runner Up: Born to Hula Habanero Guajillo
A combination of the two peppers in its name, it has a pleasant medium heat, and it’s very flavored, I really loved this one! As Born to Hula owner says, it gives you a “Taste of Mexico”, and we recommend it with any Mexican food.
If you’re looking to rent a house at the shore, check out ShoreVacations.com, Jersey Shore’s biggest vacation rentals resource. It lists hundreds of rental homes and condos from Sandy Hook all the way down to Cape May (including Belmar, Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Ocean City, Long Beach Island, Atlantic City or the Wildwoods). It’s a one-stop website for planning your Jersey Shore vacation, featuring beach information, weather updates and more! And of course, it has a full list of all the Jersey Shore events this year.