If your culinary preferences have evolved beyond those of an eight-year-old, odds are you enjoy hot sauce from time to time. Now this doesn't mean you go for an insanely spicy brand with a name that likely includes the word "ass" and a promise to turn your intestinal tract into molten lava, but you have a go-to bottle somewhere close by. You turn to it after realizing what you just cooked is more tasteless than a frat boy theme party. Or you throw it on pretty much everything. What is that bottle, and what does it say about you? Find out below.
Tabasco (2,500–5,000 Scoville Heat Units)
Let's be honest, you're not really sure about this whole spicy thing. Whether you're just warming up to the hot stuff or have never really been excited about the idea of putting your mouth through pain, Tabasco lovers are more about adding a little flavor than any burn. There's some delicious, vinegary comfort in sticking with what you know. You may also sometimes like to amp up your exoticism with the green jalapeño-flavored bottle you stole from Chipotle. That's fine, but let's get one thing clear -- your favorite hot sauce isn't actually hot.
Sriracha (2,200 SHU)
You're a hot-sauce-on-almost-everything kind of person. But if you've gotten to the point where food is simply a vehicle for this now-ubiquitous Thai chili sauce, you've taken your love of Sriracha too far.
Sriracha lovers can be adventurous, and while they may be interested in trying spicy foods and exploring their own heat limits, they may not have ventured very far just yet. In the meantime, you're happy to use Sriracha and its convenient green top applicator to get acquainted with hot food as you put copious amounts of it on almost everything in your path. And to freak out over any sign of a so-called Sriracha shortage.
Frank's (450 SHU)
You've gotta thing for wings, and you truly believe traditional hot wings are spicy. They're not, but nobody will blame you for calling this classic sauce your favorite.
Cholula (3,600 SHU)
So you like Latin American food. Who doesn't? But you also have become somewhat addicted to adding that extra dash of spice to life. It's one thing to add this sauce to enchiladas and tacos, but when you start adding it to your mac & cheese, you know you're going places.
Tapatio (3,000 SHU)
What Solange is to Beyoncé, Tapatio is to Cholula. You are like the lesser-known, yet nonetheless, super-cool younger sibling of a very popular person. You're so cool that Frito-Lay has created Tapatio flavored Doritos, Fritos and Ruffles all in honor of your awesome peppery glory. How you like them ruffles, Cholula?
Yucateco (8,910 SHU)
Now you're getting a little serious. You love this zingy bright green habañero sauce because it is authentic and real, just like you, my friend. You also might be a little crazy, because this sauce apparently comes with an extra helping of lead. Yes, like the mineral.
Texas Pete (747 SHU)
You're a no-nonsense type of person, aren't you? You're also somewhat of an old soul. You like a sauce that has been around since the 1930's and never disappoints to add a surefire kick to just about anything.
Louisiana (450 SHU)
Do you get tired of people describing you as a perfect blend of "subtle complexity?" No, of course you don't. You are an enigma, a classic person who likes to add a bit of Southern heat to any dish that calls for it. And with Louisiana's equal blend of cayenne and vinegar, nothing is ever too spicy.
Crystal (Unmeasured, but not very spicy )
You love tradition. Crystal is that tradition, and nobody can tell you any other similar sauce is better. While it and its other vinegar-based competitors are less on the "hot" side and more on the "flavor" side, that's okay. Even without a ton of heat, Crystal definitely still acts as a seriously tasty addition to anything you eat.
Melinda's (1,920 - 128,450 SHU)
You just have to be so difficult, don't you? You're indecisive, so you choose Melinda's, which has a sauce for everyone, from those wanting just a mild zing to those looking to melt their tastebuds with a Naga Jolokia flamethrower. For the unacquainted, that's also called a ghost pepper, at one point the hottest pepper in the world, but now behind both the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and the recently crowned Carolina Reaper, as well as some others. You may not know exactly what you want at any given time, but one thing's for sure, you want plenty of options for hot sauce.
Sambal Oelek (1,865 SHU)
Oh you fancy, huh? Lovers of this chili paste have been around the block a little bit and won't be roped in by whatever the latest hot sauce craze is. They may even do a little cooking from time to time, which leads them to understand that while hot sauce is awesome, some things can also be good without it. *Gasp*
Dave's Insanity Sauce (51,000 SHU)
Your love of spicy food likely borders on addiction. You've looked through the other sauces on this list and laughed at their feeble attempts to impress. You might have a wide array of hot sauces sitting around at home -- or in your office -- for every occasion and heat level. But just remember, hot sauce isn't all about the burn, some people love it for the flavor, so get off your high horse already.
Blair's 16 Million Reserve (16,000,000 SHU)
You are either a compulsive liar or a masochist. This stuff is 16 million scoville units -- literally as spicy as it goes -- and you'd have to have a death wish to do any recreational eating with it. If you claim 16 Million Reserve is your favorite hot sauce, you're most likely talking a big game out of your ass and trying to impress people. If you're telling the truth, you're insane, and we'd advise you to opt for the cheaper route of putting industrial-strength pepper spray on your meals. Either way, you should never be trusted again.