I like it when hot sauces till you what’s what right up front. Sauce Bae’s Skinny Habanero Hot Sauce nails that on its label. “A hint of sweetness wit the perfect kick” is pretty spot on. And “skinny” speaks volumes here. Low-sodium, vegan, gluten-free – this sauce is all that. So with all of this heat and health, does the flavor match? And how usable is it? Let’s take Sauce Bae’s Skinny Habanero for a ride and see how it performs.
I wasn’t expecting as many ingredients as there are on the label – thinking this is a skinny hot sauce, they’d keep it slim. The list is pretty deep, but Sauce Bae keeps it fresh and all-natural: pineapple, water, white vinegar, habanero, onion, garlic, jalapeno, turmeric, salt, cumin, black pepper, and ginger.
You can see the fresh ingredients as you pour this out and it’s a beautiful sight to see (and delicious to smell!). It’s a tasty mix of exotic spices – turmeric, cumin, and ginger – paired with the tropical sweetness of pineapple and the natural sweetness from the fresh habanero.
The first thing that hits me is the slight sweetness of the fresh pineapple, followed up by the garlic. The turmeric has a nice presence in this sauce that comes alive on the back end, along with the spice kick. Turmeric is also a very healthy choice as a spice – adding to the “skinny” moniker. It has a ton of health benefits.
You may be thinking there’s a ton of big, bold spices in this mix, is it over-spiced? Not at all. Sauce Bae has done well balancing all of these ingredients together. None dominate the eating experience. It’s a well rounded, flavorful sauce.
Note that salt is an ingredient. Sauce Bae’s Skinny Habanero is a low-sodium hot sauce, not no-sodium. One teaspoon contains only 20 mg of sodium, which is pretty darn low. It’s only 1% of the daily allowance. If you’re watching your salt intake, this sauce is a total winner.
Habaneros and jalapeños are in the mix, but don’t expect a massive kick of heat. Sauce Bae’s Skinny Habanero packs about the same heat as Tabasco Original (2,500 Scoville heat units) which puts it at the same heat level as a very mild jalapeño pepper. It’s nowhere near the heat level of fresh habanero (100,00 to 350,000 SHU).
That’s my one pet-peeve about this sauce. If you’re going to name the pepper in the sauce’s name (especially an extra-hot one), provide a heat level that feels like you’re trying to match the expectation.
That said, I see why they chose the habanero – the flavor behind the heat is spot-on to enhance the overall flavor profile of the sauce. Pineapples and habaneros just work because of the habs natural fruity sweetness. I love the consideration for flavor beyond heat, so I’m torn on this one.
Anyway, let’s talking eating experience. The spiciness quickly dissipates after a minute or so. The kick is on the back-end and will build as you go. But it never grows to something too surprising. Really anyone can enjoy this sauce. If you can handle Tabasco, you can handle this. It feels about just right – that “perfect kick” they promote on the label. So I guess I can get over my pet-peeve on this one.
It’s more versatile than you may think when eyeing that ingredient list. I tried Sauce Bae’s Skinny Habanero on pulled pork tacos and it was a great flavor match. I also added this to some guacamole and I loved how the spices turned it into a “fun guac”.
Needless to say, I told no one of this “fun guac”and finished the bowl myself. I’ll be keeping that recipe hidden because I’m not made of money and already went through two bottles of this stuff.
A good rule of thumb: Anywhere you’d use a mango salsa (or a tropical fruit salsa), you can try Sauce Bae Skinny Habanero Sauce instead. I can see this being an amazing sauce for taco lovers. It’s thick, so it’ll stay in place, with a unique twist on sweet and heat.
Thankfully there’s no stopper on this bottle. It’s thick enough to control. And, frankly, you’re going to want a lot of this on your plate so the more room for this sauce to move, the better.
The bottle has a fun label with funky font, written atop a pepper. It feels hipster, but not in a bad way. The word “SKINNY” is predominant on the label, making it easy to spot in a row of hot sauces. I can see it being collectible as a health-conscious option amid a wide-world salt-heavy hot sauces.
But don’t expect it to stick around for long. As I said, I’ve gone through two of these bottles already. This is a sauce to put on the table and use liberally.
Sauce Bae Skinny Habanero Hot Sauce is a delicious mix of pineapple and exotic spices with a very eatable heat. Vegan, all natural, gluten-free, and low-sodium. (Amazon)