Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce calls what it claims to be right in its name. But how sweet is sweet? And how spicy is spicy? Do they work together to be something more? How does it compare to other Tabasco-brand hot sauces? Let’s dive into a bottle and see what it’s all about.
Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce isn't really spicy at all, but it delivers flavor in spades. The pairing of sweetness, pear, and ginger provide a distinct flavor profile that's quite versatile in the kitchen.
- Delicious, distinct flavor (pear and ginger)
- Highly Usable
- Sweet, but barely "spicy"
- Higher sodium than original Tabasco
Table of Contents
First, this is not a Louisiana-style hot sauce. It uses Tabasco Original Red Pepper Sauce in its ingredients, but there’s a lot here that makes it one of the more unique sauces in Tabasco’s line-up. The ingredients: sugar, red pepper, water, distilled vinegar, pear concentrate, garlic, onion, Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce, Ginger, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.
“Sweet” and “Spicy” sit right at the top of those ingredients – sugar and red pepper. Sweet is the predominant flavor on first bite, along with some pungent undertones from the garlic and onion. It’s a nice sweetness – very addicting! But there’s a lot more to this hot sauce than that.
There are surprising undertones of Asian flavors here, between the pear concentrate and the ginger. The ginger here is really subtle, but adds a delicious twist, and, for me, it’s the “secret ingredient” that gives this hot sauce a little needed attitude. It’s a very distinct flavor.
Also surprisingly, of all the ingredients in Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce, the original Tabasco Sauce in it takes a back seat to everything else here. It helps provide a warming heat to the flavor profile (more on that below), but it’s the pear and ginger providing those Asian flavors that give the depth.
In terms of sodium, Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce has 75mg of sodium per teaspoon (3% of your daily allowance.) That’s more than Tabasco Original Red Pepper Sauce (35mg per teaspoon.) And, frankly, you’d use more of this hot sauce per use. Original Tabasco Red Pepper Sauce is a Louisiana-style hot sauce, used as a dasher. Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce is thicker and milder, making it good for dipping and spreading. It’s very easy to use more than a teaspoon.
This is a very mild hot sauce. How mild? Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce runs from 100 to 600 Scoville heat units (or SHU.) That’s on par with the spiciness of a fresh banana pepper (0 to 500 SHU), and well below the mild poblano pepper (1,000 to 1,500 SHU.)
Compared to other Tabasco hot sauces, it’s the mildest in their line-up. Tabasco Original Hot Sauce is roughly 3,750 SHU and even the mild Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce is hotter (600 to 1,200 SHU.)
The only issue here is labeling it “spicy”. It’s barely that. Think more “warm” than “spicy.” This is a family-friendly, milder sauce that can be used in a wide variety of ways (and in large quantities) without being overwhelming. All good, but those relying on the label to find a “spicy” sauce may be sorely disappointed.
Now that mild heat level, overall thickness, and distinct flavor add up to a very versatile hot sauce! Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce is great on eggs, chicken, tacos, noodles, and so much more. And it’s thick enough to be a delicious dipping sauce. Try it as a side to chicken fingers (on its own or mixed with mayo) – the sauce stays well on the breading and the flavors really bring that fried chicken to life. Plus, it’s a terrific dip for vegetables.
Speaking of veggies – Try it, as well, as an ingredient for salad dressings – that pear and ginger are perfect flavors to pair with greens. It’s also a great milder sauce for egg rolls, spring rolls, and other Asian appetizers. And, I haven’t used it as a barbecue sauce, but I could see it being one crazy-good BBQ glaze.
The spout is about the size of a dime, so you’re able to get a decent amount out with each pour. It’s thick enough that over-pouring isn’t that much of a concern, but don’t be surprised if you use more than you expect. It goes down very easy.
What’s there to say? It’s a Tabasco hot sauce with traditional Tabasco product packaging. Their label is their classic white and red design, with the exception of the black and white sticker that reads “Sweet & Spicy.” This isn’t a hot sauce you go hunting for your collection, unless you’re keeping the Tabasco line-up on your shelves. It’s very easy to find, too, available online and in many stores. Granted, it’s more unique than Tabasco Green Sauce or Original Red, but it’s still Tabasco.
Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce isn’t really spicy at all, but it delivers flavor in spades. The pairing of sweetness, pear, and ginger provide a distinct flavor profile that’s quite versatile in the kitchen.
Must-read related posts
- Our Hot Sauce Rankings: We review and rank 100+ hot sauces. Search them by name, ranking, and even the peppers used.
- Tabasco Scorpion Pepper Sauce Review: The hottest Tabasco brand hot sauce – how does it stack up?
- The Hot Pepper List: Search our profiles of over 150 hot peppers by name, heat level, flavor, and more.