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Essential Souvenirs

Essential Souvenirs

Hot Damn! The best of Louisiana Hot Sauce
One taste of Louisiana’s delicious hot sauce and you’ll want to bring a full bucket home. Thankfully, the southern state, which is home to New Orleans, has many specialised stores and markets where you can pick up a bottle. Why not head down to the French Market District, which has been operating for over 200 years, or Avery Island, which is home to the world-famous Tabasco brand. We compiled a list of the best hot sauces to try, from those using the state’s traditional Cajun spices to more unusual colourless options.
The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce
This brand has a long history of carefully selecting the best peppers for their sauce. Sticking to an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy, the cooking process has remained unchanged since 1928. Still, the sauce is made in New Iberia, Louisiana, using the original method of combining peppers with vinegar and salt, then leaving them to ferment during the ageing process. Striking a winning balance between hot and mild, The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce goes well with almost any dish and is a staple in any Louisiana kitchen.
Crystal Pure Louisiana Hot Sauce
Having first made it to supermarket shelves in the 1920s, Crystal Pure Louisiana has become a favourite with locals over the past century. The Louisiana fire department – which knows a thing or two about handling the heat – voted it their favourite sauce in the state. Made using cayenne peppers, this sauce takes a different approach to brands like Tabasco. Rather than being vinegar based, Crystal uses pepper as its base ingredient. This sauce is perfect to add straight to oysters or to add an unusual kick to a cocktail.
Panola Clearly Hot Sauce
Panola Clearly Hot Sauce provides a new twist on an old classic: the sauce is completely transparent, with a floating red pepper at the bottom of the bottle. However, traditional Louisiana spices, peppers, onions, and garlics ensure that Panola still has a great taste. This sauce is by no means the most spicy available, but its mildness means it can be enjoyed by the whole family. After a great trip exploring Louisiana, this is a quirky and flavourful souvenir to bring back home.
This product is almost the opposite of Panola’s colourless offering: the bottles are filled with thick, dark-red sauce flecked with chilli seeds. The word “dat” is central to the lingo of New Orleans, but the name of this hot sauce also refers to its creator, Don Abner Tabor. With the first batch being sold in 2012, after several years trying to perfect its flavour, D.a.T. is still the new kid on the block. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll be compromising on quality, since D.a.T. combines heat with flavours balanced to perfection.
The Original TryMe Tiger Sauce
With a sauce named after one of the animal kingdom’s most ferocious predators, you’d expect The Original TryMe Tiger Sauce to pack a punch. Yet this product’s key twist is that it’s surprisingly sweet. Blending traditional cayenne pepper with sweet and sour flavours, it has an initial spicy kick and a soothing aftertaste to take the edge off. It goes perfectly with meats, seafood, and poultry – but can liven up any dish. Many hot sauces in Louisiana will favour intense heat over interesting flavours, but this is one of the tastiest options out there.

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