We all eat, right? But in my experience some eat with a bit more attention than others. I know people that just "eat" to get sustenance, and I know others that eat with passion: savoring every bite, critical of the texture, the ingredient sourcing, attentive to the calories and the balance of nutrients, as well as the look o fthe food and how it photographs (a modern habit). I tend to fall somewhere in between. I care about my food, like to know about it, and am always thinking about where it would fit on a menu or the drink pairing I might suggest alongside - a habit of the job.
But there is one area that I am quite passionate about - and that is the condiment or the sauce or the addition that can take ordinary to another level. Often, hot sauces are the thing that I am as interested in as wine to pair, and this year my most favored discovery is from an old favorite. Named after the oldest inhabited city in Mexico, Cholula was introduced to the US in 1989 and has become a staple not only in Mexican establishments, but in many other types and styles of dining. Originally used as an ingredient in Sangrita, the classic red Cholula is a tad less intense than say the classic Tabasco sauce, and brings a slightly different, perhaps more complex or broader flavor to whatever you may be shaking it on to - I prefer it on my eggs, and use it in my Bloody Mary mix, rather than Tabasco.
For me, Cholula has had a place in the fridge for as long as I can really remember, so it was with a certain amount of joy that I stumbled upon a new flavor (at least to me), not too long ago. The Green Pepper is without a doubt, the best counter-style to the Original as I could have imagined. Subtle green chili notes derived from a mix of Jalapeno and Poblano peppers, and with just enough mouth-coating smoke and spice to warm any dish. I like to mix my salsa, and so I often find myself putting both the green and the red on the same plate - creating a more complex and layered flavor profile
I will admit that one of my favorite combinations is to use the Green Pepper Cholula with the classic American red salsa - aka: Ketchup. Yup, I am a die-hard fan of Ketchup - it is another type of condiment and sauce - and I can have ketchup on just about anything, and I do. But the sweetness of the typical ketchup, mixed with the pepper smoke of the Green Pepper Cholula is just a great combination, and again, I like it on my eggs.
So there you have it - my condiment find of the year is the Cholula Green Pepper. Found it on my local supermarket shelf and have been enjoying it ever since. According to the web, there are actually six different styles of Cholula sauces on the market, but I have only found three thus far..,.maybe I need a better supermarket?
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ABOUT THE Author
Brian Mitchell runs The New England Wine Academy, and is responsible for the content of this blog. With 30 years of drinks industry experience, Brian has learned a few things, but everyday he is learning more. This blog helps to bring that knowledge to you.