I admit, I put some kind of hot sauce on 98% of my food before eating it. Our fridge is filled with various bottles and jars because every dish has a different and appropriate spice pairing. Stephen makes his own chili oil for me, which I’ve already gotten Alivia into, and my parents made their own hot sauce from peppers they grew every year. I was very excited to be introduced to Clark + Hopkins’ artisan pepper sauces as part of our collaboration with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. All ideas and opinions expressed are wholly mine.
Clark + Hopkins specializes in artisan hot sauces inspired by global flavours like Laos and Ethiopia and bloody mary mixes with more local influences like Chesapeake Bay. The sauces are designed to encapsulate the seasoning and spices of the region it’s named after, allowing homecooks to easily bring the world to their kitchen. Each bottle of culinary hot sauce is 100% natural, gluten free and vegan (with the exception of Laos). Their Assam flavour was featured on Season 7 of Hot Ones on YouTube and received the 2019 Sofi Award for best new hot sauce.
To learn more about Clark + Hopkins and order a sampler of sauces, visit https://clark-and-hopkins.myshopify.com.
What I liked
We received the World Gift Box of 5 sauces from Clark + Hopkins, which included their Ethiopia, Assam, Virginia, Laos and Kerala flavours. Off the bat, I liked the acidity and heat of all the sauces, Stephen’s brow began to sweat from the first taste. It was also clear just from the texture, scent and colour of each sauce the ingredients were unique and tailored for each variety. You could taste the hint of seafood in Laos from the dried shrimp and the coriander in Ethiopia. Kerala had a distinct tamarind flavour and Virginia was sweet. Assam packed the most heat and the one we decided to feature in this recipe for Coconut Shrimp Curry, although Laos and Kerala would have been equally delicious options.
After cooking with the sauces, I liked how they held up and really seasoned without having to use more than 1-2 tablespoons. In terms of smart packaging, it was a nice touch that each bottle had some recommended pairings listed, key ingredients and spice level. Each label also clearly listed whether the sauce was vegan and/or gluten free.
Of course wings spring to mind when working with tasty hot sauces or any kind of deep fried chicken, Virginia and Ethiopia to me felt especially appropriate. All of the sauces would be great in a marinade for BBQ with Laos having an upper hand for seafood. I’m also especially partial to Ethiopia with the coriander, which would be great for tacos or noodles. Mentioned above, Assam and Kerala would both be amazing in a curry and we opted to use Assam in this recipe.