Several local chefs and makers offer delicious hot sauces and salsas for sale by bottle.
Tucson’s summer months are notoriously sweat-inducing, and the sun shines brightly nearly every day of the year.
This isn’t the type of heat we’re fanning into flame today, however. Tucson is famous for another type of heat: the heat generated by salsas and Tucson hot sauces that accompany plates of food ordered at Mexican restaurants that are also available for sale, bottled and ready to take home.
Several local chefs make delicious–and hot–salsas and sauces that you can bring home. We’ve highlighted a bunch below that should take you some time to work through.
Mouth of the South
Tony and Andrea McGowan hand-cut the ingredients that go into their range of fresh, never-cooked salsas. Fans of the salsa–known as “Loud Mouths”–can choose from varying levels of heat: Lame, Tame, Flame, and Insane. The McGowans have Southern roots, and their recipe is a family staple. The salsas can be purchased at the Heirloom Farmers’ Markets, but hurry–they go fast.
Find Mouth of the South products at Heirloom Farmers Markets.
Poblano Hot Sauce
Established in 1924, Poblano is a Tucson hot sauces icon. The recipe for their picante sauce is a closely kept family secret, passed down from Nicolas Segura to his son, Oscar, who gave it to his son, Javier. The family still hand-bottles the hot sauce–grinding through 300 pounds of chiles a year. Local artist Danny Martin has prints of the three Poblano bottles available for purchase.
[08/01/2019 Edit: Availability is inconsistent throughout the year and Poblano is tricky to reach; the last two places we saw the bottles on shelves were Anita Street Market and 5 Points Market & Restaurant.]
Available on Amazon.
Small, bright red, and shockingly spicy, chiltepin peppers are native to the Sonoran Desert. Chilttepica shows love to the chiltepin by featuring it as the star in all of their products, from spice mixes to fresh salsa. Their sea salt and chiltepin mix is a delicious twist for a margarita rim, and their salsa brightens up any taco. You can order the spices online and find the salsa in local stores, including Costco, Food Conspiracy Co-op, Johnny Gibson’s, Rincon Market, and Time Market.
Learn more at chilttepica.com
Durazo’s Poco Loco Specialty Salsas
Adela Durazo is the mastermind behind the bright, fresh, and spicy fruit salsas that have made Durazo’s a must-visit at the Heirloom Farmer’s Markets. Featuring peaches, pineapples, and mangos, the salsas come in three levels of heat: Mild, Hot, and Stupid Hot. The spice plays well with the sweetness from the fruit, making the salsa an addictive addition to any heat-lover’s pantry.
Find Durazo’s products at Heirloom Farmers Markets.
Southern cuisine is renowned for the use of heat, and the Parish’s new hot sauce is no exception. Chef Travis Peters ferments sweet blueberries and floral habanero peppers for his Blueberry Habanero Fermented Hot Sauce, creating a complex flavor with both depth and heat. You can purchase the hot sauce to take home from the restaurant.
When available, hot sauce can be purchased directly from the restaurant.
BOCA Tacos Y Tequila
When it comes to creativity, no one does it quite like Chef Maria Mazon. Not only does she create a rotating menu of seasonal tacos, but her salsas are made fresh every day, as well. She combines fruits, vegetables, and chiles to make unique flavors that you won’t find anywhere else, like Strawberry Habanero and Salsa Verde. Even better? You can order custom-made salsas to take home! Let Boca know your favorite fruits and vegetables, and they will make you your very own salsa.
Contact BOCA directly for more information.
Fini’s has been making their “Louisiana tang meets Mexican heat” Chubasco Hot Sauce for years. It’s bottled right in the restaurant and available there, too, as well as in several other local stores. You’ll find three varieties of Chubasco: original, poblano, and habañero.
Available at Fini’s Landing and at chubascobrand.com.
Tucson Tamale might be primarily known for their creative tamale options, but they also offer 3 varieties of organic hot sauce. Available in store or via the company website, look for chipotle, habañero, and jalapeño.
Available at tucsontamale.com
Honorable Mention: Apple Annie’s
Looking for something with heat to pair with the apples or peaches you picked yourself? Apple Annie’s has some impressively spicy salsas available for purchase at their Country Store or online. The Ghost Chili Salsa is packed with the Ghost Pepper, one of the hottest chiles in the world. The Avocado Tomatillo Salsa and Five Amigos Salsa also pack a punch.
Know of any Tucson hot sauces or salsas for sale that we missed? Let us know below.