The Scoville Scale for Hot Sauce: Does it Even Matter?
Our hot sauce is about two things: heat + flavor.
We often get asked, “What’s the Scoville rating for Aardvark hot sauce?” Honestly, we don’t measure it, we don’t plan to…and here’s why.
When you’re talking about hot sauce, heat + flavor should go hand-in-hand, don’t you think? If you’re a Secret Aardvark fan, you’ll probably agree.
When we develop Aardvark hot sauces, we’re not aiming for a number on a scale. We’re making food, friends. So, it’s about creating fiery deliciousness that makes you want to grab a bottle and squeeze it onto your tacos, fries, meatloaf, and lots more.
To us, heat and flavor are equally important. In our experience, when you balance them perfectly, you get something that transcends mere flavor or heat alone. That’s the Aardvark sweet spot.
The Scoville is most helpful when you’re talking about peppers.
The Scoville Scale can tell you the relative heat of a Chipotle pepper (low) vs. a Habanero (medium) vs. a Reaper (high). That’s super-helpful if you plan on devouring a plate of grilled chilies. The Scale can also identify the “Hottest chili in the world” if seeking the ultimate burn is your jam.
But hot sauce is about more than just the chilies. For Secret Aardvark, the chili peppers are the star of the show, of course. But each sauce’s unique combination of other ingredients, like salt, vinegar, tomato, carrot, and onion arguably play just as big a role.
The resulting hot sauce might just surprise you.
When folks sample our Red Scorpion Fiery Hot Sauce, for example, we often hear, “Wow, that’s not as hot as I thought it would be. And it’s delicious.”
Scorpion peppers have an immediate fruity sweetness that slowly turns to a fiery slow burn. And because we use fermented scorpion peppers, this sauce has an umami complexity that complements the Scorpion’s unique flavor-and-heat profile. Your experience of eating this hot sauce will not be the same as if you diced up a Scorpion on your plate.
The same is true (but in reverse) with our Smoky Aardvark Chipotle-Hab Sauce. Because Chipotle peppers take a walk on the mild side, we added Habanero to give it some Aardvark kick. Habanero peppers have heat that hits you immediately and pleasantly smolders for your whole meal. That means our Smoky Chipotle is right at home in a smoky, savory barbecue dish–or even as a wing sauce.
Same with our Serrabanero Green Hot Sauce, which combines the mild, fresh, green flavor of a great Serrano pepper with Habanero for a little extra kick.
In other words, we choose delicious, fiery peppers, then amplify their best attributes, resulting in the ultimate explosion for your tastebuds. Did we mention fire + flavor is where it’s at?
Ok then, so is Aardvark Hot Sauce hot?
Never fear. We promise to deliver a fiery kick in the mouth with every bite–varying by the type of sauce you choose…and how much of it you squirt onto your plate.
But while we are happy to be in your hot sauce hall of flame, we’re not what you might consider a double-dog-dare sauce.
And that’s fine. There are plenty of other great sauces in the world if you’re looking for the wild endorphin rush of hottest for hottest’s sake (and yes, we even have a few rolling around our own refrigerator).
But we’d rather be thought of as your “right-hand sauce”: That bottle that sits in the front of your fridge, in constant demand. The one you grab every time you want to truly elevate the flavor and experience of the meal. An indispensable condiment that sits on your table next to the salt and pepper…and is your secret go-to ingredient for soups, sauces, entrées, and sides.
Great food is more than just the sum of its ingredients. It’s alchemy, friends. Pure magic. And no number can capture that.