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Fermented hot sauces have been a staple in the kitchen for generations. Fermenting sounds complex but really when done properly it’s very simple. Fermentation is the transformation of the sugars in a pepper mash or chunks for the hot sauce by healthy lactobacillus bacteria and enzymes. This is typically done by submerging the pepper mash completely in salt brine, sealing it with an airtight lid with a valve to release the generated CO2, and placing the jar in a shaded space for a few weeks, at minimum.
Fermented hot sauces are popular for having greater complexity in their flavor profiles when compared to unfermented sauces. Fermentation has different effects on each hot sauce ingredient, resulting in a more layered and nuanced taste. Since the fermentation process naturally creates an acidified food, there is no need for added vinegar to make the product shelf stable. Vinegar is only added for taste considerations! Bonus: no added salt!
A note on Sriracha: In recent years, Sriracha hot sauce has exploded in popularity. Our take on the variety, Texas Sriracha, is fantastic! Srirachas are made with a mash, fermented and usually have sugar and garlic in addition to the usual hot sauce ingredients, usually with a thicker consistency. It has a magical property to be able to be wonderfully mixed with many other condiments for a "sriracha-version" of that condiment. (Sriracha mayo anyone?)