I did a list like this last year, but in the hot sauce world things change muy rapido! So, with that said, here is a new list of some of my favorite purveyors of the pepper in the Garden State and some info about them too.
When it comes to hot sauce, I like to think I know a thing or two. I have been actively collecting both big national chain and craft hot sauces since the early 1990’s. I know one thing is for sure, hotter is not always better. Try and compare a hot sauce collector and somebody that just likes to show off how much heat they can take, as the difference between a wine collector and a wino, if that makes any sense. Anyway, I have a specific taste in sauce that I really appreciate. When a company can hit just the right notes, and blends of pepper flavor, well that hits the spot!
Moreover, I’ve always been a big fan of sweet heat, and in Jersey you can find some great local sauce makers that are obviously big fans as well. From Pineapple Jalapeno, to Mango Habanero, to Ghost Pepper Sweet Potato, you’d be surprised how popular this sub category continues to be in the hot sauce world. Of course you can’t go wrong with a nice traditional Buffalo style sauce or Louisiana Pepper sauce. They are both welcome in my fridge and on my table, especially if they are made here in New Jersey.
At the end of the day, New Jersey has a vibrant hot sauce scene from North Jersey to the Jersey Shore and beyond. Here are some of the local companies already making waves and a few that are ready to set the state on fire in 2023. Most sauces can be purchased through the company’s websites or social media accounts.