Fave Picante Picks

So whenever I post pics of food on the blog, I’ll leave it pretty plain so you can tell what it is:

2 eggs

and then usually THIS will happen.

 egg w hot sauce

Hot sauce, cayenne pepper and/or red chili flakes – mama likes it spicy.

I have a huge jar of red pepper flakes in the car, a jar of cayenne in my gym bag for food when I’m at work and love adding a little kick to all of my meals. I was seriously bummed when I brought my favorite mac n’ cheese with spinach to work on Saturday and forgot the hot sauce.. it’s just not the same without it. I think it’s why I have such deep love for Indian, Mexican and Thai- the flavors are so bold and powerful, and you can request the spiciness level.


(Guadalajara Grill. They wear gloves to make the salsa = legit)

Here are my all-time favorite hot sauces and salsas:

6. Herdez

chips and salsa

It’s been a favorite and a staple in my family for a long time. It’s the closest thing to homemade that you can find in a any grocery store. (Target even carries it.)

5. Pioneer Woman’s restaurant salsa


I make this often to have on hand for the week and LOVE it on chips, eggs or chicken. Salsa on chicken, wrapped in tortilla is one of my favorite snacks.

4. Trader Joe’s Salsa Especial (in the deli section by the hummus and prepared foods)


This tastes similar to, but never as good as, my Aunt Julie’s (I pronounce her name “Hoo-lie”). She makes the best salsa ever, and when I haven’t had any in a long time, this holds me off until our next family gathering when I can drown everything in salsa.

3. Texas Pete

egg with pete

The great thing about Texas Pete is that you can find it anywhere –I fell in love with it after picking some up at the Food Lion in Fayetteville. Funny story: when the Pilot moved to Fayetteville, I was visiting for the first time and he said we should go grab some groceries at Food Lion. I said, “Food line? That’s the grocery store?” I thought maybe you had to wait in line outside the store for your turn to go in and get food. Hilarious.

2. Cholula


LOOOOOOVE Cholula. Same as Texas Pete, most grocery stores have it. I love it because it’s spicy, but still has flavor to it. Some hot sauces (cough, Tabasco, cough) just try to burn your mouth off and don’t taste like anything.

The above picture is the jar I picked up a couple of weeks ago…

hot sauce

and my top choice

1. Arizona Gunslinger

image Source

We don’t have any on hand and the pic is making my mouth water.

It has the perfect amount of heat and I LOVE the flavor. All of the Good Egg restaurants carry this hot sauce and it’s the best I’ve tried so far. I just wish it were more readily available in grocery stores.

I’ll never forgot the legendary hot sauce burn of 2011. We were in Pennsylvania for the Healthy Living Summit and went to the Reading Terminal Market with Gabriela for breakfast. I ordered eggs from the same place the Pilot got his breakfast sandwich and out of the row of hot sauces, feeling brave, picked the spiciest hot sauce they had. Big mistake. I have never felt a fiery fury like that in my life- I thought my lips were going to burn off.

Do you like spicy foods/hot sauce? Any spicy misadventures to share?

I’m off to work- definitely bringing the hot sauce this time 😉




Something to read:

Beautiful raw cheese plate!

5 ways to speed up your metabolism (my strategies: drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, eat whole foods and HIIT 2-3x week)

Nontraditional ab moves

What happens to your body on a 30-minute run

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  1. Mae on May 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Frank’s red hot wing sauce is good too. I put it on chicken, eggs, salads, everything! Also, I lived in Thailand for 2 years, so I love many of the Thai hot sauces and condiments, and I’m glad you love Thai food too.

    • Fitnessista on May 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      LOVE thai food!
      and yes, frank’s is another really good one

      • Rebecca on May 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        Try Frank’s Extra Hot….it is addictive. When I moved to California I couldn’t find it for months and was depressed…and just found it two weeks ago! But I am a hot sauce junkie in general and keep small packets of Tapatio in my work bag. 🙂

  2. Kathy on May 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I love hot. I make my own salsa from fresh produce that I grow myself.
    Did you know you can order groceries through amazon.com? They have Arizona Gunslinger.

    • Fitnessista on May 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      i knew about that but i haven’t tried it for whatever reason, which is silly because i get everything else from amazon. think i need to order some!

  3. lisa@thedailyrundown on May 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I love hot sauce, I eat one called Hell Hot from Jamaica. Oh my goodness it’s crazy.
    I love cholula, I just wish it were a little spicier.

  4. theorist on May 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    we are hot sauce twins! i used to say that about tabasco until i tried there other flavors. that chipotle and the garlic pepper types are worth writing home about.

    • Fitnessista on May 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      GARLIC tabasco?! i’m on it

  5. Priscilla on May 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    You should try Sriracha!! It is delicious! Another good hot sauce I’ve found is Devil’s Duel Hot Sauce! Amazing!! Spicy, but still has flavor. Try it out 🙂

  6. Mo on May 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I have a bland, Irish palate – potatoes and beer are as spicy as I go! Here’s how I proposed to my husband (yes, you read that right). . . we were at a hockey game and he got some nachos. Told me if I ate a jalapeno, he’d do anything I wanted . . . so I ate one, almost died. But I turned to him and said now you have to marry me. Obviously he said yes! Take care my friend.

    • Kristen on May 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Everytime I hear of a woman proposing to a man, I think of the Friends episode where Monica proposes to Chandler 🙂

    • Fitnessista on May 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      just when i thought i couldn’t possibly adore you any more, it happened. that is amazing!

  7. Julia on May 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I had to laugh–I too feel like most meals just aren’t as good without a little hot sauce or red pepper flakes 😉 Siracha is great too. And authentic Jamaican jerk sauce. Speaking of…

    My worst hot sauce story: I was eating a shrimp dish in Jamaica. Apparently there were ghost peppers in it… I ate one… and immediately started crying like the world was ending. I’ve never tasted something so hot, and the tears were just pouring out of my eyes! My boyfriend rushed to wave down a huge glass of milk for me while our friends laughed. It was epic. From now on, I’ll ask about the spice involved in dishes in other countries, haha!

    • Fitnessista on May 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      haha that made my eyes water!

  8. Niki on May 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    We were just in Belize recently and they make a brand of hot sauce there, it’s called Marie Sharps and it’s to die for! I wish I could have brought more home, just the best flavor to it. While we were on our trip my hubby picked a bird pepper off of a pepper tree that our guide pointed out and it was maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I can’t remember him ever eating a piece of watermelon so fast!!

  9. kyla on May 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I loooooooove hot sauce! Frank’s Red Hot is my standard but I love trying new types. I agree with you on Tobasco, it just hurts.

    • Fitnessista on May 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      ooooh that’s a good one, too!

  10. Roshni on May 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I LOVE salsa/hotsauce on everything too! Costco has this amazing salsa verde, pricey, but soooooo good. I have a bottle of cholula in my purse at ALL times. lol. What can I say, food just is more satisfying if I break out in a mini sweat 😉

  11. Julie @ runningandriley on May 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Mmm….that whole post had my mouth watering. I’m a sucker for a good salsa! Must make some now! 😀

  12. Lisa on May 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I like using spicay sauces. I’m an addict to red pepper flakes. I do have pretty lame spice buds though, I find things very spicy when other people don’t, but I still enjoy some spice in my life.

  13. Katie on May 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    LOVE spicy stuff!!! Jalapeno Kettle Chips are a staple in our home. 😉

    • Katie on May 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Although, come to think of it, those aren’t as spicy as I would like them to be… hmm… might have to ‘sprinkle’ them with some hot sauce next time.

    • Fitnessista on May 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      omg, i love those

  14. Annie on May 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I am *obsessed* with spicy food. The only time I don’t spice things up is with dessert! Otherwise, it’s hot sauce galore.

    Let’s just say we supply our house with Cholula from Costco. 😀

  15. kelly on May 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Love Pioneer Woman’s salsa. I make it often and eat it on everything!

  16. amy on May 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I looooove Cholula. I have Tapatio in my fridge right now because it was on sale, but Cholula is my fave.

  17. Melissa (Better Fit) on May 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    That’s cool that they make the salsa in front of you. I do love hot sauces – but I like them best when they have a good flavour, rather than just pure heat! It sounds like the Arizona Gunslinger has that- nice name as well! 🙂

    Great article on what happens during a 30 minute run!

  18. Heather on May 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Aaaaawwwww yeah I love me some spicy! Chuluah is a staple around here. Now that the farmer’s markets are in full swing around here we get some homemade sauce.

  19. Kelly on May 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I love spicy food and condiments!! Thank you for sharing. Have you tried this jalapeno mustard:
    http://www.amazon.com/Woebers-Sandwich-Jalapeno-16-Ounce-96-Ounces/dp/B000G35K6A I think you would love it if you like mustard! :=)

    • Fitnessista on May 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      that looks AMAZING

  20. Ashley on May 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    We are definitely spice fans in this house! In fact, I can make any meal spicy and my husband will say it’s delicious, no matter what it is. Its my little cooking secret, just add siracha, jalapeno, or hot sauce! We really like the chipotle Cholula. You should try it!

  21. Sara on May 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    We have a lot in common in the way of picante, salsa, & hot sauce. I’m currently obsessed with a little less spicy sauce known as the green Tabasco variety. Not too hot, but something about it makes my mouth water. The craziest experience I’ve had with my spice obsession is walking into a “hot sauce” store in a mall located in northern Iowa. Not thinking it was very legit; I asked to try the hot sauce that was locked away in a glass display case. They made me sign an insurance release before trying even a drop. It was the most gnarly sauce I had ever tried, but totally worth signing the insurance release:)

  22. natalie @ southern fit foodie on May 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    We LOVE LOVE LOVE some spicy foods in this house! We put cayenne, crushed red pepper, homemade hot sauce, or bottled hot sauce on everything! I’m so excited because we have 8 jalapeno plants growing in our garden, along with one cayenne plant. YAY for homemade HOT salsa!

  23. kari on May 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I also love all those different ethnic foods and have been buying a lot of the Sriracha hot chili sauce. i think you will like this one also. if there is a walmart or even target has it.

  24. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on May 9, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I’m a wimp when it comes to hot foods – I hate feeling like my mouth is on fire! Strangely enough, I love wasabi though. 😛

  25. Heather on May 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    My husband marinates mushrooms in Crystal hot sauce then puts a little bit of habanero jack cheese and curry powder on them. Then he grills the mushrooms and they are so so spicy but delicious. It sounds like a weird combo but its tasty. I love spicy stuff!

  26. Laura @ She Eats Well on May 10, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I LOVE hot sauce too. I sprinkle red pepper flakes and cayenne on everything and sometimes feel bad when I make a dish too spicy for my guests :). I haven’t ever seen Arizona Gunslinger hot sauce…but am quite curious now to try it!

  27. Ellie@Fit for the Soul on May 10, 2012 at 3:32 am

    hehe I’m the same way!! I loooove bold flaavors and I love spice….mmmmm. How funny you post about this b/c just today I was at the store buying all these Mexican sauces and whatnot. And I was debating in my head as to which is the best, yummiest, etc. Finally I decided that I wanna make my own enchilada sauce! hopefully it comes out tasty and spicy 😀

  28. Janiek @ A non-perfect girl on May 10, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Actually i really hate spicy food, the only time i like it is when it comes with lemon juice and sour cream to make it a little less spicy :p

  29. Sierra on May 10, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Ahh…I love hot foods too. My husband always jokes that I’m the only American girl that LOVES Indian food. Thai is also a favorite. I love Tapatio sauce and freshly chopped chili. We usually keep some in a container with a bit of oil ….great on anything from pizza to eggs.

  30. Allison W on May 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Haha, when we first moved to NC my SO thought that it was Food Line as well!

    I’m a spicy food lover. One thing I miss about living in the Caribbean is all of the local home made hot sauces!

  31. Steffany on May 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I am JUST like you. I smother pretty much all meals in hot sauce (Franks Red Hot !) and have a love for Indian, Thai, and Mexican foods (my three faves !!!) As for spicy misadventures, one time at an Indian restaurant, I accidentally ate one of those peppers that you aren’t really supposed to eat, haha, and almost died ! I was dripping from every orifice, sweat pouring out !!

  32. Miriam on May 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I love hot sauces too, and I agree it goes on everything in my world too. I enjoy trying new brand so I will look up to some that you mentioned that I have never tried. I just love entering West indie, Mexican, Asian stores where I look totally out of place and look for hot sauces I don’t know, they have the best prices!

    My favourites include : Aunt May’s Bajan Hot Pepper Sauce (I like Caribbean mustard base sauce), I’m surprised that you did not mentioned Valentina hot sauce which I very often use as ketchup, I also have at least 3 kind of El Yucateco brand hot sauce in the fridge… and I also like to use fresh jalapeno or Jamaican peppers in my meals.

  33. Steph @ funnygirltales on May 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Another fellow hot sauce junkie over here! I TOTALLY agree with you on the Cholula…so much more flavor than Tabasco. I especially love the Chipotle Cholula flavor.

    Plus, Tabasco is essentially government subsidized…Avery Island in Louisiana floods all the time and the Tabasco factory is on Avery Island. Tabasco pays a subsidized flood premium (like everyone else that size). Tabasco can make a catastrophic claim every time it floods, thus giving them the ability to acquire new cash from the claim and remodel the facility whenever necessary.

    Ok, I’ll get down off my soap box.

  34. Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats on May 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I am obsessed with Cholula! 🙂 I have always thought it would be cool to name my first puppy after it. lol.

  35. jacki on May 11, 2012 at 7:07 am

    I love the workout set up in the little box. It’s easy to print out for reference and take a long.

    I always put salsa on my eggs and order my heuvos rancheros with green chili at Village Inn….delicious!

    • Fitnessista on May 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

      village inn is one of the pilot’s favorite breakfast spots. he was seriously upset when they closed it down here

  36. Molly on May 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

    cholula is the best!!

  37. Pete Nott on May 14, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I think the love for chilli and anything spicy is something that is addictive.
    I add chilli to anything, bolognese, eggs, soups. In as many forms as possible, chilli flakes, cayenne and then hot sauce for after.
    I ventured to this shop that sells ridiculously hot sauces with ratings on them, the older I get the spicier I want my food it seems.
    So I totally get it, I have a bottle of Cholula or Tabasco with me at all times.

  38. Milena on June 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Hi Gina,

    I’m a long time reader, first time commenter – I could not believe it when I read this post the day you posted it – I had spent the previous day dreaming of hot sauce. I’m in Europe so all I can find here is Tabasco. When I read your post I felt like I could have written it: I like it super hot, don’t like Tabasco for the same reasons (lack of flavor), I love Texas Pete, I eat salsa with a spoon – no chips necessary! I mean seriously, after every sentence I was pratically shouting, “Yes! …YES!” That being said – since my requested hot sauces just came in the mail (boyfriend’s mom sent me EIGHT bottles including Cholula and Chipotle Cholula after I requested only Texas Pete! love her! I’m going to try and keep her 😉 I just wanted to give you a shout-out on your most appropriate hot-sauce-review.

    Keep up the good work! BTW, was your daughter born on January 8? First, congrats. Second, that’s my birthday so I can only assume she’s one of the coolest people ever :p

  39. Brittany on September 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    The hotter the better. I love jalapenos!!!!!! I will eat them plain for a snack! I love anything spicy! I was at a mexican resteraunt in Feyetteville, La Hacienda, and the waiter barely spoke english and even though I speak spanish it didnt occur to me that it might be helpful to him for me to order in spanish. So I got chimmichangas and I asked for it extra spicy. He was obviously trying to figure out what I said (didnt think to say muy picante instead). Then he “got” it. I got my chimichanga and started eating it and there was no spice AT ALL!! I was so mad. So then I asked for hot sause and he brought me a pittle thing of it and it was the spiciest thing I have ever had! It wasz so good. I went from one extreme to the next!

  40. Bonnie on September 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I spotted an Arizona Gunslinger sampler pack at World Market today– just wanted to give you a heads up 🙂

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