Latin American cuisine is a bit misleading, each country has it’s own way of doing things and it’s specialties. There is one thing all of these countries appreciate though: a fire in your mouth spicy sauce to drizzle over their unique fare. There are many feuds when it comes to deciding which country has the most beautiful scenery, speaks the “purest” Spanish and who can handle the spiciest foods. Some sauces have their own versions in other countries )I’m not sure which one makes me run for a gallon of milk faster) but here is a list of some sauces packing some serious heat and unique Latin flair.
A combination of smoky and spicy this sauce has been seen in many tamer U.S variations. Made from a jalapeno pepper (10,000 on the Scoville scale) and smoked this sauce has a bold flavor. While most spicy sauces focus on the heat Mexican cuisine really focuses on rounding out the flavor creating a complex treat for your tastebuds.
CHILE, PEBRE SAUCE
Similar to chimichurri sauce this spicy condiment is normally served with barbecued meats straight off the grill. Pebre is the Catalan word for pepper and traditionally uses aji peppers (40,000-50,000 on the Scoville scale). Kicked up with garlic and cilantro this sauce should be served with a glass of water.
Probably the most exotic on the list this sauce hails from the luscious amazon jungle. Made with aji peppers and the heads of leaf cutter ants! It is said that the venom in the ants makes this sauce extra spicy. Though you probably won’t run into this exotic condiment in the states it may be worth an adventurous try with a rating of 50,000 on the Scoville scale.
COLOMBIA, AJI PICANTE
The key ingredient here is the spicy habanero pepper that ranks anywhere between 200,000 and 300,000 Scoville heat units. Used over empanadas, to flavor stews and as a dipping sauce this zesty sauce is also made with the sour bite of lemons and the crisp taste of cilantro.
PERU, CREMA DE ROCOTO
Unlike the aforementioned hot sauces this sauce is creamy. Made with mayonnaise and rocoto peppers this relish goes well with chicken but can be found all over Peru and buried in their sandwhiches. The rocoto pepper has been used in cooking dating back to the Incas. This hot pepper can get up to 350,000 units of the Scoville scale, proceed with caution.
This Bolivian hot sauce is made with a combination of the rocoto pepper (called the locoto pepper in Bolivia), aji amarillo or aji verde pepper, quilquiña (Bolivian cilantro) and incorporates tomatoes for a little sweetness. Llajua is used on many dishes and also served as a dipping sauce for cooked potatoes and bread