Hot Sauce #97 – Panola Clearly Hot Sauce Review

Panola Clearly Hot SauceI was surprised when I saw this on the shelf.  A clear hot sauce?  Then I thought, it’s just an infused vinegar.  But when I tried it I found out it is much more than that.  Don’t let its looks fool you. This really is a hot sauce.]

Panola Clearly Hot Sauce

JPH reviewing Panola Clearly Hot Sauce on had the same thought I initially had.

He says, “Ok, let’s be clear about something. This is peppered vinegar, not hot sauce.” But in the next sentence he also does an abrupt about-face: “Well, I guess that depends on your definition of hot sauce.”

Yes, it does. I intend to write an article soon about what I think constitutes a hot sauce and what doesn’t — so I won’t go into it here. But, by my definition, this is unquestionably a hot sauce. Or should I say, clearly a hot sauce.

Panola Clearly Hot Sauce

The Panola website carries this description:

A totally clear hot sauce with two hot peppers and a whole garlic clove floating in vinegar and onion juice for a totally clear and see-through sauce. This not the hottest hot sauce on the market but, Panola Clearly is a delicious transparent blend of Louisiana’s most popular spices, peppers, onions and garlic. This original clear sauce is mild enough for the whole family, yet tasty enough to compliment almost any food. You’ll love it on just about anything.

Panola Clearly Hot Sauce with 2 PeppersThat’s a pretty good description, expect for one small thing.  My bottle, every bottle I have seen and even the bottle pictured on the company website contain only one small cayenne pepper and a clove of garlic.  Not two peppers as they state. I did locate a picture of a bottle with 2 huge peppers on Amazon, so I know they exist.  Or did exist. Maybe they started out with 2 and have changed to 1. It’s not a big thing — just curious.

As expected, the sauce tastes mostly of vinegar.  There is a another taste that I think might be onion but not much else.  This lack of depth doesn’t make it bad.  In fact, I really enjoy the taste.

It actually had a bit more heat than I expected.  It is not hot, mind you — just hotter than I expected.  I guess, despite what I tried to tell myself, I was still expecting normal pepper-infused vinegar.

I tried it splashed on some fried chicken and into some green beans and it was very good on both.  I especially liked it in place of vinegar on a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.  It added the vinegar taste I love along with a nice bonus hit of heat. I can see it on steamed veggies, lasagna, fried or broiled fish fillets and splashed on burgers, too. In fact, since it doesn’t add much more than a pleasant vinegary tang and a bit of heat to any dish, I can imagine using it on just about anything.

Further along in his review on Amazon, JPH had this to say, “I mixed 2 parts Panola with 1 part Tabasco and ended up with a pretty good sauce. It’s tastes almost like the Tabasco private family reserve sauce, which is a bit more pungent than original Tabasco. Maybe I’ll play with the proportions a bit more, but I think this Panola bottle can be useful when used as a base.” I think I will give that a try.

My Ratings:

Taste: ★★☆☆☆  — Heat Level: ★★☆☆☆  — Usability: ★★★★½ 


Selected Ingredients: Vinegar, peppers, onion juice, garlic, salt

Where I got it: Kroger

Their Website:

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