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hot-sauce Fermented Capsicum chinense sauces ?

I see people online making fermented habanero or scotch bonnet sauce, but is there any tradition of fermenting these peppers?

We have Louisiana style fermented sauces that have been around for over 100 years using frutescens or annum peppers. In the Caribbean, chinense peppers tend to be used fresh or in simple fresh sauces.

At the grocery, we have El Yucateco, Melinda’s, and a few other established habanero or scotch bonnet sauces. Are any of these common sauces fermented?

If chinense peppers benefit from fermentation, why is there no tradition of doing so? Why haven’t fermented chinense sauces started filling the grocery aisle?

On the contrary, if these peppers are better without fermentation, why are so many online pepper enthusiasts fermenting their chinense sauces?
 
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Bou

Extreme Member
I care way more about the taste than the possible tradition behind the process! Personally I prefer fermented hot sauces when there are no other fruits involved in the mash. My two cents...
 
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Interesting question. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any culinary traditions from the Caribbean that involve fermenting. Pickling in acid yes, but not fermenting.
 

The Hot Pepper

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When habaneros started getting a lot of press (1990s) there were companies creating aged mashes in Costa Rica and Belize for hot sauce makers, so they would have a year round supply of sauce ingredients. The "tradition" is more about supply and product consistency year-round than flavor. So yes, there is somewhat of a tradition in the Caribbean.
 
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The Hot Pepper

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I literally put "tradition" in quotes and said somewhat but somehow I still triggered @Norman 😂
 
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The Hot Pepper

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Trigger Reaction GIF by MOODMAN
 
I’m new here - forgive me if I can’t tell when a reply to a post isn’t actually meant to be a response to a post.

It’s an interesting question and I thought it could be an interesting discussion.
 

The Hot Pepper

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Exactly. And the preserving I was talking about was to sell to US sauce makers. Thanks for that clarity.
 
I have not tried a fermented Chinese sauce. Any recommendations available for online order to try?

Too many pepper varieties, too many sauces, too little time. My approach to dealing with this - I try to, for the most part, avoid the pepper varieties and sauces which will be forgotten in a decade or two.

I haven't tried a fermented Chinense sauce, so I am no authority, but I am speculating that perhaps they are best fresh or in a vinegar based sauce. Chinense peppers have strong complex flavor to start with. Annum peppers are a bit simple and mild (boring?), and therefore see more benefit from fermentation, drying, smoking, etc to increase their complexity and boldness. I have had dried Chinense peppers and didn't enjoy them.
 

MikeUSMC

Extreme Member
I have not tried a fermented Chinese sauce. Any recommendations available for online order to try?

I haven't tried a fermented Chinense sauce, so I am no authority, but I am speculating that perhaps they are best fresh or in a vinegar based sauce.
I can’t think of any commercially available fermented Chinense sauces off the top of my head but, I’d definitely try one if I saw one on the shelf.

I happen to really enjoy fermented Chinense pepper sauces. I’m not sure if I’d say they’re “better” than a vinegar based (non-fermented) sauce but, that’d depend on an individual’s personal palette. I make a few fermented sauces in my “regular rotation” of sauce making that people probably couldn’t even tell were fermented unless I told them ;)

I’ve made dozens of different fermented sauces with C. Chinense peppers (and other ingredients). Everything from heatless Aji Jobitos to Chocolate Bhutlahs, lol. All different colors too; red, yellow, green, orange, chocolate (am I forgetting any? :lol: ). I’d suggest (if you have the time and/or inclination) picking up some store bought habaneros and fermenting a small batch in a mason jar. Add some onion, garlic, a little carrot, sugar, etc., and let it all go (ferment) for a month or so, to see if you like it. One of my best (and most vibrantly colored) fermented sauces I’ve ever made was with those (previously listed) ingredients, plus about a pound of Caribbean red habs. The color was incredibly bright, and it had a really nice fermented “tangy” flavor to it. I think I mailed a bottle of that stuff to @Downriver a long time ago (?). It was one of my very first fermented sauces.

I always recommend that people (trying fermenting for the first time) try it with peppers they can readily acquire at the grocery store first. That way, if something goes “wrong” with their ferment, they’re not devastated that they “wasted” their homegrown peppers that they’d spent an entire season growing. You should give it a shot! It can be a lot of fun (and addicting ;) )! 👍🏻
 
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The Hot Pepper

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@spicy.curry I would HIGHY suggest @Bold Badger Sauces, he explains why he ferments on his site and all his sauces are. And they are delicious.
I agree there is no tradition of this but that does not mean a tradition can't be applied to these specific peppers. Like I said, in my experience it has only been to preserve for production. And in most cases they were not fermented anyway because sometimes they would add the vinegar to the batches. Mash is mash and not always fermented, sometimes is, sometimes not. So you are correct and I was just throwing in a small tidbit about mash and production.
My approach to dealing with this - I try to, for the most part, avoid the pepper varieties and sauces which will be forgotten in a decade or two.
@Bold Badger Sauces has some staying power. Check them out.
 
I can’t think of any commercially available fermented Chinense sauces off the top of my head but, I’d definitely try one if I saw one on the shelf.

I happen to really enjoy fermented Chinense pepper sauces. I’m not sure if I’d say they’re “better” than a vinegar based (non-fermented) sauce but, that’d depend on an individual’s personal palette. I make a few fermented sauces in my “regular rotation” of sauce making that people probably couldn’t even tell were fermented unless I told them ;)

I’ve made dozens of different fermented sauces with C. Chinense peppers (and other ingredients). Everything from heatless Aji Jobitos to Chocolate Bhutlahs, lol. All different colors too; red, yellow, green, orange, chocolate (am I forgetting any? :lol: ). I’d suggest (if you have the time and/or inclination) picking up some store bought habaneros and fermenting a small batch in a mason jar. Add some onion, garlic, a little carrot, sugar, etc., and let it all go (ferment) for a month or so, to see if you like it. One of my best (and most vibrantly colored) fermented sauces I’ve ever made was with those (previously listed) ingredients, plus about a pound of Caribbean red habs. The color was incredibly bright, and it had a really nice fermented “tangy” flavor to it. I think I mailed a bottle of that stuff to @Downriver a long time ago (?). It was one of my very first fermented sauces.

I always recommend that people (trying fermenting for the first time) try it with peppers they can readily acquire at the grocery store first. That way, if something goes “wrong” with their ferment, they’re not devastated that they “wasted” their homegrown peppers that they’d spent an entire season growing. You should give it a shot! It can be a lot of fun (and addicting ;) )! 👍🏻

Your original sauce is the best fermented sauce I've ever tasted to this date.
 

The Hot Pepper

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Admin
Yeah if you can get a sauce from Mike, also highly recommended! I didn't mention him because I don't think he's gone commercial.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
By the way Tabasco Scorpion is not fermeted except for the amount of regular Tabacso that is added to it so don't go buying that.
 

Bou

Extreme Member
I always recommend that people (trying fermenting for the first time) try it with peppers they can readily acquire at the grocery store first. That way, if something goes “wrong” with their ferment, they’re not devastated that they “wasted” their homegrown peppers that they’d spent an entire season growing. You should give it a shot! It can be a lot of fun (and addicting ;) )! 👍🏻
Great advice up there 👆👆
+1
 
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