I love Yellowbird hot sauce. I know—people are committed to their favorite spicy sauces like they're committed to their pets and everyone thinks they have the best. My colleague Joe swears that Green Cholula is the only hot sauce that's good on pizza. If you want to add texture in addition to spice, you should opt for Chile Crunch. And there's nothing like sweet and spicy Chamoy sauce on fruit. But, for me, Yellowbird hot sauce is the best of the best. It's the one hot sauce I reach for every day, for a variety of purposes.
I discovered Yellowbird a couple of years ago while on a trip home to visit my family. While we were eating breakfast my stepmom, Jess, pulled a foreign bottle of green sauce out of the fridge and started dotting it on her eggs. Never to miss out on a new condiment opportunity, I put it on my eggs as well. And it was delicious. Two years later, my Yellowbird obsession is still going strong.
Made from a base of serrano chiles (a green chile that's skinnier and somewhat hotter than a jalapeno), Yellowbird Serrano Condiment has a surprise pop of cucumber-y pickle flavor and a fresh brightness from a base of pureed vinegar-spiked cucumber, carrot and serrano chiles. This gives the hot sauce a thicker consistency, more like Sriracha or a chili glaze than a thin, vinegary sauce like Tabasco or Frank's—hence the fact that they call it a condiment. The added vegetables in the sauce also give it a vegetal, savory depth-of-flavor you don't find in every run-of-the-mill hot sauce.
There are five varieties of Yellowbird. Their original version is the spiciest: The vibrant-orange habanero includes carrots and tangerine juice, meaning it's a little sweet, tangy, fruity, and earthy in flavor. They also make a Sriracha version with sweetened with blue agave, a ghost pepper version, and a jalapeño flavor, too. (Committed Green Cholula fan Joe recently tried Yellowbird's Sriracha and admitted that he's a fan.)
I'm partial to the serrano verion of Yellowbird—the first variety I ever tried. I put it on everything: I've tried it on eggs and egg sandwiches, obviously, as well as pizza. I've drizzled it over hummus, and roasted vegetables. One Amazon reviewer says she mixes it with mayo, which sounds like a phenomenal idea for french fry dipping purposes. Needless to say, it's great on tacos, burritos, and nachos.
And, lest you be worried that Yellowbird was trying to capitalize on Sriracha's success by putting a bird on their bottles, you should know that the company's name actually has a cool meaning. Birds, who are especially good at spreading seeds far and wide, are immune to the spicy heat of chili peppers, while mammals—who aren't efficient at spreading seeds—feel the full burn of those same chiles. Yellowbird's model is to "Be the bird"—meaning you should eat and enjoy hot sauce as serenely as a bird would. It's clear from the fact that I've already finished 2/3 of my bottle in 2 1/2 weeks, that my transition to an avian lifestyle is proceeding quite nicely.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious