I was excited to see this "gourmet" store called Red Hot Tiki in Gulfport recently, and my mind started racing to imagine what sort of exotic goodness lay within. Sadly, my flag went to half-mast when I walked in and realized that the store sells practically nothing but hot sauce. And not just any hot sauces, but specifically the "stupidly hot for stupid people" kind - with pictures of toilets and Grim Reapers and medieval executioners and explosions and biohazard symbols - which I take an extremely dim view of.
(I'm also not sure where "Tiki" comes into play here. The buzzword is quickly becoming beyond homogenized to the point now where anyone with any kind of business in a coastal area thinks it's the hip thing to do.)
I like hot sauce that I can taste, not hot sauce that is going to fry my tongue so severely I can no longer taste anything - and certainly not the kind that actually brags right on the bottle that this will be the effect. I like Cholula, which is my baseline go-to sauce, and it meets my general rule of thumb which is: can you drink it from the bottle without choking or vomiting? It's like what Frank Sinatra once said, regarding show-offs who try to turn drinking into a macho competition, "Why knock yourself out? Don't try to be a big hero with it. For what?"
Apparently there's a sizable subculture for insipid frat-boy hot sauces and barbecue rubs whose names and labels openly liken their products to nuclear waste, Satan, hell, torture, pain, death, etc. but that's not my scene. Yes, I'm tough enough to eat any raw peppers that top the Scoville Scale, but I'm also tough enough to carve the Black Flag logo into my arm - but the question remains, why the hell would I want to?
Why would I want to eat a hot sauce that leaves me unable to taste anything else for the rest of the meal, and whose label openly and gleefully promises it will give you diarrhea? It's about as useful and desirable a practice as, say, huffing toluene. Which is to say, nil.