Tacolicious' MF Hot Sauce: Feel the Burn

Inspiration is a fickle friend: sometimes it's sitting there waiting for you at your desk, and other times you have to travel halfway around the world to find it.

While consulting on a Mexican restaurant in Sydney called Barrio Chino back in 2011, Tacolicious owner Joe Hargrave and chef Telmo Faria found that even the most basic products were simply not available in Australia. At the bar, they wanted to mix up Micheladas, but couldn't get bottles of salsa picante like Tapatio or Cholula, so Hargrave and Faria decided to make their own. They quickly came up with a recipe that came close, finished the consulting job, but didn't develop their recipe any further, until recently.

Using the recipe they developed for Barrio Chino as a foundation, Hargrave and Faria tweaked and swapped out ingredients to create their custom MF Hot Sauce.

The sauce has lots of chili and smoked chipotle flavor, and a high note burn of habañero pepper, but not so much that it kills the taste. It's deliciously rich and vibrant, and has enough heat in a single drop to make our forehead itch with spice. It's not as vinegary or salty as many other varieties of hot sauce, nor does it have that powdery taste or texture that is common with these types of salsas.

The recipe combines fresh onions, garlic, chilies, dry spices, and dried chilies. Each Tacolicious location makes its own batch in-house, and all of them offer bottles of their custom sauce. For chef Faria, the salsa is perfect for both eggs and pizza, but really at its best in dishes where excess moisture isn't needed or wanted, like on fried fish tacos.

You can try it at any of the four locations, and if you like it, take a bottle home for $5. Even better, proceeds from the sale of the MF Hot Sauce go toward the Tacolicious School Project, where each month the restaurant raises money for a different local public school.

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