• 73°

I like hot sauce and I cannot lie

What’s the world’s best hot sauce? Depends on who you’re asking. Are you asking me? Are you talking to me?

Then the answer is easy: it depends on what I’m eating at the moment.

And what bottle or packet is handy.

I absolutely love hot sauces. You could say I’m a salsa caliente connoisseur.

I have a couple of bottles of hot sauce on the end table by my recliner. There’s also a small case of a half-dozen bottles sitting on the floor by that chair. I got it from one of my sons for Christmas.

There are a couple more bottles on the night stand by my bed, because I eat in there sometimes. Bottles of all sizes and types have their places in my cabinets and refrigerator (and on top of them).

I even have a large bottle of hot sauce on my desk at work. I eat there, too.

Among others, I enjoy Tabasco, Cholula, Valentina, Tapatio, Georgia Blue and Frank’s Red Hot sauces. I love the foil packets of Taco Bell’s Diablo, KFC’s hot sauce packets, and the rooster sauce that no one can pronounce correctly— sriracha.

But my wife and I absolutely love that red-brown wonderful tomatillo sauce made by Eric and the guys at Los Parrilleros here in Brookhaven. Every time we order it from a “new” waiter, he says, “Oh, you like the spicy?”

I’m not surprised by heat too much, and I don’t eat hot sauces primarily for that purpose.

I love the taste: the vinegar or tomato base, the blends of garlic and onion and other spices, and — of course — my friends the peppers.

But I have been wounded by friends before.

At Christmas dinner, I tried some peppers my mother offered me. A large one smelled spicy but packed no heat.

But then there was this tiny cayenne pepper. One bite and my brother was laughing at my pained expression and said he loved to see something so small take down the big man.

Just last week I ate sautéed chicken with onions and peppers on tortillas while I carried on a text conversation with my 15-year-old daughter. My wife had prepared the meal and brought it to work. Before I ate it, I pretty much coated the chicken with Tabasco — the spicy, vinegary smell wafted through the rear of the office.

When she asked me what I was up to, I texted my daughter that I was eating chicken, and it was really spicy, but good. She was surprised I thought something was really spicy, and became a bit concerned when I told her my eyes were starting to water and my nose was running. Well, she wasn’t concerned so much as amused.

That’s when I noticed a reddish-brown substance on the chicken, as well. Remember that tomatillo sauce I mentioned earlier? My wife had very liberally applied it to the chicken when she prepared it. So not only had I coated it in a large amount of pepper sauce, my wife had already done so, as well, and with something much hotter.

I am happy to report that my teenager was entertained when I told her, and wished she had a visual.

I take a prescription acid reducer — big surprise — and it almost wasn’t enough that day. But I survived.

My wife said she’s cooking chicken tonight. Maybe I’ll crack open one of my new bottles of sauce.

Is there a moral to this story? I’m not sure, but I sure hope there’s more sauce.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com or at 601-265-5307.