Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning

I don't know what it is with the strange tendency of hot sauces and spice blends to have absurdly violent names, but I'm grateful for it: that's what brought Slap Ya Mama into my kitchen. My boyfriend picked up a container for me as a souvenir while road-tripping through Louisiana—"It's hilarious!" he said upon delivery, and to be sure, it is. It's also astonishingly wonderful: a tight balance of black and cayenne peppers, garlic, and salt that makes for a great gumbo seasoning, but is just as good in a pot of marinara sauce, a bowl of pear and delicata squash soup, or a robust vinaigrette. Since that first cardboard cylinder landed on my counter five years ago, I've gone through countless more. I'd call it a guilty pleasure, but I don't feel guilty about it in the least.

Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, $18.95 for 3 8-ounce containers at Amazon.com