Tell anyone that you’re visiting New Orleans and you’ll be immediately ordered to hightail it to Cochon and Cochon Butcher. Frankly, I’d heard so much buzz over Donald Link’s restaurants that I didn’t believe the fuss could live up to the hype—until I had dinner at Cochon and the rabbit dumplings nearly made me weep with joy. I’ve since been back a handful of times, and on my most recent trip to NOLA I discovered a jar of Cochon’s Sweet Potato Habanero Hot Sauce while snacking on a charcuterie plate at Cochon Butcher. As a lover of all varieties of hot sauce, this one piqued my interest. It lacks the fiery chunks of chile that I usually fall for, but the orange liquid packs heat without being overwhelming. It’s got an incredibly unique, earthy flavor thanks to a base of mashed sweet potatoes, with a hint of floral sweetness and spice from a healthy dose of red and orange habanero peppers. I’ve been swirling it into soups, drizzling it on paninis (it’s killer on a po’boy), and adding a dash or two to raw oysters. Now I’m one of those people who wax poetic about Donald Link, Cochon, and his glorious hot sauce creations.
Cochon Sweet Potato Habanero Hot Sauce, $8.50 for a 5-oz. bottle at Cochon Butcher