Why Buy Taos Hum
At Taos Hum – Make it Stop we pride ourselves in personally curating every aspect of your hot sauce from farm to table. You can be assured you are getting the highest quality product available!
Below are a few traps and myths from other companies to be aware of when choosing a hot sauce.
- Many companies that may have started small have grown large, but still highlight their backyard-sourced pepper, family-made hot sauce. However, to sustain their growth many of these companies must buy large quantities of commercially available fermented pepper mash from a supplier, and send ‘the recipe and a colorful label’ to a co-packer. At Taos Hum, we grow and harvest all of our peppers, and we make our own wine vinegar and all of our hot sauces. Quality control of our ingredients from seed to harvest, control of the process from harvest to your table, with an end goal of providing the highest quality hot sauce, is why we at the Taos Hum encourage you to try our sauces!
- A common trap used by some hot sauce makers is the use of ‘oleoresins’, or ‘extracts.’ Oleoresins are actually a resin in a solution of a fatty-oil that is left over after the evaporation of the chemical solvents used to extract the capsicum (and other impurities). As of 2019, commercial capsicum oleoresins were almost exclusively produced in an unregulated fashion outside of the U.S. from large quantities of low-quality, hot peppers. Why do people use oleoresins? Well, first they are very, very, very hot – easy to make “challenge-type products’; and second, the cost per bottle of hot sauce with a similar heat level is about two orders of magnitude cheaper to produce using oleoresins. They also have a burnt, horrible flavor, the potential for chemical residues, and have to be severely diluted and masked with spices to be palatable. Here at Taos Hum, we do have a few super-hot sauces, but we NEVER use extracts!
- Unlike most hot sauces in America, the Taos Hum does not use commercially available pepper mashes. Many hot sauce makers speak of the “natural fermentation process”, the “health benefits”. These claims cannot be further from the truth. Let’s break down the myths:
A) The fermented pepper mashes used by most hot sauce makers in the U.S. are fermented with an average of 20% salt in unregulated factories and shipped to the U.S. in huge containers in order to meet the FDA requirements for food safety. The containers are then split into 55-gallon drums or 5-gallon buckets and sold in the U.S. as “naturally fermented peppers”. Typically, these products still require vinegar to lower the pH to approvable levels for food safety. It is very difficult and expensive to buy large quantities of peppers in the U.S., and when possible, it is highly seasonal with a very small window. Fermented mash allows hot sauce makers to buy cheap mash, dilute it with distilled vinegar and thicken it with xanthan gum – basically a profit scheme.
Fact: 20% salt by weight, that is roughly equivalent to 80-pounds of salt in a 55-gallon drum of pepper mash – Not healthy!
Taos Hum – Make it Stop does not use commercially available, salty, pepper mashes and is thickened naturally by keeping the pepper vinegar ratio low.
B) Many hot sauce makers claim that their pepper mash concoction is Healthy! To quote the label from a popular hot sauce “The natural fermentation results in a sauce loaded with probiotics. The “un-named hot sauce” provides millions of healthy bacteria for your stomach that improve digestion, boost immunity and help with weight maintenance!”
If the hot sauce was legally produced compliant with the FDA requirements for food safety, it was required to go through at least one, if not two bacterial kill steps – these steps unfortunately kill good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria. Legal hot sauce does not contain probiotics!
Taos Hum – Make it Stop Hot Sauce is professionally bottled by Apple Canyon Goutmet in Albuquerque using a process that ensures all bacteria, yeasts, spores and mold are not present. The process includes a pasteurization kill step and a lowering of the pH with natural vinegar to ensure that no detrimental organisms can grow. At Taos Hum, we pay for a post-bottling, third-party laboratory confirmation to ensure the safety of all of our products.