Making the farmers market rounds, but also available online through outreach, Mamacita's Gourmet Hot Sauce is a Virginia’s Finest product and a local merchant favorite in its hometown of Richmond. The spicy blend carries more than enough potent flavor, since it's made from fresh jalapeños, but its thick, substantial consistency is what really differentiates this sauce from others. Tiny bits of spice and pepper yield a fuller texture, so much so that you could even use the hot sauce as a standalone salsa. The recipe originates from the family of Dale Prokopchak—co-founder of the company—though he has made some changes since its original inception. Big, bold and versatile, Mamacita's is made in small batches to maintain the utmost quality.
According to co-founder Sandy Prokopchak, "We have been making the sauce for about 10 years and in small batches to give as gifts around the holidays. For a brief period of time, about eight or nine years ago, we had someone make it for us and they got it into some stores but they were not making it right so we pulled it." As there was still demand for the original, the Prokopchaks sought out a new, small manufacturer who has been producing the sauce for them ever since.
From texture to substance, Mamacita's goes great with just about anything—Bloody Marys included. Keep an eye out for forthcoming flavor variations, but for now, Mamacita's Gourmet Hot Sauce is available online for $5.
Photo by David Graver