I love spicy food. I’m the girl with a hot sauce bottle in the fridge at work. And in my car. I sprinkle red pepper profusely on every piece of pizza that I eat. Hot honey is my friend. And I can’t resist the chile crisp trend going on right now.
If you’re with me or you have a hot head, spice nut, or heat freak on your Christmas shopping list… here are some of my favorite local, extra spicy foodie-centric gifts they will love!
The farm team at Hell’s backbone does a fantastic job stocking their shop with the same ingredients they use to make their award-winning food. I love their Desert in a Jar Spice Rub. It turns meat into gold (their words, but 100% true). With a blend of pasilla, guajillo, and chimayo peppers, along with New Mexico chile, this will be your shining star secret ingredient and a great gift for your grill-loving spice fiend. You should also pick up some of their chile-laced Wicked Hot Cocoa. Shop their online store.
The T27 Hot Sauces have always been some of my favorites. I will slather their Habanero Hot Sauce on every single bite of a taco. It’s that good. It’s also really spicy. If you’re not into crazy hot, they also make a green hot sauce and a red hot sauce that are slightly milder. You can pick them up by the bottle at any Taqueria 27 location. *
If you’ve been sucked into the TikTok chile crisp trend, you need to get on the local wagon with Chili Beak. They make a Roasted Spicy Chili Oil without the vinegar kick you get with hot sauces. Instead, it comes across as rich, with the oil cutting some of the heat. Or if you’re for the unique crossover looking for maximum mouth burn, get the Roasted Habanero Chili Oil. Pair it with their Spicy Sea Salt Caramels or the Death Sands Collab chocolate bar made by Ritual Chocolate, and you’ll have the perfect mini gift basket for your heat-loving friend. You can find them in local grocery stores, and online.
With their spicy salsas, queso, pestos, and dips, you can’t go wrong with anything named after a diablo. I’ve written about Salsa del Diablo before, and I stand by them as the perfect hostess gift with a bag of chips. You can find them at the Downtown Winter Market, and in local grocery stores.
For those with a culinary bent, this is one of my favorite shops for Caribbean-style spice blends. Pick up their Jerk Rub, Five Chili Rub, or Jerk Marinade in a jar. They also have spicy hot sauces if you want to keep to a theme. You can find them online, and at the Downtown Winter Market
Don’t give a musty old tin of popcorn this holiday season. Just don’t. One of my favorite spicy snacks is the Cheddar Jalapeno Popcorn from pop art. I’ll tell you right now it has some heat. And it’s effortless to devour half a bag without even noticing. Maybe get two bags. You can find them at Whole Foods, Harmons, and online.
For the unique crossover of cheese lover, and heat fiend, I present to you the perfect spicy gift: The Fuego Rojo Salsa rubbed cheddar by Heber Valley creamery. Made with their farmstead cheese and then marinated in a handcrafted red salsa, the interior is spicy, while the exterior has an extra kick. A couple of alternatives are the Honey Jalapeno Pecan infused and rubbed cheddar or the Wasatch Back Jack, a salsa pepper jack cheese with a nice kick but less of a punch. You can find their products in the Farm Store, online and at select retailers.
I’ve long been a fan of Ruby snap cookies. My all-time favorite is the Frida cookie. If you know Ruby Snap’s naming convention, each cookie is named after a retro pin-up girl. In this case, Frida Kahlo. So you can only imagine the flavor of lovely Frida. This cookie is spicy chocolate with a chile de arbol ganache center and cinnamon-toasted pepitas. Chocolate and Chile are always my friends. You can stop by the shop and pick her up. Or you can get a batch to bake at home as a spicy surprise. You can stop by the bakery or find the frozen bake-at-home dough at Harmons or Whole Foods.
*Editorial Disclosure: Taqueria 27 is a client of the author’s agency. But the author was a customer and fan of their hot sauce long before they were a client. This is her personal editorial opinion and not a paid or promoted spot.
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