Welcome to Good Hurts!

Good Hurts is dedicated to the best hurts on Earth: spicy foods.
I'm Russell. I teach English, write poetry, but most importantly, I am a spice aficionado and I dedicate myself to categorizing, reviewing, and torturing myself with the spiciest foods and sauces this great world has to offer, all so you can know about the most brutal, benevolent, and best bangs for your buck. Email me at hotfreakrussell@gmail.com

Enjoy, and feel the burn.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pain 100%: Nature's brutal wrath, one drop at a time

In a world of so many hidden messages, many obfuscated further by carefully crafted rhetoric, bright, catchy images, and downplayed pratfalls, it's refreshing to know that Original Juan's, the most important name in Kansas City, has banged out an all-natural hot sauce for the organic hot freak in your life. What they've come up with definitely isn't for the feint of heart, but should be embraced by true pepperheads looking for a chemical-free fix of fire.

Let's look at the facts: Located in the "Meltdown" section of their hot sauce area of their site, Pain 100% is a simple take on habaneros, some of the hottest peppers under the sun. While the effects food additives (like thickening gums) are sketchy and blurred, Pain 100% boasts all natural ingredients, though some of its spices could benefit from some elaboration. This sauce is all about the raw power of the habanero, and all other spices and flavors come second. No frills, no gimmicks, and no kidding around: this sauce is thick, bright, and hot.

Good Hurts: The raw habanero is hot as hell, and this sauce is packed full of raw seeds and the orange-red color unmistakeably associated with the pepper. This sauce packs a wallop, too, and will definitely be too much for regular people looking to pep up a burrito. This is a sauce that toes many lines: after a few mouthfuls, you'll be aching bad; it's not hot enough, however, to just be a food additive. The real truth of this sauce --which is lip-burning and tongue titillating to its very core--is that it's a hot freak's standard hot sauce. Simple, habanero-rich, and thick, this hot sauce is one made for people who want to dump it on heavy and sniffle, weep, and cough their way through their favorite foods.

Flavor: The sparse ingredients say a lot: habanero peppers, water, and the Earthy garden zest of fresh tomatoes in the form of thick (there's that word again) tomato paste. Lastly, the label adds, are "salt and spices" and "natural pepper flavoring." Whether or not this is extract or actual ground up peppers remains unsolved. Whatever the spices are, they are all but whispers between waves of intense, lingering heat.

Availibilty: Besides rockin' the KC, Pain 100%, along with a number of other exciting Original Juan's sauces (no, they don't pay or sponsor me. They just make damn good sauce) are surprisingly available at many finer groceries and gourmet food stores.

Good for: Because the habanero is such a sharp, acidic pepper, it really overwhelms a lot of other flavors. This sauce is best accepted for what it really is: an all-natural habanero showcase. Not hot enough to destroy your soul, but hot enough to really make the rest of your meal a tear-jerking expressway to habanero hell, Pain 100% stands in an interesting place. It's best to just pour over pizza, burritos, rice, or other starchy foods that won't grind up against the power of the habanero.

Heat: ****
Flavor: **
My Review: 8.0/10

A solid, simple habanero sauce for hot freaks to slather recklessly and for food adventurers to have an organic good time gettin' burned.

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