While I was photographing some items for my, “30 Days of Oysters” project, I stopped by, The Coastal Cupboard to check out some of their favorite oyster things to include in the feature. One of the items was a bottle of, Red Clay Hot Sauce. I love that stuff and I was excited to see that they had just launched their two new flavors! Most oyster lovers will agree that the #1 condiment to enjoy with the tasty bivalves is: hot sauce! And if we are going to talk about hot sauce then we definitely need to talk about our locally proud, ass kicking good, you never want to be without it sauce: RED CLAY HOT SAUCE! Have you tried it? Well if you haven’t, you need it in your life and I’m pretty confident that you’ll become a fan too! They just celebrated their 1st Birthday, which is hard to believe they are still such a young company since they are already carried in 21 states and Canada! They are on fire right now and its the most exciting new condiment in the country!
Chef Geoff Rhyne created a version of the sauce while he was at, The Ordinary (helping to launch the restaurant as Chef de Cuisine in 2012). The sauce was extremely popular, people fell in love with it and were crazy about it! Guests of the restaurant were literally stealing the bottles off the table. He then perfected his recipe between leaving The Ordinary and helping to open local hotspot: Leon’s Oyster Shop in 2014. There are a few things that make the sauce extra special and really amazing! First of all, they use white wine vinegar instead of distilled vinegar (which is most commonly used). Secondly the sauce is made with fresh Fresno Peppers and is aged for 3-6 weeks in bourbon barrels and cold pressed to retain as much flavor as possible (unlike most of their competition, which is usually heated and not barrel aged). The peppers are mainly from North Carolina and Florida and it takes a whooping 1,500 pounds of peppers per batch (which are ALL hand cut)!!! They just launched 2 new sauces a couple of months ago: Verde and Carolina Hot! The Verde is made with Serrano Peppers and has hints of apple, cilantro and fennel. Geoff created the sauce which was originally adopted from his razor clam dish that he made while working at The Ordinary. The Carolina Hot sauce is made with Fresno and Carolina Reaper Peppers (side note: Carolina Reaper Peppers were created in Ft. Mill and are the result of 2 crossed peppers). The Carolina Hot sauce has the same flavor of the original sauce but is sweeter upfront and then followed by some heat and cools off at the end.
I love Red Clay Hot Sauce so much because it’s a great quality product that was designed by a local guy, who was a well-respected and appreciated chef in Charleston who understands flavor…really, really well. It was specifically designed to pair well with oysters and seafood and it just so happens that it’s really good with an array of other foods as well…which is why you should stock up on a few bottles. Being that I am a BIG pepper lover (love them so much that I actually named my daughter: ‘Pepper’-true story) this sauce is a Charleston Food Writer: MUST OWN ITEM! Hands down, its my fav! Great product, awesome flavor and nice people!