Hot Goss

A Big, Spicy List of Local Condiments

From red miso mustard, to pumpkin habanero, to yuzu kosho, Seattle’s crop of homegrown condiments belong in your fridge.

By Ann Karneus

 It's time. Swap out that pathetic bottle of pre-pandemic Heinz for some Seattle-made condiments. The benefits are twofold: Your food receives a flavor boost and supports local businesses. Read on for fermentation fanatics, a chili crisp with a cult following, and proof that Seattle's hot sauce boom is alive and well.


What's Your Sauce

Ketchup and MustardHot Sauce / Pickles, Relishes, and Fermented GoodnessBarbecue SauceThe Levantine PantryDips and Sauces 


Ketchup and Mustard

Mustard and Co.

This Ballard mustard maker creates more than a half-dozen flavors, from honey curry, to garlic dill, to red miso. Keeping the mustard seed intact gives it that nose tingling, horseradishy punch only found in the most artisanal, charcuterie-board-ready, mustards. It’s sold in plenty of places around town, including Marketime in Fremont, Metropolitan Markets, and DeLaurenti Food and Wine. 

Bear's Breath

Kilter Foods shakes up ketchup, a pretty standardized condiment, with a slightly spicy finish. That extra kick goes a long way to elevate burgers, fries, even bloody marys. (Heads up, vegetarians, it’s made with chicken broth.) You can nab a bottle on Amazon.

Hot Sauce

Hot Dame!

Amy Weems first conceived of this sauce in the kitchen of St. Dames. While the fantastic South Seattle restaurant is gone, the name is at least partly immortalized in its flagship pepper sauce—red, smoky, tangy, and of course, hot—and in its milder counterpart, the noble green pepper sauce. Get your hands on some at Ken’s Market Queen Anne and Cone and Steiner.

FireFlower Sauce

Branded as the "Everything Sauce," FireFlower’s three piquant hot sauces in descending spiciness order are: Local Haunt (ghost pepper and beet), Hotsy-Totsy (habanero and carrot), and Main Squeeze (jalapeno and tomatillo). Bottles have taken up residence in some local taprooms like the Beer Authority in Lake City.  

Haxan Ferments

Owner Jessica Huszar, previously a molecular biologist, now applies that background to  fermenting sophisticated hot sauces and vinegars which integrate regional, seasonal ingredients, like pumpkin habanero and smokey coffee mole. Drop by Huszar’s stand at numerous farmers markets (Ballard, University District, and so on), or pick some up at Ken’s Market Greenwood.

Mike’s Fine Brines

Michael Callahan’s eponymous hot sauce is the kind that gets so much use it never gets put back in the cabinet; the versatile line features habanero, poblano green, chipotle black pepper, and ghost pepper. The black and white labels of the Ballard brand are a common sight at plenty of local markets, like Take 5, Top Banana, and Marketime. 

Papa Tony's Hot Sauce

Tony Wilson founded his operation in New Orleans, but moved to West Seattle a little over a year ago, bringing along a fantastic mango habanero hot sauce, the result of pandemic experimentation. Nowadays, you can spot his sauce brood—garlic habanero, ghost pepper garlic, and a scorpion sauce slightly sweetened with strawberries—at the West Seattle farmers market every week. 

Hot Jawn

This up and coming chili sauce is the brainchild of hot sauce enthusiast Joe Norris. Somewhere in between buffalo and Sriracha, the unique condiment should be applied liberally to wings, pizza, and tacos. Hot Jawn is still new on the scene, so buying online or frequenting the South Lake Union Saturday market every other week is your best bet. 

Bonache

These Ballard-based sauces are a common sight on local restaurant tables and are a Seattle grocery store staple in their own right. The flagship sauce, a medium heat habanero, blends peppers with carrot and lime juice. 

Pickles, Relishes, and Fermented Goodness

Firefly Kitchens

Founder Julie O'Brien embraces all things fermented, with multitudes of kraut, kimchi, and curtido to choose from. The yin yang carrots or the ruby red kraut are perfect crunchy additions to salads or sandwiches, and have the extra bonus of improving gut health. Plus, they’re widely accessible at local grocery stores.

Seattle Pickle Co.

These Georgetown brine pros offer up dill pickles, dill relish, beets, and green beans, with a couple spicy iterations available as well. Stop by Marketime or DeLaurenti Food and Wine for some pickle perusal. 

Hero Condiments

Packed in small batches in Georgetown, this giardiniera mixes sweet peppers with both fresh and brined veggies, free of GMOs. Douse it on hot dogs, tacos, eggs, burgers, or anything else in need of some zesty crunch, and find a jar at virtually any local grocery store, big or small.

Britt's Fermented Foods

Formerly Britt’s Pickles, the famous Whidbey Island fermenter got a new name—and some life saving financial backing–when Britt Fletcher joined founder Britt Eustis. Luckily for longtime fans, they didn’t abandon the meticulous oak barrel fermentation method, so the kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles still retain their trademark crunch. Find them in PCCs, both Ken’s Markets, and Central Co-op. 

Barbecue Sauce

Lillie’s Passion

Claire Charles’s West Seattle operation churns out vegan barbecue and pepper sauces that pay homage to her Caribbean roots and her beloved aunt, Jeanine. And all of the ingredients are grown in her garden, so her products are about as hardcore homemade as they come. You can buy Lillie’s online or at a few markets including Peace Peloton, South Park Swap Meet (SPASM for short), and Georgetown Trailer Park.

Richard’s Too Good

Seattle isn’t exactly known for its barbecue culture, but pitmaster Richard Mullen aims to change that with his bold gluten-free sauce. The Black-owned business also doubles as a catering service (an excellent opportunity to see the sauce in action), or you can pick up a bottle at Double DD Meats in Mountlake Terrace.

BBQ Pete's

Every September since 1976 at the Puyallup Fair, you’ll see the Kent restaurant's famous log cabin serving up piles of smoked meats (totaling 50,000 pounds) drenched with their decorated sauces like Zesty BBQ or the signature Puyallup Fair sauce. If the Fair is too much of a commitment, Marketime also carries a couple flavors.

The Levantine Pantry

Damoori Kitchen

The Lebanese cafe and market in Magnolia makes its own hummus, baba ghanoush, labneh (with or without za'atar), tzatziki, and muhammara. They're all based off of chef and co-owner Andrea Matni-Ryan's tried-and-true family recipes. 

Ziva Mediterranean Foods

The Rainier Valley–made hummus is available in original, roasted garlic, and lemon at Top Banana, Leschi Market, and Bert’s Red Apple, to name a few. Keep an eye out for their elusive Ballard and Proctor farmers market–exclusive green chickpea hummus too. 

Villa Jerada

Local (and national) chefs rely on Mehdi Boujrada's deep lineup of Levantine and Moroccan pantry staples like harissa, tahini, and chermoula. A few of her products are at DeLaurenti and Met Markets.

Image: Jim Henkins 

Mamnoon Fine Foods by Nadi Mama

The folks behind Levantine restaurants Mamnoon and Mbar also produce their own  hummus, baba ghanoush, basal labneh, and harra, a Lebanese hot sauce. Their products are stocked at most Seattle grocery chains plus more curated ones such as Cone and Steiner. 

Dips and Sauces 

Rub with Love

James Beard winner and prolific restaurateur Tom Douglas leads a double life as a sauce and rub proprietor. His widely available Rub with Love line includes numerous rubs (duh) plus toasted shallot mustard, ancho molasses barbecue sauce, and a ginger pineapple teriyaki sauce.

KariKari

In their tiny Capitol Hill apartment, Ruby Sparks and Rob Griset created a chili crisp fawned over by the likes of J. Kenji López-Alt. Simultaneously crunchy, spicy, garlicky, and sweet, it pairs well with meat, noodles, soups, and ice cream (but a spoonful straight out of the jar is just fine too). You’ll spy it at Marketime and other neighborhood grocers, along with dozens of posh pantry destinations like Sugar Pill and the Whale Wins. 

Fuse TemptAsian Sauces

Fuse began as a Pan-Asian restaurant in Vancouver, CA, and launched TemptAsian to capitalize on the wild popularity of its house-made sauces. The line of thai peanut, honey cilantro, lemongrass soy, and sesame ginger are stocked at Met Markets and Double DD Meats.  

That Brown Girl Cooks!

Chef Kristi Brown has stepped into the national spotlight since opening her restaurant Communion, but she was already a local celebrity by way of her deeply delicious black-eyed pea hummus. It's on the menu at her busy restaurant, but also usually for sale in a cooler by the front door.

Umami Kushi

Before Harold Fields started making his irresistible ozaku pan, he won us over with his  yuzu kosho. His version of the Japanese condiment involves cured shishito peppers, jalapenos, yuzu juice, and salt. Both red and green varieties are seasonally available online and sell out quick. 

Karam's Garlic Sauce

A decade after Karam’s Lebanese Cuisine closed on Capitol Hill, its signature garlic sauce lives on in PCCs and Central Co-op, among others. It's packed with garlic, sure, but also has subtle notes of lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper; use it as a marinade, dressing, dip, condiment, etcetera, for virtually any food. 

Ivar’s Tartar Sauce

It’s disturbing to even contemplate Seattle fish and chips without Ivar’s iconic sweet, tart, and creamy blend. You can pick up a jar of your own at Safeway—just don’t forget the lemon wedges. 

Salsa De Rosa

Based in Redmond, De Rosa offers fresh salsas, including the mild El Nino, medium La Vieja, and hot El Hombre that are sold at PCCs, Whole Foods, and Safeways in the area.  

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