Costco Shoppers Should Skip The Hot Sauce Gift Set For Real Spice Lovers

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If you're the type who likes drowning your food in hot sauce, chances are Costco's hot sauce gift set caught your attention. The product consists of 12 hot sauce varieties, each supposedly having a different flavor. However, judging by the comments on a Costco subreddit, that doesn't seem to be the case. "They all have a cheap Tabasco taste. Definitely a little variance between but they all have a low quality taste to them," one customer wrote. Other shoppers on that thread shared the same sentiment, and another complained that the flavor was very vinegary.

Interestingly enough, the reviews on Amazon and Walmart tell a different story. The rating on both sites is over four stars. However, while many customers report being pleased with the variety, the majority of them shared that they did not actually try the sauces firsthand but instead gave them as gifts. Contrary to what these reviews suggest, true hot sauce fans probably wouldn't be too impressed by this gift set.

Costco's hot sauce gift set isn't the greatest quality

As any hot sauce lover knows, there's a difference between good and bad quality hot sauce. Though someone with a less refined palate might assume the hotter the better, it actually has more to do with the ingredients. Generally, good quality hot sauce calls for chili as the main ingredient; all the other components are whole foods such as onions, tomatoes, garlic, and spices. If a hot sauce relies on artificial ingredients to enhance flavor and color or gums to thicken it, it's usually an indicator that it's lower in quality.

A glance at the nutrition labels on the back of each hot sauce bottle in Costco's hot sauce gift set unfortunately does not reflect that of a high-quality hot sauce. Each one contains additives, such as caramel color, butter flavoring, and blue dye. Even the source of spice in some of them does not come entirely from whole chilis, but rather ingredients like sriracha powder and green chili flavor.

Are all the hot sauces in Costco's gift set actually the same?

Based on the label on each bottle, the hot sauces in Costco's gift set each feature flavors from around the world. For example, there's a Russian garlic hot sauce and Greek chipotle hot sauce. You'd think, therefore, that they'd be completely different, but as Redditors correctly observed, they are nearly identical.

Technically, each ingredient list is different; however, vinegar is the first ingredient in almost every single one. Vinegar-based hot sauces, such as Tabasco, tend to taste acidic, so it does add up that customers say they all taste like Tabasco. The most significant difference is the types of peppers used, but between the 12 hot sauces, only five varieties are named, including aged chili, jalapeño, cayenne, chipotle, and habanero. Aside from these different pepper types, there are hardly any other differences, except for the inclusion of garlic and "vegetable blend." If you expect more from your hot sauces, especially ones advertised as different, just know these might not live up to your standards.