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A good hot sauce won’t burn a hole in your stomach, but it’ll certainly set your mouth on fire. If you’re a fan of food with a kick, you absolutely must stop by Taste the 4th Sense (375 Danforth Ave. at Chester) and their massive wall of hot sauces. I discovered this store during Taste of the Danforth and quickly went back for another visit. Most of their sales are hand-pressed grapeseed oils, vinegars and zests, but the hot sauces are the attention grabbers. They range from mild and flavourful to blow-your-head-off hot. Get ready to curl up in the fetal position and beg for a bowl of ice cream. Check out this video of manager Jeff Wahl breaking down the three hottest sauces the store has the balls to carry.

#3: Satan’s Blood, $25
How Hot: 800,000 scoville heat units
Chile extract with a touch of red wine vinegar encased in a blood vial with a texture similar to blood. It’s best as a food additive; add a few drops into a pot of chili for a really good kick.

#2: Black Mamba, $22
How Hot: Up to 1.5-million Scoville heat units
A full-bodied sauce that initially doesn’t taste that hot, but the long-term burn is a scorcher.

#1: The Source, $150
How Hot: 7.1 million Scoville heat units
The hottest liquid you can get on the market. Rumour has it this has a metric tonne of Habanero Peppers condensed into a one-ounce jar. This is 1.5 times more potent than police-grade pepper spray.

If you have no idea how hot a 7.1 million Scoville rating is, know that Tabasco is a piddly 2,000. But believe me, when you visit Taste the 4th Sense, you’re going to forget all about Tabasco. While the shop’s vast selection may seem overwhelming, the staff will guide you through taste tests until you find the perfect one. In fact, they insist you try a sauce before taking it home, sampling from their fridge filled with condiments. I joked it kinda looked like a bachelor’s fridge gone wrong.

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Every hot sauce contains capsaicin, which releases endorphins that will increase your heart rate and get your adrenaline pumping. (Asthmatics and anyone with heart problems, beware.). It’s the best way to experience a runner’s high without lifting a muscle. Jeff describes it as a full-body buzz with a tingle you’ll feel right to the tips of your fingers. So if you’re feeling the need to blast your taste buds with some ferocious volcanic brew, head over to Taste the 4th Sense where the devil himself is waiting for you in a bottle or two.

Taste The 4th Sense / 375 Danforth Ave., Toronto
416 649 0024 / Open Mon-Sat 11-6, Sun 11-5, Closed Mon & Tues from Jan. to June

Taste The 4th Sense / 1440 King St. N, St Jacobs
519 664-3177 / Open Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5:30

How hot do you like it? Is spicy food addictive? What’s the best hot sauce you’ve ever tried? Leave a comment and let us know.

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