Angry Goat Purple Hippo Hot Sauce totally caught me off guard. Prickly pear cactus juice as a primary ingredient? How many times have I even had prickly pear cactus juice? I don’t even remember if I ever have had any cactus juice at all, so my immediate thinking was, “Why is this sauce so popular? Is there a prickly pear underground club I should be aware of?”
Well, I figured it out once I tasted this sweet heat. Purple Hippo packs a punch, but it’s a lovely punch that starts with a pure sweetness that shines amid the fire. I don’t tend to like super-sweet hot sauces, but there’s no denying this is tasty. Let’s dive into why the sweet heat of the Purple Hippo works and how usable this sauce really is.
Let’s get right to the ingredients as there’s a lot to talk about: prickly pear cactus juice, agave nectar, habanero peppers, jalapeño peppers, red bell peppers, apple cider vinegar, strawberries, pure cane sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, sea salt, and scorpion pepper powder.
You can smell those fresh habaneros on first opening. And on the first bite, I quickly got a surprising hit of sweetness, sort of like strawberry/watermelon bubblegum. Which sounds weird, I know. But that’s the thing with prickly pears. They have a bubble-gum-like flavor, and it’s all right here front and center.
It all tastes very fresh, and that’s backed by the seeds you see among the somewhat thin translucent-red sauce. And the apple cider vinegar here also really shines in balancing out the flavor profile with a little fruity tang. It’s unusual, but flavorful – perfect for those that love sweet sauces and want to double-down in a unique direction.
Then the heat hammer hits, and it hits harder than you’d expect. Maybe I was lured in by the sweetness, but the spiciness here took me totally by surprise.
The mix of habanero, jalapeño, and scorpion pepper powder provides a pretty decent wallop of spiciness. And it lingers. Overall, don’t let the cute label fool you, Purple Hippo is a sneaky good sauce for heat seekers. A friend of mine wanted to try this sauce and only tried a little, then immediately got hiccups.
That should come as no surprise if you read the label. Habaneros are extra hot at 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). And scorpion peppers make habs look like child’s play, ranging from 1.2 million to 2 million SHU. Of course, those heats are tempered down when mixed into a hot sauce, but my guess is Angry Goat Purple Hippo Hot Sauce sits somewhere in the 100,000 to 200,000 SHU range. Angry Goat hasn’t, to my knowledge, released an official Scoville heat range.
The good news is Purple Hippo’s sweetness is just as extreme, so it’s a pretty good overall balance. Though, for those who like more of a mild to medium spiciness, they’ll find this kick a lot too hot. As I said, it did surprise me how spiciness is here. The opening of this sauce is so bright and sweet, so you will be blindsided without warning. It brings the heat, so it can take your body off guard if you’re just assuming it’s going to be a sweet kick with a weak punch.
It’s definitely a sauce where you’ll have a few misses among the hits in terms of usability.
Due to the sweetness of Purple Hippo Hot Sauce, I tried it first on my toast with some butter, and it was a real tasty morning kick. Then I added strawberry jam, and that was a game-changer! The sweetness of the jam, combined with this sauce, made it a hot, flavorful toast that I could charge money for if anyone would trust me to run a kitchen.
I also had this with my eggs and loved it. I did not like it on my taco, though, I think, due to the sweetness up top that just didn’t jive well with carnitas, but you may feel differently.
Just FYI: The bottle could be confused for some sort of kids sauce, with the big purple hippo label on the outside, which I adore. This looks like a drawing a kid made, and they decided to use it as their logo, and it works, because honestly, this sauce tastes purple. NO, I’m NOT CRAZY! I really do taste the color purple when I eat this, and I don’t know if that’s because of the fun purple label or if it’s because I might have an undiscovered gift. Only time will tell.
Also, in 2015 this sauce won 1st place in the World Hot Sauce Awards for the Fruit Based Hot Sauce Category, which I think says a lot about the fact that people should buy this, try it, and explore with it.
This is a collectible just for the cute label alone, and indeed for the amazingly unique fruit-based fiery kick this brings to the table. It’s so far from a classic combo. Angry Goat Purple Hippo Hot Sauce will surprise you with the sweetness of fresh fruit it brings at the top, without ditching the fieriness of some of the hottest peppers around.
For the heat seekers out there, you’ll love this and probably be able to handle it with every bite. For the normies, this is a sauce you’ll bring out on special occasions due to it’s exotic flavor profile and overall heat.