Casa Firelli Hot Sauce Review

What a name for an Italian hot sauce. Made in Parma, Italy, Casa Firelli Hot Sauce brings some Mediterranean fire to authentic Italian flavors. Balsamic vinegar and a mix of roasted red peppers and Calabrian chilies star here, and the flavor is pretty special. But how well is the heat balanced here, and how usable? Let’s break out a bottle and see what it’s all about.

SUMMARY
Casa Firelli Hot Sauce
4.5
$8.39

Casa Firelli Hot Sauce is about as authentic Italian as you get. The heat is mild, but it’s the entire flavor package that’ll have you coming back for more and more. This one is a must-have for pizza alone!

Heat Level: Mild
Pros:
  • Delicious fresh Italian flavor
  • Eye-catching style
  • Very usable
Cons:
  • Watch sodium on heavy usage
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09/26/2021 01:11 am GMT

Flavor

Like any good Italian sauce, it’s all about what’s inside that makes Casa Firelli Hot Sauce special. The ingredients: Roasted red peppers, water, balsamic vinegar, apple vinegar, Calabrian hot peppers, concentrated lemon juice, sugar, natural flavorings, salt, spices, dried porcini mushrooms, xanthan gum, and garlic.

Casa Firelli is smooth and slightly thick, perfect for tasting everything that’s going on flavor-wise in this hot sauce. The one-two punch from the peppers here (roasted red and Calabrian) really lead the way in terms of flavor. Upfront you get that bold, sweet roasted peppery flavor and that soon gives way to the peppery Calabrian heat on the backend. Both add a bit of smokiness throughout — from the roasting of the red peppers and the Calabrian peppers’ natural smokiness.

But the flavor here is way more than that. It’s layered thick with authentic Italian tastes. The balsamic vinegar gives a classic sweet tang that’s enhanced even more with the apple cider vinegar and lemon. There’s a light citrusy kick on the frontend of the flavor — not overwhelming, just a hint and quite lovely. And the porcini mushrooms provide a bit of a woody, earthy taste too.

It’s quite the mix of flavors, rich and deep. It tastes very Italian, living up 100% to its origin and name. Seriously, if you’re cooking up an Italian meal, you can’t go wrong with this hot sauce (but more on that below.)

In terms of sodium: Casa Firelli Hot Sauce is 40 mg per teaspoon, which is 2% of your daily allowance. That’s not bad, but you may find yourself using quite a bit of it with each serving. Keep that in mind if you’re watching your sodium intake.

Casa Firelli Hot Sauce on a spoon
Casa Firelli Hot Sauce on a spoon

Heat Balance

Italian Calabrian chilies are the heat source here. Calabrian peppers range from 25,000 to 40,000 Scoville heat units, which is near as hot as cayenne peppers (30,000 to 50,000 SHU.)

Though, just like in most any hot sauce, that’s not the level of heat you experience since the chilies are diluted amid the other ingredients. Casa Firelli Hot Sauce doesn’t list its Scoville heat range, though it’s often reported to be “medium heat.” I found that to be generous. For me, it’s more the upper level of mild, and it doesn’t grow much above that.

The heat hits you mid-bite, and it doesn’t really build. And it disappears completely pretty quickly (after a minute or two.) It’s pretty low-key. I could take about four to five tablespoons of this before I felt my tongue start to get that pepper burn (hence the note of watch that sodium!) Even then, it was never intense. Think of it like eating a mild poblano pepper (1,000 to 1,500 Scoville heat units.) If you can handle that, you can handle this.

All that said, there are so many flavors going on here, so this level of spiciness fits pretty well with the eating experience. The heat is more just another layer to the flavor, not the star itself. Yes, it could still be that and just a touch hotter, but that’s true of many hot sauces.

Usability

If you love Italian food, I’d say keeping a bottle of Casa Firelli Hot Sauce around is an absolute must. It’s delicious atop cheese, in salads and pastas, and on Italian-style sandwiches.

But probably the most tempting use case is on pizza. Here Casa Firelli really shines. Just a few dots atop a cheese or Margherita pizza turns those basic pies into something much tastier.

The spout opening is dime-sized, so you can get plenty of Casa Firelli Hot Sauce onto your plate without much work. You’ll be thankful for that because you’ll be coming back to this bottle again and again.

Collectibility

Boy are the colors bold on this bottle. Vivid blues and reds. The teal blue cap, in fact, was designed to look like a vintage Italian fire extinguisher.

I love the Italian-style font and classic design. The bottle, too, screams authentic Italian. It’s tapered from bottom to top, like a bottle of Galliano liquor.

Overall — it’s striking presentation. This is a bottle that jumps out at you in a lineup of hot sauce. It just looks different, and your eye is drawn to it. Plus, it walks the talk of authentic Italian flavor, so it’s the whole collectible package.

The Score

Casa Firelli Hot Sauce is about as authentic Italian as you get. The heat is mild, but it’s the entire flavor package that’ll have you coming back for more and more. This one is a must-have for pizza alone!

FINAL SCORE4.5
Overall Flavor4.5
Heat Balance4
Usability4.5
Collectibility5
X-Factor4.5
Based on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest)

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on September 3, 2021 to include new content. It was originally published on September 3, 2021.
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