Video·7 min read

We Tried Three Fan-Fave Spicy Toppings — See Which One Brought the Heat

October 30, 2023

Welcome to Savored, a new series where we put trending food and drink items to the test. Check out all of our episodes right here.

On today's menu...

We tapped "Spice Spice Baby" cookbook author, Kanchan Koya (@chiefspicemama), and theSkimm’s branded content writer and spice novice, Alessandra Rey, to help us savor three spicy toppings. Here are their honest, unfiltered thoughts. Gallon of milk not pictured. 

Jalapa Jar's Sweet & Heat Mild Salsa 🔥

Consider this your new favorite chip-dip. (Jalapa Jar, $6)

Jalapa Jar Mild Fresh Salsa Jar on white background
  • Features hints of...pineapple, roasted tomatoes, and garlic.

  • Pairs well with...tortilla chips, your best friends, and the sweet scents of summer.

  • Tastes best...served cold, as a poolside snack. Psst…you can find it in the refrigerator aisle at your local grocery store.

  • Switch it up by...adding some to your breakfast burrito or scrambled eggs. 

stylized Kanchan Quote about Jalapa Jar salsa

Trader Joe's Zhoug Sauce 🔥🔥

Yep, it’s viral for a reason. (Trader Joes, $3.69)

nutrition facts for Trader Joe's Zhoug Sauce
  • Features hints of...cilantro, cilantro, and cilantro. (But also chile flakes, cardamom, jalapeño peppers, and cumin seeds.)

  • Pairs well with...pita bread and fresh, raw veggies. Or, according to Kanchan, everything in her fridge.

  • Tastes best...on anything you'd top with chimichurri sauce. It's also known as 'Middle Eastern pesto'. Hummus bar, anyone?

  • Switch it up by...smearing it on a sandwich or drizzling it over a grilled cauliflower steak or your favorite baba ganoush recipe. (We love this one.)

stylized Alessandra Rey quote about Trader Joe's Zhoug sauce

Fly By Jing's Sichuan Chili Crisp 🔥🔥🔥

It’s part chili flake, part oil, full one-dip wonder. (Fly By Jing, $34 for 2)

Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp jar on white background
  • Features hints of...Sichuan peppercorn, garlic, and vinegar.

  • Pairs well with...steamed veggie potstickers.

  • Tastes a drizzle on anything from avocado toast to smash burger tacos.

  • Switch it up by...using it as an ice cream topping. (Yes, way.) Dairy's fat and creaminess compete with spices for the same receptors on your tongue and eventually balance each other out.

stylized Kanchan Koya Quote about sichuan peppercorns


Whether you’re looking to zhuzh up your breakfast or stock up on a new poolside favorite, these three sauces will take you on a (delicious) trip around the world. 

Meet our taste experts...

Kanchan Koya, Ph.D.

Kanchan Koya, Ph.D. - Kanchan (@chiefspicemama) is a content creator, author, and podcast host. You can add her cookbook, “Spice Spice Baby,” to your cart right here

Alessandra Rey

Alessandra Rey - Alessandra (@alealessandra29) is a writer, brand strategist, and self-proclaimed foodie, thanks to her Texan roots and Peruvian blood.

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