If Tabasco Sauce is considered to be a 'hot' sauce, then its bigger, badder, and utterly psychotic brothers are the Ultra Hot Sauces. These sauces are beyond hot.

The average Scoville rating for Tabasco brand pepper sauce is 3,750, but the actual range is from 2,500 - 5,000. (The reason for having an average value is that weather conditions will affect the strength of the chilis). And the Ultras, how do they compare? Well instead of a weedy 3,750, we talking in the region of a ball-breaking 350,000 Scoville units and upwards.

Whilst they may be a small niche in the States $500m a year salsa/hot sauce market, these cocky little blighters sit on the shelf and proclaim 'Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!'. Wallflowers they ain't. The names are a bit of a giveaway: Liquid-Stupid, Da' Bomb, Dave's Insanity Private Reserve, Pain Is Good, PMS in a Bottle, and my personal favourite Screaming Sphincter.

If all of this has left you feeling a little hot under the collar, rest assured, help is at hand in the form of BurnAway. It's an antidote to spray on the skin, to stop the sauce burning your flesh were you to be unlucky enough to spill some on yourself. There is good reason to treat these sauces with respect - the constituents are also used in repellents like pepper spray that halt charging grizzly bears. Oh, and they make pretty effective roach repellents.

The deranged and twisted mind of Mr Blair Lazar has invented the modestly titled 3 a.m. Reserve which rocks in at a mind-boggling 2 million Scovilles. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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