When you’re in a pinch, one or two spoonfuls of Tabasco sauce will usually give a bowl of chili the flavor it needs. But even Tabasco can’t revive the blandest of chili concoctions. For chili with a kick of flavor, you’ll need something like Gran Luchito Smoked Chili Paste ($9), crafted south of the border in Mexico.
Gran Luchito, which means “Great Little Fighter”, is made from carefully selected, locally-grown Pasilla Oaxaca chili that is smoked and then ground with caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, and agave syrup.
If a hot pot of chili isn’t your bag, this smoked chili paste also goes well with cream cheese, noodles, barbecue, and chicken or as a steak rub. Gran Luchito’s spicy collection also includes a Chili Mayo, a Chili Ketchup, and Chili Honey.