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CAITLIN BARRETT is a member of THE NIBBLE™ editorial staff, and she likes it hot.



October 2005

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Condiments

Original Juan™ “Pain is Good™” Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce for Gourmets


We recently discovered that we really like pain. Hot pain. We haven’t been the same since we tried Original Juan’s Pain is Good hot sauce.

Unfortunately, stepping on broken glass or stubbing your toe won’t replicate the rush of pleasure that comes from Original Juan’s “Pain Is Good” Hot Sauces. Each bottle features a pain gauge (as if the photo on the label isn’t a good indicator) which rates the sauce on the Scoville Scale*. The Scoville ratings range from 1,500 to 3,500 Scoville units—more than munching on ancho or pasilla chiles and less than drinking pure Tabasco®.

*In order to really grasp how hot (or not) each sauce is, it is important to understand the Scoville Scale. Every chile contains capsaicinoids, the chemical compounds that give chiles their heat. In 1912, Wilbur Scoville invented this method to measure comparative heat levels of the different varieties of chiles, and it is still the most widely used today. For more information see our article on the Scoville Heat Scale and different varieties of chiles.

Yet, these sauces are not just for “hotheads.” While you won’t put them on French food, they can kick up baked potatoes, corn on the cob, pizza, scrambled eggs, steamed vegetables, burgers, chicken—anything in need of flavor. 

Each of the sauces in the Pain is Good line has its own distinct personality—starting with the “screaming for joy” product spokesperson on the label. The “sultans of sizzle” include:

  • Jamaican Style. This is a bottle of Caribbean gold: sweet pineapples and jerk seasonings give it character, while Scotch bonnet chiles provide a mouth-burning sensation that we savor. 2,500 to 3,500 Scoville Units
  • Harissa. Harissa is a classic North African condiment made from chiles, garlic, caraway seed, coriander seed and cumin. Original Juan™’s hot sauce translation is magnificent. 1,500-1,900 Scoville Units
  • Louisiana Style. On the milder end of the spectrum, this sauce features habañero and cayenne peppers, Worcester sauce and liquid smoke. For Cajun dishes, grilled shrimp or anything else that strikes your fancy. 1,500-1,900 Scoville Units
  • Garlic Style. Keep a bucket of cream cheese nearby: this incredibly tasty sauce also happens to mighty spicy, and you’re going to need something to soothe the fire it will ignite in your mouth. Unlike most hot sauces, which are tomato based, Garlic Style is carrot-based and gets a lot of its zesty flavors from garlic puree, turmeric, and mustard seed. 2,500 to 3,500 Scoville Units
hot sauce pack
Hot Sauce Pack with the three originals: Garlic,
Jamaican Style and Louisiana Style.
Gift Basket
A gift basket for your hottie friends has the three original hot sauces and three hot salsas.
  • Honey Cayenne Hot Mustard. Honey and mustard are a classic combination, but add cayenne and a little citrus flavor and you’ve got a spicy condiment for dipping hard pretzels—and many other uses. Scoville Units Not Rated
  • Jalapeño Wasabi. The intoxicating vapors of wasabi intermingle with the pungency of jalapeño in this electrifying sauce. It is delicious on sandwiches or mixed into chicken salad or seafood cocktail sauce. Scoville Units Not Rated

What to do with this wealth of heat? Order a bottle of each, invite your friends over and fire up the grill. Cook up kabobs of beef, chicken, pork, vegetables—even pineapple, bananas, and peaches for Jamaican Style—and mix and match the different sauces. No doubt, everyone will have a different favorite.  Let each person take that bottle home to try it with his/her own recipes. (And because cold beer or iced tea isn’t the best way to quench the fire, have a bowl of bland creamy dip (yogurt- or cream cheese-based) and crudités, salt-free pretzels and/or sliced baguette.

The original three sauces (Garlic, Jamaican, Louisiana) are available in a boxed package as well as in a gift basket along with three great salsas. At these prices, they’re a nifty gifty for anyone in need of a little spice in his or her life.


Pain is Good™ Jamaican Style, Harissa, Louisiana Style, Garlic Style, Honey Cayenne Hot Mustard and Jalapeño Wasabi Hot Sauces

  • 6.75-Ounce Bottle
  • 3.75-Ounce Mini Bottle
  • Gift Pack
    3 Hot Sauces
  • Gift Basket
    3 Hot Sauces & 3 Salsas

Purchase online at

Prices and flavor varieties are verified at publication but are subject to change.

wasabi hot saucemustard hot sauce

garlic hot saucelousiana

Don’t let their faces fool you: they are
screaming with joy.