Goya’s Salsa Picante can be found (I think) in every hot sauce aisle on the west coast (and maybe the east?) and is definitely a staple. And for good reason, the simple ingredient list offers plenty of nuance. But what does fire have to do with the taste of this hot sauce, and is it as useful as other hot sauces from the supermarket? Let’s dive into the Goya hot sauce and find out!


Let’s start with the list of ingredients – it’s pretty simple: Distilled white vinegar, aged cayenne pepper, aged tabasco pepper, salt and xanthan gum.

Goya Salsa Picante is another very simple Louisiana hot sauce – just two more ingredients than the Tabasco Original hot pepper sauce. The major difference between Goya’s hot sauce and Tabasco is the combination of cayenne pepper (often called Louisiana pepper on some bottles) and Tabasco.

For starters, the Goya Hot Sauce has a very strong vinegar flavor with a healthy horsepower. The cayenne pepper and aged tabasco provide the necessary spice and a hint of smoke in the aftertaste. The balance of flavors is just right, the spiciness of the pepper remains slightly in the background while the vinegar and salt make your taste buds jump (not literally) for joy.

On this sodium: Goya Hot Sauce has 125 mg of sodium per teaspoon (5% of the daily allowance), which is not a small amount, but just right for my taste buds. I’m not hiding my love of salt, you know. If you want to avoid sodium, there are many other Lusitano-like hot sauces that contain much less sodium (Tabasco Original Red is one of them).

Goya hot sauce (salsa picante) on a spoon

Heat balance

The goya sauce is very spicy. While fresh cayenne pepper and Tabasco are rated in the upper end of the average on the Scovilla scale (30,000 to 50,000 on the Scovilla scale for both), the heat here doesn’t come close to those levels. It’s true, vinegar dilutes the heat a lot. The Goya doesn’t give the Scoville index, but I would put it in the mild range, perhaps bordering on low to medium heat.

The punch doesn’t last long, so you can easily layer the Goya Salsa Picante over your meal. It will never go beyond this soft/low level. It’s true that the salty taste lasts longer than the spicy one, so it’s a clue to watch out for. You probably don’t need extra salt if you use the Goya hot sauce.

It’s easy to think that this hot sauce could have had a little more kick. But of course, Goya is the basic sauce made to appeal to the masses. And you can always use a bottle of Tabasco (at the end of the course) for a little extra spice.


Like all Louisiana-style hot sauces, Goya has a thin, watery consistency. Dasher-type bottles are common for these sauces, but the opening of the Goya hot sauce is slightly larger, allowing the sauce to flow more easily. This is a good idea, given the heat mentioned above – you could use more than a few shots. But again, be careful not to make the food too salty. There are a lot of things in hot sauce.

The Salsa Picante de Goya is very versatile. This classic Louisiana style has spunk, so it goes with everything. Very tasty on eggs and potatoes. I also love this sauce over the beans and chili because it provides just the right amount of vinegar that brings out the flavor of everything else on my plate. Anywhere you would use Tabasco, Slap Ya Mama or Louisiana Hot Sauce, Goya Hot Sauce works just as well. Soups, salads, sandwiches are all games for the little love Goya.


Goya is on the shelves of most supermarkets on the east and west coasts, so there is no shortage of this hot sauce. Even in places where it is harder to find, it will never be mistaken for homemade hot sauce. This is Goya’s mass market – from the label colors (which are similar to those of all its food brands) to the fonts. But that doesn’t mean the story lacks Goya’s hot sauce.

Founded in 1936 by Latin American immigrants, Goya is the largest Latin American food company in the United States. So even though it’s a common mass-market product in supermarkets on the west and east coasts, there’s still a lot of authenticity to love.

Goya also contributes to a better world through its Goya Gives program. They donate a ton of Goya products (not just hot sauce) to people in need. You give back. And it’s a good story.

And the best aspect to collect is probably the taste/price ratio of this sauce! It’s incredibly cheap (you can often find it for just over a dollar a bottle). It’s so cheap it’s hard not to mention it when you’re talking about hot sauce. It cuts the legs out from under the market in terms of price.


Goya Hot Sauce is an integral part of supermarkets on the west and east coasts of the United States. This spicy Louisiana-style sauce contains both the expected dance of vinegar and a healthy dose of saltiness. It’s delicious with a slight spiciness that anyone can appreciate, but you can’t help but wish it had been a little spicier. People watching their sodium intake are better off looking elsewhere. (Amazon)

General taste 4.5
Thermal equilibrium 3.5
Sociability 4.5
Collectable 3.5
X-Factor 3.5

On a scale of 1 (lowest value) to 5 (highest value).

frequently asked questions

Which hot sauce tastes better?

The hottest sauce

What is the best Mexican hot sauce?

Authentic Mexican hot sauces

What happened to Louisiana hot sauce?

April 2015. Bruce Foods has sold the Louisiana Hot Sauce brand and its assets to Georgia-based Southeastern Mills Inc. The hot sauce is still produced at the plant in New Iberia, Louisiana.

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