Well, it seemed like a good idea. Or maybe just an idea. But after I saw that TikTok influencer Tinx collaborated with Tabasco to create a spicy salad dressing, I was in. Or at least I was willing to shell out $10 on a bottle of the limited edition Avocado Jalapeño Hot Sauce dressing at least once.
I had never heard of Tinx (and the minute I take life guidance from social media influencers, I hope someone slaps me — hard), but the concept of spicy salad dressing seemed up my alley. I like hot sauce. I eat salads. And best of all, this dressing isn't a stealthy calorie dump to make my health-centric efforts to down greens the equivalent of scarfing a Big Mac. Two tablespoons of the fiery dressing has just 15 calories.
Even the ingredients seemed largely benign. Though I was expecting the usual round-up of non-food additives I can't name, there's actual avocado pulp, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and other legitimate ingredients in the dressing. Go figure.
The only question that remained: How did it taste? And I guess one more question, but we can think of it as an addendum: Is it worth it?
@tinx Mission to normalize #HotSauceDressing complete ✅ I’ve partnered with the most iconic and my favorite hot sauce makers at @tabascobrand to co-create a limited-edition hot sauce dressing 🥑🌶️ 🥗 #ad ♬ original sound - Tinx
In short, it's not bad. It's a little thicker and more nuanced than simply dumping hot sauce on your salad, and if your salad has some sweetness (I added orange slices), it's even better. The first time I tried this, it was on a plain bed of greens, and it wasn't great. It was just like sitting down to a bowl of spicy lettuce, which is about as appealing as you'd think it would be. Spicy, yes, but that was pretty much it. If you had told me you just cracked open a bottle of Tabasco and drowned my salad with it, I would not call you a liar.
But the next time I tried the dressing, it was on a salad that was a little more complex, with walnuts, oranges, and a smattering of bacon bits. I'm not a chef or anything, but I made an effort. And this time, the dressing had something to work with. It was spicy, yes, but more interesting. I tasted the lemon, and the avocado made it just a little bit creamy. Much better. My husband wasn't much of a fan, but he suggested the dressing for marinating chicken or dousing on pasta, which I am heartily recommending the next time he cooks something (we might be waiting a while).
Would I get it again? Good question. It may not be a viable option, since this is a limited edition. (Though it's still available, so I guess Tinx didn't inspire a buying frenzy.) But if it's available when I run out, I'm not likely to reorder. Why? Because I usually mix up a decent alternative using balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and some salt and pepper (and if I'm feeling crazy — or if I can find it in the fridge — Dijon mustard). Will I add a little hot sauce to my salad dressing next time? You know it. Do I feel totally hipper because I got a TikTok-recommended product? Um, let's not get crazy. But if you're a Tabasco fan, give it a try. Or if you're on a budget, add some hot sauce to your existing salad dressing. It's a win-win.
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