Valentina Hot Sauce
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Image Source: Cocina

Valentina Hot Sauce is scattered throughout U.S. pantries, balanced on street vendor carts throughout Mexico, and blessing taqueria tabletops everywhere. Valentina, also known as Salsa Valentina, is one of those iconoclast condiments that almost every hot sauce lover has tried—and loved—at least once. 

The history behind Valentina Hot Sauce only makes us love it more. Here’s the rundown:

Salsa Valentina’s Origin Story

The story begins in 1960 when founder Don Maneul Maciel Mendez created the Tamazula brand, which houses Valentina and its sister sauces. 

Since its humble beginnings, Valentina has become one of the leaders in hot sauce production and sales across Mexico, the U.S., and Canada. Valentina’s website boasts a quick and widespread acceptance of the sauce’s flavor, contributing to the brand’s rapid success. 

Valentina sauce is still being made and bottled in Guadalajara, Mexico, where it originated over 60 years ago. 

Valentina Hot Sauce Ingredients: What Makes It So Delicious?

Part of Valentina’s irresistibility is its pure and simple ingredient blend that boasts a flavor far more substantial than the amount of foodstuffs that make it up. 

According to Chilly Chiles, Valentina Hot Sauce contains water, chili peppers, vinegar, salt, spices, and 0.1% Sodium Benzoate as a preservative. [1]

What Peppers Are Used In Valentina?

The peppers used in Valentina Hot Sauce are Mexican puya peppers.

Pepper Scale says puya peppers land between 5,000 and 8,000 Scoville heat units. Puya peppers are just about as spicy as a serrano pepper. 

The puya pepper is challenging to find in places other than its native Mexico. They boast a unique fruitiness reminiscent of cherries and a quick, medium heat. [2]

Valentina Hot Sauce Nutrition Facts

Hot sauce can add loads of flavor to a dish without impairing its nutritional value. The same is true of Valentina. 

According to ReciPal, one teaspoon of Valentina contains zero calories, zero cholesterol, zero fat, zero carbohydrates, and 3% of the daily value of sodium. [3]

What does this all mean? Use Valentina on your food liberally. 

What Does Valentina Hot Sauce Taste Like?

Valentina strikes a unique balance between sweet and sour. It has a citrusy tang, sure to fill an acidity void in any meal. Valentina’s heat is quick to reach the palette and a gradual builder.

A Hot Sauce That Won’t Break The Bank

Valentina Hot Sauce’s price is low, and quality is high. This is one of the main driving factors of Valentina’s enduring popularity. 

Take a look: one 34-ounce bottle of Valentina sells at Walmart for just over $3. Meanwhile, a 28-ounce bottle of Sriracha snagged off a Walmart shelf will cost you $12. See the difference? 

Even the most habitual hot sauce eaters can enjoy a lifetime of Valentina without breaking the bank. 

The Revolutionary Woman Who Gave Valentina Its Name

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Photo source: Mashed

Valentina Hot Sauce is named after a heroic woman often forgotten in Mexico’s revolutionary history, Valentina Ramirez Avitia. Some call her “The Mexican Mulan.” 

According to Modern Mexican Mercadito, Avitia was born in the Mexican state of Durango in 1893 in a town known as El Norotal. Valentina was a Soldadera who dressed as a man to join the “Maderista” forces. While in disguise, Valentina called herself Juan Ramírez. 

Valentina and her fellow revolutionary soldiers fought to overthrow the decades-long, oppressive regime of President Porfirio Díaz. 

She fought bravely for a year and even achieved lieutenant status before a soldier spotted her braids and discovered her gender. There were strict rules against women fighting in the war, and Valentina was “admirably discharged.”

Valentina lived a brave and impactful life. She died in 1979 at the age of 86. [4]

While she is an often forgotten figure of Mexico’s revolutionary history, Valentina Ramirez Avitia’s legacy lives daily through the hot sauce that honors her name and graces tabletops across the Americas.

Valentina Offers More than Just Hot Sauce

Did you know Valentina’s iconic flavors are available in more than just a hot sauce? Here’s what else the brand has to offer:

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Image source: Amazon

Grupo Tamazula launched Valentina Chili Pepper Season with Lime as a dry, powdered alternative to their ultra-successful hot sauce. Think of it as a Valentina-ized alternative to Tajín. 

Its flavor is a symphony of tangy, spicy, and vinegary flavors. 

You can sprinkle Valentina seasoning onto anything to transform its flavor immediately. We recommend using it on perfectly ripe mangoes, elote, or margarita glass rims. 

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Image source: Mestizo Market

Imagine the unmistakable flavor of Salsa Valentina, but curated especially for ceviches, seafood tostadas, and fish. 

That’s precisely what you get in Valentina’s seafood salsa picante. Indulge in this sauce, and you’ll feel like you’re on a beach somewhere in Baja, far removed from the world’s worries—even if you’re swamped with e-mails at your desk on a Wednesday. 

Remember The Valentina Shortage Of 2021?

It could go down in history books: when Valentina hot sauce was in very short supply. How did any of us carry on? It’s difficult to say, but we’re so grateful the Valentina shortage of 2021 is over. 

The COVID-19 pandemic caused massive disruption to the global food chain. Understaffing, supply chain interruptions, and safety regulations made producing and distributing our favorite food products difficult, and Valentina was no exception. 

A shortage of Valentina hot sauce left people from Texas to Los Angeles without their dearest condiment. Luckily, the hot sauce we know and love is back and in abundance on grocery store shelves throughout the U.S. 

Are You Valentina’s Number One Fan? Get Yourself Some Merch

Image source: RedBubble

We think it’s important to express ourselves and represent the things we love. Especially when those “things” are hot sauce. And we especially love expressing our love for hot sauce via fanciful, branded merchandise. 

On RedBubble, you can find anything from Valentina stickers to branded t-shirts. Our personal favorite? A semi-biblical rendition of a Valentina bottle on a t-shirt titled “Our Lady of Valentina.” It seems Valentina fans are taking their love for the hot sauce to new, holier levels. 

If you’re anything like us, and you love Valentina, and you love fanciful, branded merchandise, why don’t you consider snagging yourself a Valentina tee? 

What Are Some Creative Ways To Use Valentina?

Like so many hot sauces, you can use Valentina however you see fit. Here are some of our favorite uses of this favorite hot sauce: 

Michelada del Fuego

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Source: Los Angeles Times

Whoever said hot sauce was only to be used on food? How about using it as part of your liquid diet? We love adding a splash of Valentina to a frosty Mexican beer like Modelo or Pacifico for a spicy rush.

Start by pouring some salt and chipotle powder onto a plate. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of your preferred glass and dip the edge into the briny mixture for a smoky, salt-lined perimeter. 

Add two teaspoons of Valentina to the glass, the juice of a lime, freshly cracked black pepper, and a splash of horseradish sauce. Add your beer of choice, and voila—a Michelada del Fuego! 

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Photo source: The Spruce Eats

Fried chicken is like pizza—even when it’s bad, it’s good. A Valentina fried chicken sandwich, though, is always good. 

Season some chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, bathe them in milk, and smother them in a flour coating.

Fry the cutlets in ½ cup of olive or vegetable oil in a large skillet and remove them when golden brown. Pour Valentina hot sauce into the skillet and simmer over low heat. Carefully add the chicken to the sauce, ensuring every last crevice is covered in the molten goodness. 

Throw the fried chicken onto a toasted bun with your favorite toppings, and relish in the flavors. 

Papas con Salsa Valentina 


Source: El Financiero

This one is a classic and a widely loved expression of Salsa Valentina’s power: papas con salsa Valentina. You can get your hands on this delicious, speedy treat at street vendor carts throughout Mexico and the U.S.

It’s simple: pour your favorite potato chips onto a plate (we recommend kettle chips—they’re sturdy enough to stand up to the salsa and lime juice). Adorn the chips with your desired amount of Valentina. If you’re feeling fancy, use a microplane to zest a lime over your chips. Slice the lime and squeeze the juice onto your chips. 

You’re in for a salty, tangy, spicy, and crispy treat. 


[1] “Valentina Hot Sauce.” Chilly Chiles.

[2] Bray, M. “Puya Pepper Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses.” PepperScale, 2021.

[3] “Valentina Hot Sauce – Nutrition Facts.” ReciPal.

[4] Campos, R. “Valentina, the Mexican Mulan, Inspiration for the Famous Hot Sauce!” Modern Mexican Mercadito, 2022.

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