Posted September 16, 2006 by Anthony in Makers

Meet Your Maker #15 – Psycho Mark (With Reviews)

So my ulterior motive for starting the Meet Your Maker series is coming into fruition. The Canadian contingency is just shy of one line for the Hot Sauce Hockey Team. We have a manager, an enforcer, and some good play makers. Now we have Psycho Mark joining the team. Based in Ottawa he has taken the Ontario market by storm with his stellar line of flavourful sauces. He runs the gamut from mild to blistering. His sauces are popping up all around the province and I think its time he gets the recognition he deserves. His answers are short and concise, as he wants the flavour to do the talking. You can find his sauces at the store locator on his web-site as well as place an order for yourself. Mark has agreed to give all HSBer’s a special discount. Just let him know you came from the HSB! Enjoy!

Psycho Mark

1. Why hot sauce? Where did the idea come from for you to get involved doing this?
I developed a taste for the hot stuff quite young so now I’ve got a pretty high tolerance to heat. When I was out with friends for wings and “pop”, I could never find anything to satisfy my need for heat. I’m pretty handy in the kitchen and knew I could do a better job myself. And so, Mark’s Psycho Sauce was born.

2. If you had to pick a favourite sauce yours, which would it be?

The new ones are always my new favourites. So right now it’s Canadian Chaos – Cayenne/Cranberry. It just screams ribs and wings.

3. Any new products we should be ready for from your line?

I’ve been thinking lately about a hot mustard or wasabi based sauce…

4. Where do you see the future of hot sauce in Canada 5 years from now?
I hope the trend continues and interest grows. That why I try to make my flavours really interesting.

5. What is your favourite sauce that you don’t make?

It’s always changing…right? now it’s Mountain Man Fire Roasted Habanero Sauce. It’s really hot & smokey and has the most wonderful roasted aroma.

6. Do you eat the sauce you make?
YES. It goes on just about everything. I won’t even touch pizza unless it’s swimming in hot sauce.

7. What’s a typical day for you?

Work. (it really sucks) Hopefully the hot sauce gig can become full-time.

8. What sets you aside from the other hot sauce producers out there today?
My sauces are much more than just hot. I try to make them very flavourful and creative as well as deliver a solid punch.

9. What is your inspiration before you embark on a new concoction?
I get inspired by the most unusual things. It could be as simple as a food with a funny name and I’ll want to work with it.

10. Outside of creating hot products, what else keeps you occupied or out of trouble?
I’m an artist, musician, I love to work with my hands and create things.

11. Any weird stories or uses for your hot sauce that you would like to share?
I love to sample my sauces with people to get their reactions. One co-worker in particular turned so red so fast, I swear smoke would shoot out his ears. He looked like a cartoon.

12. How many different recipes do you go through when developing a new sauce?

I’ve been lucky and nailed it the first time and i’ve also dumped gallons of hot sauce that I’m not happy with.

13. How did you get started in the industry?
I was kind of pushed into it. It used to be just a hobby. Everyone who tried my products would urge me to market the stuff. So I did a little research, did a lot of self-promotion and got it on the shelves.

14. What is your biggest challenge so far?
The business aspect. I’m definitely not business minded. I have the passion and creativity but when it comes to the numbers part I’m right out of my element.

I have here the entire line-up of Psycho Mark’s Hot sauces. Even before I open these up I have to say my attention has been grabbed. Remember when you were a kid and used to sit in front of the TV watching Saturday morning cartoons with the cereal box in front of you? In between toy commercials and the Smurfs you would grab the cereal box and read all the information on it. Well Mark has done the same with his labels. They all offer something amusing and unique. They all look great. And just like his Canadian hot sauce brethren he also continues the Canuck trend of low vinegar! I was also nary to find salt on the ingredients list.

Mark has agreed to give the HSB readers a discount for his sauces from his site.

Mark’s Psycho Sauce
10623 Kerr’s Ridge Road
Mountain, Ontario
K0E 1S0

Mark's Psycho Sauces

So lets crack these bottles open and take a closer look at Psycho Mark’s Sauces.

Orange Mango Habanero

Ingredients: Mango, Habanero Peppers, Carrots, Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Vinegar, Orange Rind

Been there done that. I have had mangos and habanero in several incarnations and still stick with fact that I don’t like fruity sauces. That being said I know what makes a good fruity hot sauce and a bad one. Cause the fruit based hot sauces that I have tried that I do like are very good. Psycho Mark knows where the hot sauce trend is leaning and has made a sauce to pave his way into the thick of things with this great sauce. If you like the habanero mango mix then definitely give this a try.

Packaging 9/10 – Great Packaging – maybe a little too busy
Aroma 8/10 – Fresh fruity taste
Appearance 8/10 – pleasant orange fresh hab aroma
Taste 8/10 – For lovers of this type of sauce you can?t go wrong
Heat 7/10 – Nice heat

Overall 8/10

Cayenne Cranberry

Ingredients: Cayenne Peppers, Red Onion, Jellied Cranberries (cranberries, sugar, pectin), Vinegar, Garlic, Water, Salt

I just couldn’t get into this sauce. I really enjoy cayenne peppers but the cranberry threw me right off. You can really smell the cranberries on top of the zesty cayennes. The sauce itself is quite good if fruit sauces are your thing. Also, this is great for cayenne lovers who are looking for a twist on their favourite peppers.

Packaging 9/10 – Great Packaging
Aroma 8/10 – Fresh and Lively – nice cranberry aroma
Appearance 8/10 – Bright Red
Taste 8/10 – Would appeal to lovers of fruit based hot sauces
Heat 6/10 – Some decent heat from these cayennes

Overall 7.5/10

Mark's Psycho Sauces

Jalapeno & Green Apple

Jalapeno Peppers, Green Peppers, Green Apple, Onions, Garlic, Vinegar, Spices
One of the best Jalapeno sauces I have tried
This is one of the best Jalapeno sauces I have tried and I have tried a lot of jalapeno sauces. Most are average good at best. This one just stood out from anything I have ever tried. I think I am going to stop saying that I am not a fan of fruit sauce but I really enjoyed this one. I find the green apple in this is used to stabilize the sometimes overpowering jalapeno taste. The fresh green peppers just made this sauce so vibrant.

Packaging 9/10 – Great Packaging
Aroma 9/10 – Fresh and Lively
Appearance 9.5/10 – the sauce inside keeps a healthy green glow
Taste 9.5/10 – Exceptional Jalapeno flavour with a fresh burst of Green Apples and Pepper
Heat 4/10 – Impressive for a Jalapeno sauce

Overall 9.7/10

Honey Ginger Habanero

Ingredients: Habanero Pepper, Yellow Bell Peppers, Ginger, Onions, Garlic, Honey, Vinegar, Lemon Juice

Another not my thing sauce personally. And this time it is because of the ginger. But! Yes there is always a but. I let others try this and they loved it. For those you want to flare up asian dishes at home this sauce is indispensable. It is sweet, hot zesty.

Packaging 9/10 – Great Packaging
Aroma 7/10 – Ginger and Honey right away
Appearance 8/10 – Very nice
Taste 8/10 – For asian dishes this is indispensable
Heat 7/10 – Decent Heat

Overall 7.7/10

Habanero Chipotle
This is my favourite of the bunch.
Ingredients: Habanero Pepper, Chipolte Peppers, Tomatoes, Carrots, Red Onions, Garlic, Vinegar, Spices

This is my favourite of the bunch. It has an intense smoky taste from the chipotle and a decent burn. One of those habanero sauces that you can easily go through in a meal or two. The mix of the habanero’s and chipotles is outstanding. A sauce of this caliber makes Psycho Mark look like a veteran in the hot sauce community.

Packaging 9/10 – Great Packaging
Aroma 9/10 – Smoky and deep
Appearance 9/10 – Thick and serious
Taste 9.7/10 – Outstanding smoky habanero flavour
Heat 8/10 – A decent kick with a steady mellow burn

Overall 9.5/10

Overall Conclusion
Psycho Mark has really done his homework. Although some of his sauces weren’t to my liking I can’t say anything negative about any of them. He uses top notch ingredients, has created perfect blends in his recipes, went the extra step in promoting his products and has made first class sauces in every aspect.

Overall 8.5/10 (For the set)

Mark’s Psycho Sauce
To Order: Send an email to: sales@markspsychosauce.com and tell them the HSB sent you