Hot Sauce Review: La Roja by Matute Sauce Co.

Hello hot sauce friends, today I’m introducing you to La Roja by Matute Sauce Co. A hot sauce that’s sure to catch your attention. Crafted from the unique blend of Rocoto peppers and Scotch Bonnets, this sauce brings a vivid red peppery taste that stands out.

This sauce has a sharp high level of heat but really comes through with the flavour. It’s creamy, complex, and mouthwatering all at the same time. So let’s get into the nitty gritty of this hot sauce.

A bottle of La Roja by Matute Sauce Co.
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Introducing: La Roja by Matute Sauce Co.

Matute Sauce Co. hails from Toronto, Ontario, and it’s clear they’re not messing around with their hot sauce game. Crafted by a chef, their sauces, including the standout La Roja we’re diving into today, are a testament to what happens when passion meets pepper.

La Roja is a carefully concocted blend of Rocoto and Scotch Bonnet peppers, balanced with garlic and onion, and tied together with a hint of vegetable oil for that creamy, velvety finish. And the aroma? Just as enticing as its taste. For those eager to explore beyond, their La Amarilla sauce deserves a nod too (check out my review on that).

Snagging a bottle of La Roja isn’t a wild goose chase; it’s stocked in some of the bigger grocery stores across Ontario. Or, for the convenience of your home, a quick order from their website for about $10CAD gets you in on the action.

The nutritional panel on a bottle of La Roja hot sauce by Matute Sauce Co.

Manufacturer: Matute Sauce Co.
Made In: Ontario
Heat Rating: 7/10
Size: 148mL
Price Range: $10
Buy from Matute Sauce Co.

Ingredients: Red Bell Peppers, White Onions, Rocoto Peppers, Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Red Wine Vinegar, Garlic, Vegetable Oil, Salt, Citric Acid

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La Roja’s look is as bold as its taste, housed in a sleek 150mL woozy bottle capped with a stark black lid, setting the stage for what’s inside. The real showstopper is the transparent label, allowing the sauce’s vibrant hue, reminiscent of a rich rose pasta sauce, to shine through. White lettering floats over this backdrop, making details pop without the need for a dark canvas. Front and center, the Matute raccoon logo grabs your attention, with the sauce’s name and an “Extreme” heat rating boldly declared below.

Peek around the sides, and you’ll find the info panel and nutritional facts, but it’s what’s inside the bottle that truly captivates. La Roja is a feast for the eyes, with bits of ingredients like seeds, roasted pepper flakes, and more, suspended throughout, hinting at the depth of flavor waiting to be unleashed. This sauce masters the art of balance, being both thin enough to pour smoothly and thick enough to cling to your food with precision.

La Roja hot sauce by Matute Sauce Co. on a spoon to show texture


When you crack open a bottle of La Roja, you’re greeted with a scent that’s unmistakably red pepper in essence. It’s like a freshly prepared red bell pepper sauce, where the tang of vinegar and the earthiness of garlic mingle but don’t overpower. There’s a subtle hint of acidity, yet it’s not sharp enough to make you pucker. Interestingly, despite its extreme heat rating, the aroma doesn’t smack you with spice. Instead, the Rocoto and red bell peppers announce themselves confidently, with garlic adding depth and a savory undercurrent.

It’s a pleasant, rounded scent that doesn’t leap out and grab you by the senses, but rather invites you in for a closer experience. While it might not have your mouth watering on scent alone, it’s definitely a signal of the layered flavors waiting to be explored.

Taste and Flavour

Diving into the taste and flavors of La Roja is a journey that starts with its unique texture. This sauce strikes an intriguing balance between smooth, creamy richness and the delightful crunch of its ingredients. It’s an experience that feels almost refreshing, a cool twist that sets the stage for the flavor explosion to come.

At first taste, La Roja is reminiscent of a roasted red pepper pasta sauce – rich, deep, and filled with the robust essence of peppers. The creamy base sets a perfect backdrop for the vibrant dance of flavors, where the Rocoto and Red Bell peppers shine without overwhelming the senses. Following closely is a subtle yet unmistakable tang of salt and vinegar, expertly measured to invigorate your palate without tipping into excess. It’s this tang that wakes up every taste bud, paving the way for the warm, savory undertones of garlic to envelop your senses. The garlic’s presence is profound, rounding out the taste with its deep, earthy notes.

Though the onion might play a more backstage role in this symphony of flavors, its contribution shouldn’t be underestimated. It provides a foundational layer that, while not overtly detectable, is essential in harmonizing the bold and subtle notes alike.

In every spoonful, La Roja manages to capture the essence of its ingredients, delivering a taste experience that’s as complex as it is delightful.

Heat Level

La Roja from Matute Sauce Co. brings the heat, but it’s not about shattering records for the hottest sauce ever. Instead, it’s the kind of spicy that gets your attention. The main event is the sharp, stinging bite from the Scotch Bonnet Peppers. This isn’t just a background heat; it’s front and center, making your tongue tingle and demanding to be noticed. The burn is aggressive, maybe a bit too much for some, with a particular knack for targeting the tip of your tongue and not letting go until it mellows into a more manageable, warm glow throughout your mouth.

This sauce had me breaking a sweat, nose running, with even my hairline feeling the heat. It’s a physical experience, leaving you warmer than you were before diving in. On my personal heat scale, I’d give it a solid 7 out of 10. It’s not the hottest sauce I’ve ever encountered, but the way the heat lingers and evolves is something to be respected. It’s that sharp, enduring burn that sets La Roja apart, offering a genuine warmth that sticks with you.

Conclusion: Overall Thoughts

La Roja from Matute Sauce Co. is not just another bottle on the shelf; it’s a standout that demands attention. With its robust flavor profile and a heat that commands respect without being overbearing, it’s a champion in the world of hot sauces.

This sauce brings the best of capsaicin’s effects to the table—yes, the sweat, the burn, but most importantly, the unforgettable flavors. It’s incredibly versatile, making a perfect companion for everything from salads to meats, and even breakfast eggs. If your dish benefits from a pepper kick, La Roja is the upgrade you need.

Priced just right, it offers a bang for your buck in both flavor and fire. For those brave souls looking to elevate their hot sauce game, La Roja is a clear winner. So next time you’re browsing the aisles, keep an eye out. Bringing this bottle home is a decision you’ll pat yourself on the back for.

La Roja by Matute Sauce Co.

La Roja delivers a fiery, pepper-forward punch that elevates any dish with its perfect blend of heat and flavor, making it a must-try for spice lovers.

The Hot Sauce Guy


Roasted red pepper and Scotch Bonnet Peppers!


Please remember that taste is subjective and everyone will experience hot sauce uniquely. These reviews contain my own thoughts and opinions. If you think you’ll enjoy a hot sauce then you should definitely try it out.

Mike P

Welcome to The Hot Sauce Guy! I’m Mike, your guide to the spicy world of hot sauces and the creator of Spicy Riffs Hot Sauce. From Canada, I share the hottest reviews, pepper-growing tips, and sauce recipes with a touch of rock and roll.

My passion? Crafting the perfect blend of heat and flavor. Whether you’re here for the fire or the flair, get ready for a journey into the world of spicy delights.

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