Although I love Tobasco sauce, I am of the opinion that this is the downfall of chillis sauce today.
Hiding behind the heat, is a world that is full of flavour, that some can't or some won't dare to venture into.
Let's start with green pepper powder or flakes. These are available and have use, but are not popular, this is due to lack of flavour compared to the popular paprika. So the question is why, why is paprika so much more flavourfull? The answer is heat. Paprika is the first of the chillies. 500 shu is very mild, but it does have a little bite to some.
Now how do we get flavour into food from paprika? We mix it with capsicum. Green for more savoury and red or orange for sweeter. This layering is what creates flavour. We would normaly have dried paprika, fresh capsicum, so we are also mixing process. Now a few chilli flakes go in aswell, making it 3 types.
Layering of pepper flavours, normally dried, heated and rehydrate peppers are what the Mexicans have done for years. Ancho, mirasol, cascabel and Chipotle are common in Spanish cuisine added to coacao based dish (Mole) and fresh are not used in cooked foods, they are mixed as fresh fruit in pico de Gallo (fresh salsa) or ground into a fresh paste, this is most often green habanero and packs a punch.
I like to mix ancho, maluto, seco and Chipotle. Ancho and maluto are dried pablano, they are mild, Chipotle adds smokey, and seco, dried serrano adds a little bit of heat. The more the hotter.
Peru has the Aji Amarillo is made into a sauce, but is a fresher style sauce. This is more a salsa use to add heat as needed, The idea is to bring out the flavour of the food rather than add heat.
So why is Tobasco bad you ask? Well this is a single chilli type, fermented bottled.. It has become very popular and created a following of single pepper sauce versions like habanero, Jalapeño and many more basic vinegar style chilled sauces.
There are a lot of small artisan chilli sauce producers in NZ, they are using fruit bases like Pineapple, mango or peach, and adding various mild to super hor peppers to create depth of flavour, some are easy eating and some are not so tolerable in heat level.
Onion, garlic, carrot, chocolate, most fruits are all carriers of the base pepper flavour, dehydrating and fermenting amplifies flavour, not heat.
For a small test with your normal stew Base, add extra peppers, smoked paprika, rehydrate ancho, Kashmiri will work her aswell added to ir in place of ancho, a small amount of cayenne flakes (this adds heat so be careful here) and if you're adventurous enough a single cube off a block of very dark chocolate. Not enough chilli to create heat, just a bsmase flavour enhancer.
Good luck chasing flavour!