Trader Joe’s ITALIAN BOMBA, Fermented Calabrian Chili Hot Pepper Sauce



Since it first appeared, Trader Joe’s Italian “Bomba” Hot Pepper Sauce blew up all over the internet as one of the best new offerings that Trader Joe’s sells. In this case any hype you’ve heard about TJ’s “BOMBA” is 100% justified.

Man oh man, is this stuff incredible. Sorry I won’t say “its the bomb” (ok it is) but I will tell you that we freaking LOVE this stuff, and put it on many many things. Since first trying this its become a condiment that we have to have in the fridge at all times. Let me tell you why.

BOMBA is a condiment made from fermented fresh Calabrian red chile peppers. Naturally by now you’re well aware about how fermentation adds complex flavor elements to foods. You notice just that little bit of funkiness that the fermentation brings, adds a magical addition. Yes the “fifth” flavor of, you guessed it, UMAMI. Giving a taste more complexity. Bomba sauce is a bit spicy but it’s not really spicy. It’s nowhere near that knock-your-head-off bottle of hot sauce with the skull on it spicy. It has a level of spicy PLUS a good deal of flavor. As a test, I just put a small spoon of Bomba in my mouth. While I got “yes this is spicy”, it didn’t want to make me want to drink a glass of milk or anything. I got something beyond just “spicy”, there is a kind of funkiness, even a bit of sweetness. So depending on the amount you use, you can adjust the level of spiciness to your palate, and if you add even just a tiny bit to dishes, I am talking a quarter of a teaspoon, it will add some wonderful flavors underneath that may surprise you.

How to use Bomba sauce? Of course this is going to be great added to tomato sauces, say on pasta or pizza or what have you. But what about other pasta dishes? A spoonful mixed into your Spaghetti Aglio e Olio? For sure! A little bit in your Carbonara? Controversial perhaps but I do it, and it is terrific. What about all those Gnocchi you love from Trader Joe’s? Regular, cauliflower, kale, shelf stable or what have you… OMG folks, a dollop of this Bomba and good olive oil will make your gnocchi soar. Still, Bomba is more than “just for Italian” food. I put a little bit into my scrambled eggs. It’s divine with eggs. A drop of it onto of my buttered, toasted baguette. A small spoon mixed into avocado toast or guacamole. Add some to your next marinade for meat or chicken. Dips and sauces? Perfect. You can mix this up with some Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise for that matter) for an instant wonderful sauce, to top some cooked Chicken Breasts, Shrimp, or Tofu as well. Or try that mix as a dip for some chips. Drizzle some with olive oil and garlic on your roasted veggies. Add a spoon of this to your soup or most any sauce to give it some jazz. I love it on cottage cheese on toast (no, seriously that’s really good). On my sardines on toast. Add some fresh garlic to Bomba. Of course these two go very well together. Asian food?! OMG yes, yes, yes! Honestly the list of things and types of food Bomba can improve and go with is endless and I promise, you will discover uses on your own (if they’re good, please share some with us in the COMMENTS below). TJ’s Bomba is truly a premium gourmet offering. Amazingly Trader Joe’s sells this for $2.99 a jar, which is honestly incredible for such a product. Oh and it’s really Italian, it is a “Product Of Italy”. I have found it sold out on occasion as its a big hit. So if you like it, next time grab an extra jar to keep in the pantry like I do (but just one, leave some for me, and the next guy!) Ingredients are: Chilies, Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil, Basil, Salt, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid.

TIP: I generally add a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil after I open it to “seal the top” off and help keep it fresher for longer too. Keep it in the fridge.

Honestly even if you are not really the “hot sauce” type I suggest you get a jar of this to try. Calabrian chili’s are not super hot; they are in the “medium” spice level. People can pop them in their mouths easily. Personally I can’t live without having a jar of Bomba in the fridge now and if you try this, you may feel exactly the same.

If you tried it and have any Comments please feel free to share them.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

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  10. Batarang
    Apr 02, 2022 @ 18:33:41

    I add it to my roasted tomato and olive tapenade



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  13. Stefano Giovannini
    Sep 03, 2022 @ 11:38:33

    I love this. It is similar to the Harissa, which I liked better when I first tried the Bomba. But eventually, the Bomba has more complexity and richer flavor. Now I find the Harissa a bit bland and generic, and I switched to the Bomba, which now costs 30 cents more than the Harissa, same jar, same weight.

    Liked by 1 person


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