Ethiopia | Awaze
This mix of wine or water and a fiery blend of spices (chilies, cloves, ginger) creates a divine topping for beef or lamb.
One to try: Ethiopian Spices, $8.50; ethiopianspices.com
Japan | Yuzu Kosho
A dab of this intense, citrusy paste made from yuzu fruit zest electrifies whitefish.
One to try: Earthy Delights, $9; earthy.com
Indonesia | Sambal
The garlicky base and touch of sweetness of this Southeast Asian staple make it great on cooked greens and rice dishes.
One to try: ABC, $3.89; importfood.com
Mozambique | Peri-Peri Sauce
This combination of fiery peri-peri chilies and lemon purée is a home run with grilled chicken.
One to try: Nando's, $7.58; nandosusa.com
South Korea | Gochujang
Known as the thick burgundy stuff that comes with bibimbap, it packs a miso-like sweetness and enough fire to work with barbecue.
One to try: Chung Jung Won Soon Chang, $6; hmart.com
Tunisia | Harissa
This smoky paste of dried chilies, olive oil, and caraway seeds enlivens couscous, lentils, and tomato soup.
One to try: DEA, $4; amazon.com
Italy | Viagru
Created in Calabria from mushrooms and eggplant, it's ideal mixed into pastas and tomato sauces.
One to try: Bottega di Calabria, $9.89; ditalia.com
Peru | Aji Huacatay
This unexpectedly great fish marinade derives its heat from the aji amarillo chili and its cool finish from a local, minty herb.
One to try: Doña Isabel, $12; tienda.com