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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> hot sauce

 

Naga Viper, Courtesy of Gerald FowlerWhenever someone tries to lay claim to the biggest, best, or most intense record for pretty much anything, they run the risk of being challenged.

When the subject is the world's hottest pepper, the stakes are high, both monetarily and in terms of publicity. If you've ever dealt with chileheads, they can be every bit as fanatical and obsessed about their chosen passion as the worst lovesick stalker.

That being said, it's not surprising that a storm of controversy currently surrounds several chile growers who are vying for the "world's hottest chile pepper" title. Read this article on Popsci for more about the conflagration, what happens when you ask a beer company to rule about peppers, and an answer to the question, "can eating them kill you?"


 

James BeckJames Beck of EatMoreHeat.com is my first guest on the new weekly feature of the SuperSite, and he discusses eating superhot chiles and finishing an Apocalypse Burger.  Upcoming guests are Dave Hirschkop who invented Insanity Sauce; chemical engineer Marlin Bensinger, who tests the superhot chiles in his own lab; Jim Garcia of El Pinto Salsa, discussing Scorpion Salsa and the purported "chile crisis;" and Chris Fowler, who uses a polytunnel to grow chillis near Cardiff, Wales.  To hear James on the first podcast, go here.

 


Chile Podcasts LogoSunbelt Shows, Inc., owner of the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite, has announced the launch of Dave DeWitt's Chile Podcasts, a weekly audio show that features interviews with the top leaders and characters in the fiery foods and barbecue industries.  The theme of the first series of three podcasts is "SuperHot" and features interviews with James Beck of EatMoreHeat.com, famous for his tortured consumption of the Apocalypse Burger and others; Dave Hirschkop of Dave's Gourmet, manufacturer of Dave's Insanity Sauce; and chemical engineer Marlin Bensinger, the world's foremost expert on capsaicin. The first three interviews have been recorded and are in post-production.

"These first Chile Podcasts give everyone a chance to listen to people they've only read about," said DeWitt, "and get an insider's view of what's going on behind the scenes in the world of superhot peppers and products."  Producing the Chile Podcasts is David Wolf of America Markets Media in Albuquerque, who said that the first one will be posted "very soon."  Illustrated transcripts of all the podcasts will also be posted.


Dave with Flaming HabaneroThe 23rd annual show, beloved by foodies in the Southwest and elsewhere, takes place at the lovely Sandia Resort and Casino at the Tramway exit of I-25 north of Albuquerque.  For the fifth year in a row, the show is sold out of exhibitor space.  This year, we have a record number of trade buyers attending, and will feature the following highlights.

 

 


Burn! Masthead


The launch of Burn! digital monthly magazine.
  Get your free first copy at the Burn! booth, number 417.

Disc-It UnitThe Great Disc-It Giveaway.  Nevin of Disc-It made 3 fiery foods themed Disc-Its, and you can register at their booths, 107 & 109.

Pace LogoThe Pace Chef's Challenge, featuring three Albuquerque chefs vying for the "best dish made with a Pace brand of salsa."  It happens at 2 pm each day in the rotunda area at the east end of the main lobby.



Eat More Heat LogoEat More Heat Live.  Broadcasting live from the show on Stickam.com during show hours Saturday and Sunday.  Next the the El Pinto booth in the main lobby.

1001 CoverBook Signings.
  I'll be signing copies of my three latest books in the Rio Grande Books booth (315), each day at 3pm.

The doors open to the general public at 4 pm Friday.  See you at the show!  Complete show information is here.


Myron Mixon with USO Troops
BBQ Pitmaster Myron Mixon with troops

John Markus, Pitmaster and Executive Producer of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters is leading award-winning Pitmasters Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg, Jaime Geer, Nicole Davenport and George “Tuffy” Stone on their first USO tour. This September, the Kings of BBQ served up more than 2,000 pounds of beef brisket and barbecue sauce, 4,500 pounds of chicken leg quarters, and 210 gallons of barbecue sauce and all the fixings to feed more than 3,000 deployed troops during two events in Kuwait.

“A trip to the Middle East to feed our troops barbecue has been a dream of mine for more than five years,” says John Markus of the trip. Markus, an Emmy-award winning writer, apprenticed under world champion Pitmasters Paul Kirk of Kansas City (aka The Baron of Barbeque) and Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson. He cooks regularly on the New England BBQ circuit, garnering many awards along the way, and has been bestowed a PhB by the Kansas City Barbecue Society—an honorary status awarded to only a handful of Pitmasters.

“Having the opportunity to come to Kuwait and cook for the troops is such a tremendous experience,” adds George “Tuffy”

Johnny Trigg

Pitmaster Johnny Trigg greets the troops

Stone, owner of Q Restaurants, a chain of Virginia-based restaurants, and Sharper Palate Catering Company, an award-winning premier caterer in Richmond, Va. “As a former Marine, there’s nothing more I would have enjoyed than some American barbecue. The smell of barbecue in the air seems to be quite the attraction over here, bringing smiles to troops that we haven’t even fed yet.”

The 210 gallons of barbecue sauces and 100 pounds of rub used during the tour were provided by Head Country Barbecue, an Oklahoma-based company that has been producing award-winning barbecue sauces since 1947. Ole Hickory Pits, a Missouri-based manufacturer and seller of state-of-the-art wood burning smoker ovens provided the barbecue pits. In addition to barbecue brisket and chicken, troops feasted on coleslaw, beans and potato salad.

Myron Mixon, one of the most awarded men in competitive barbecue and chief cook at Jack’s Old South Competition Team, says, “The troops couldn’t be [greater]. Some of them have seen the show and know us. They have concerts and entertainers come through to see them, but what we’re doing is getting their bellies full and puttin’ them to sleep!”

Learn more about the USO here.


ThrowdownRippin’ Red Wing Sauce, the newest product from Rizzotti Foods, LLC will be going head to head with the one and only DEFCON Sauces! The gauntlet was thrown in a thread on peppersandmore.com in August, and both Rippin’ Red Wing Sauce and DEFCON have accepted the challenge.

“It is an honor and pleasure to challenge the mighty DEFCON sauces. We have nothing but respect and admiration for John Dilley and his products,” said Rizotti Foods owner John Rizzotti.Rippin Red Hot Wing Sauce

Hosted by Peppers and More, the contest will feature a blind taste test using tasters who have never tried either of the two sauces. The sauces will be judged on a list of four criteria, rating the food with a 1 to 5 number system, 5 being the best:

  1. How well does the sauce cling/stick to wings? 1-2-3-4-5
  2. Aroma? 1-2-3-4-5
  3. Color of sauce 1-2-3-4-5
  4. Overall taste? 1-2-3-4-5Defcon Sauces

To find out more about the Throwdown, visit www.scottrobertsweb.com, or read the original thread on www.peppersandmore.com!

Learn more about the challengers: DEFCON Sauces and Rippin' Red Wing Sauces.


 

Habanero Chile

On June 4, 2010, the states of Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo were awarded a Denominación de Origen for the habanero variety of chile pepper by The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) of the Ministry of Economy. Thus the habanero joins the ranks of the Espelette chile of France and the smoked paprika of Spain, Pimentón de la Vera, as the only pepper products to win the same protection as Champagne, Parmesan cheese, and Dijon mustard. In Mexico, this means that if a manufacturer wants to use the word “habanero” for his product, it must contain habaneros made in these three states and nowhere else. If the pods were grown in Chiapas, the manufacturer cannout use the word “habanero” in the product's name or description. But what does this mean for U.S. manufacturers? Not much, especially considering all the “Parmesan” cheese sold in this country that is not made in the region of Parma, Italy. Yes, Champagne is protected in the U.S., where similar products must be called sparkling wine. But the spirits industry in the U.S. is highly regulated by the federal government while the cheese industry is not. So look for little change in fiery foods products in the U.S. The E.U. is another story, and I have sent this information to Harald Zoschke in Germany for his opinion.


'Piment Bouk' ChilesEditor's Note:  Our company, Sunbelt Shows, Inc. is joining forces with Bel Soley, Inc. to assist in rebuilding the Haitian economy.  I am urging my readers to contact Brian and render any assistance to this project that you can.

Brian Hays writes: I am the Chairman of Bel Soley, which is a company dedicated to development in Haiti by building for-profit enterprises for the sale of agricultural products domestically and for export. See www.belsoley.com. We have a U.S. distribution company based in Boston and a Haitian subsidiary that operates primarily in the southern part of the country (Les Cayes), with a country manager located in Port au Prince. [He and his family are OK.] We grow some of our own crops and buy other crops from small farmers. We started exporting mangos, breadfruit and hot peppers last year and were just ramping up our pepper exports when the earthquake hit. We are producing several thousand pounds of peppers a week now. Our hot peppers are habaneros from imported seed and the local hot pepper, a habanero variety called 'Piment Bouk'. Our target was to get to ship out 24,000 pounds per month by the end of the year. As you can imagine, all exports from the country have stopped for now. Port au Prince is the only real port of debarkation in Haiti. With the government destroyed and transportation over-burdened, we do not know when we can begin shipping again - although we are optimistic.
Haiti Pepper PlantationWe are selling our crops locally, but the current regional market is questionable and we don't know if the market can absorb the volume. Domestic distribution beyond the immediate locale is doubtful. Furthermore, our business model is based on export income. So you can see the problem.

It has always been part of our business plan to make a good quality and truly uniquely Haitian pepper sauce.  All the pepper sauce sold in Haiti now is either Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce. We know there is a good domestic market and with something different and of good quality, there should be an export market as well. But our plan was to move into pepper sauce later this year, after our fresh pepper export business was better established. Because of the earthquake, we would like to accelerate our move into the sauce business. By making sauce or mash from the peppers, we will be able to save our crops and also begin to provide edible foodstuffs to the domestic market, which is already showing signs of food shortages. As I mentioned, mangos, papayas, bananas and pineapples are readily available as a base and we can easily grow carrots. We have or can grow a range of more exotic tropical fruits as well, including passion fruit, soursop, sapote, acerola (Barbados Cherry), tamarind and more as flavorings.

Depending on the cost, we believe that we have adequate capital to set up the hot sauce operation, including bottling.We think we have found away to import equipment into the country (by by-passing Port au Prince). What we we don't have is information and expertise. Starting a business is difficult in the best of circumstances (I know, have started quite a few), but in this chaotic environment where we know next to nothing about the new business, the only way we can off-set the risk is with good advice and good partners.

* We need recommendations of experts in the business that can advise us on the sauce making process, the bottling process and any other practical, basic opertaions;
* We need recommendations of experts in food safety (we intend to meet all HACCP requirements - not only to allay fears about products from Haiti, but because it is the right way to do things);
* We need recommendations of reliable, honest equipment vendors who will provide the right equipment - not too much or too little - and collateral expertise in setting up and operations.
* We need recommendations of US (or EU) importers of pepper sauce (and fresh peppers too, since we will be back in that business).
* Any other ideas, suggestions or sources of information would be also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for your time and willingness to help. We hope to turn a bad situation into something good. If we can get this done, we will have a few new, exotic pepper sauces from the fiery country of Haiti!

Brian

Brian J. Hays
Chairman, Bel Soley, Inc
703-421-9211 - home office
703-217-6251 - mobile


Sonoma Organics, a division of Seco Spice Ltd. of  Berino, New Mexico, has announced the release of a new product to stabilize the heat levels of fiery foods products.  Until now, manufacturers have had to depend on imported, oil-based oleoresins, notes chemist Marlin Bensinger, who invented the process for making a water soluble chile extract.  The advantage of HydroCap is that it does not separate in water-based products such as salsas and hot sauces and does not change the flavor of the product.  Bensinger added that HydroCap is not designed to make superhot sauces but rather to be added to products of any heat level to increase or stabilize their heat levels as measured by the industry standard, Scoville Heat Units.  HydroCap is organic and kosher and is available in varying heat levels but most commonly 10,000 and 50,000 SHU with 100,000 SHU coming in the future.  For more information on HydroCap, send an email here.

For quite a while I've wanted to offer manufacturers of spicy and BBQ products a way to test to see if their new products can compete successfully in the Scovie Awards and in the marketplace, but I didn't really have the time to devote to the project.  To the rescue comes James Beck of Houston, who has launched a site devoted to that very subject.  James, a hard-working young entrepreneur who was formerly a business and financial consultant, has decided to focus his life on the fiery foods and barbecue industries--sounds like me 25 years ago!  So we have teamed up for New Product Reviews, a for-now free service that judges the latest products according to the same criteria as the Scovie Awards, and James will publish the results on his EatMoreEat.com site. Welcome aboard, James!


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