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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> manufacturing

A red jalapeño podQ: I heard about some guy who has developed a jalapeño pepper with no heat. Why would anybody do that?

A: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Some manufacturers of hot products prefer to use heatless chile varieties and add heat later during processing through the addition of concentrated capsaicin oleoresin. This provides a measurable, more consistent heat level throughout the product run.

Read more on the Burn! Blog 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.


Maya Natural Sea Salt Harvest

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: tasty travel , science , manufacturing , history

 

Maya Natural Sea Salt HarvestRick Grice of Maya Natural Sea Salt just sent me a link to pics of his salt harvest, which apparently has been going on long before he was born!  Rick writes: "White Gold or Mayan Sea Salt has been the subject of numerous books and scholarly papers written about the trade routes of the ancient Mayans.  Some have estimated that 3 to 6 tons of sea salt per day had to be transported by canoe and on human backs into the interior to supply the Mayan people whose population then is estimated to have been greater than the population of the same region today. This sea salt was produced on both sides of Central America in what is now Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, and even into Honduras and El Salvador. Recently discovered archeology sites (many now underwater) attest to the vastness of this ancient enterprise. Our FDA-registered operation is within walking distance of one of the Mayan sites."
View the rest of his harvest shots here. Mouse-over the pics to see the captions.


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.


LabelFor the fifth year in a row, the 23rd annual National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show is sold out of exhibitor space!  Thanks to all of our loyal customers and the new exhibitors as well.  Join us March 4-6 for the show at Sandia Resort and Casino.  The bravest of spice fanatics will also have the opportunity to sample El Pinto Scorpion Salsa, a product made with the new hottest chile pepper in the world, the New Mexico Scorpion. The New Mexico Scorpion measures 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU) according to tests conducted by a third-party laboratory and is currently under consideration by Guinness World Records™ for the “World’s Hottest Chili” record. Myself,  Marlin Bensinger, Chemical Engineer; and Jim Duffy, grower, are pursuing the record.

 

Other exciting happenings at the show include a daily Disc-It grill raffle giveaway. The Disc-It, customized for the Fiery Foods Show with a chile pattern and inscription, has a unique wok shape that makes it ideal for outdoor cooking and grilling. Disc-It’s are manufactured locally in northwest Albuquerque. The show will also be streamed live for the first time ever on Saturday and Sunday. The live stream can be viewed at www.stickam.com during public show hours on March 5 and 6.  More show details are here.

Scorpion bedding plants are available from ChilePlants.com, here.  Seeds are available in the Store at Refining Fire Chiles, here.


Burglar Blaster
The Burglar Blaster security system

Ever wish you had a more appropriate way than an ADT Home Security system to safeguard your hot sauce collection? Imagine if a burglar snuck into your house, tripped the alarm system, and was sprayed with a fiery blast of pepper spray? Now that’s poetic justice. The Burglar Blaster is a “self contained electronic pepper spray anti-burglary system” that’s easy to install. The unit is housed in a cast aluminum/alloy case and lasts up to four years on a set of batteries. That means that even if the power goes out on your block, your hot sauce collection—along with everything else in your house—is protected. Pretty cool, right?

Just be careful that you don’t trip the Burglar Blaster yourself because the infrared alarm only takes 40 seconds to blast anyone and anything within a 2,000-foot radius with a strong dose of Oleoresin Capsicum, a chemical compound that causes nausea and irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness. Not to mention, you’ll have to clean house pretty well if the Burglar Blaster does go off, as aerosol capsaicin won’t just disperse into thin air.

Using pepper spray to defend your shrine to all things spicy? That’s hot. Blasting yourself and your treasured belongings with a fine mist of capsaicin? That’s not.


The Pepper EaterSometimes it’s easy to forget that producing fiery foods is more than just a passion – in many parts of the world, chile production and processing is a necessity. Dried red pepper is the one of the most widely consumed spices in the world, eaten daily by one-quarter of the world’s population. Chile peppers are one of the oldest domesticated crops. Civilizations in South America grew chile peppers for food and medicinal purposes, and after peppers were introduced to other parts of the globe more than 500 years ago, chiles became important in developing nations for their economic value. Ethiopia alone consumes 466 million kilograms of pepper annually, with an estimated 400,000 women in Ethiopia processing peppers for income.Women Processing Peppers

Inspired by stories of Ethiopian women bringing in income by processing peppers by hand, a team from the Hassno Plattner Design Institute at Stanford University developed the Pepper Eater—an affordable hand-cranked pepper grinder. Pepper processing is exhausting work that turns fresh peppers into higher-value products: dried flakes, seeds, and powder. The procedure can cause severe irritation in the skin, eyes, and noses from exposure to pepper oil containing capsaicin, pepper dust in the air can cause respiratory issues. The Pepper Eater produces dried pepper flakes about 2-4 times faster than current manual methods while greatly reducing the health risks associated with processing chiles.

The design team included Samuel Hamner, Megan Kerins, Siobhan Nolan, and Scott Sadlon, a group of Stanford Engineering and Business grad students. After successfully conducting an on-the-ground feasibility study in September 2009, Sam and Scott are continuing as an independent design and strategy team with the goal of implementing the Pepper Eater in Ethiopia and other developing markets. Most recently, they have partnered with Compatible Technology International and have been featured in National Geographic Magazine to help them achieve their goal and gain exposure for the project.

Interested in learning more about the project, or donating? Visit: www.thepeppereater.org.

Sources & images for this article provided by:

www.thepeppereater.org

http://socialelab.org/?page_id=103


Altoids BBQ
Mini BBQ from Instructables

You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate something as cool as a BBQ grill made out of an Altoids container. The model pictured is just one of many DIY designs that have been featured all over the Web. This grill is made using an Altoids Sours tin,  some sheet metal screws, metal nuts, and a couple of computer fan guards. Once constructed, place a briquette on the lower rack and light it from the bottom.  (Other grills have been made using gas and rectangular Altoids tins, too.) The grill heats up quite a bit, and it really can cook mini hamburgers or a full-size hot dog cut into segments. It may not be completely practical, but it sure works as a conversation starter at your next BBQ!

Try your hand at making a mini BBQ grill – check out the Instructables website for an easy-to-follow tutorial.


Full Judging TablesA  record number of judges showed up for our 15th annual Scovie Awards judging on October 4, 2010 at the County Line Restaurant in Albuquerque. More than 100 food industry professionals—plus foodie media people—crowded into two sessions with six tables each and tasted about 650 products. This means that the average product entered got tasted and judged by six or more judges, an all-time record for us.

The real surprise of the judging were the eventual scores for Grand Prize Winner—the highest recorded score out of a perfect 50. For the first time in Scovie history, we had a tie to three decimal places and were unable to break it, so congratulations to our co-Grand Prize Winners, Barhyte Foods’ Saucy Mama Creamy Horseradish and Poco Dolce’s Super Chile Toffee Squares. The Advertising and Marketing Grand Prize Winner was Crazy Uncle Jesters’ Company or Product Logo/Label. A Grand Prize Winner that’s a sweet heat product is not unusual at all, as fully half of our Grand Prize  Winners have been in that category.  But horseradish finishing so strongly, that’s simply remarkable.  Complete Scovie results are posted here.

Spicy Mama Creamy Horseradish Super Chile Toffee Crazy Uncle Jester Logo

Journalist and author Larry Greenly claims he has been a judge at every single Scovie Judging—and I have no reason to doubt this. Thanks, Larry, you’re a loyal chilehead!


By Jim McMahon

 

Paul PrudhommeAs one of America’s best-known chefs, Paul Prudhomme has been featured in dozens of prime-time television and cable programs, and has been the subject of many magazine articles. A best-selling author, he has written nine cookbooks and produced six cooking videos.  But Chef Paul is just as well known for his extensive line of Magic Seasoning Blends® – packaged dry spices, rubs, bottled sauces and marinades that can be found on major supermarket shelves throughout all 50 states of the U.S. and in 29 countries around the world.

Food-service and Food Processors

Located in the outskirts of New Orleans, Magic Seasoning Blends is also well known for its extensive line of distinctive seasoning products packaged for restaurants, institutional foodservice, food processors and co-packing operations, which combined represent 65 percent of the company’s total sales volume. Packaging ranges from one-quarter of an ounce to 50-pound bulk containers, with an emphasis on consistent quality.

Recipe R&D for Food Processors

Chef Paul and His SpicesOriginally set-up more than 25 years ago within the celebrity chef’s popular New Orleans restaurant – K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, it has expanded over the years into a every productive research and development kitchen, staffed by several chefs under the personal direction of Chef Paul, and has rolled out more than 10,000 recipes for herb and spice blends, creating custom flavor profiles.

“What is really great about herbs and spices, is that when they are balanced there are so many directions that you can go,” explains the Chef. “When one of our clients says they want a certain kind of chicken flavor, we will come up with four or five original samples for them to try. Then they pick out the one they want and we adjust it to their particular taste.”

To meet the increasing demand for its products, Magic Seasoning BlendsNew manufacturing facility recently consolidated its two separate manufacturing and warehouse operations into a new 125,000 square-foot facility.

“There is absolutely no end to developing herbs and spices,” says Chef Paul.  “And my real passion is to make something that is healthy and exciting for our customers.”

For more information on Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends, Inc., visit their website at www.chefpaul.com.

Jim McMahon writes on technology in food processing. He can be reached at jim.mcmahon@zebracom.net.



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