Strange Confessions of a Hot Sauce Fiend

Strange Confessions: I once was so cocky of my superior hot sauce tasting tongue that I thought I could handle some homemade sauce in one of the blandest states in the nation: Indiana. I ended up burning my face off while millions of people watched, laughing at the torture inside.

More about that in a minute. First, I want to tell you that I am a hot sauce connoisseur. I’m not one of those crazy fanatics that buys the hottest sauce in the land, just so I can heave and strut and jump around, my tongue on fire, seeking any solstice to cure the burn. No, I like flavor. I like the spice, but any sauce’s utmost characteristic has to be flavor. Some of the best sauces that I have been buying for a long time is from Half Moon Bay Trading  Company. They have some of the tastiest sauces around. Check out their site and buy a combo pack today.

Recently, we’ve been going to Charleston, Missouri every third Saturday of the month to sort and distribute groceries, and there is a place I always stop to get hot sauce: Boomland! At least I try to make a trip there if there isn’t a lot of groaning from the back of the bus. Boomland has a great hot sauce area and I have found a couple of great sauces there. The first one I found is a green habanero with a prickly pear base that is just one of my new favorites. The website that sells Marie Sharp hot sauces has a lot of other ones I would like to try, but alas, they only sell two types at Boomland. Both I’ve tried are excellent. The last one I got for Christmas was a bottle of Blair’s Q Heat Jalapeno Tequila, another wonderful brew. Here is the website you can get the good stuff.

My current hot sauce collection.

My current hot sauce collection.

Now, there is another sauce that I’ve been eating for years, and the last few years it’s popularity has skyrocketed. I always try to convince others of the great finds that I’ve discovered, but when it gets the recognition it has always deserved, without my help, it makes me a bit upset. I can’t complain though, it is one of the best and goes well with lots of foods. In fact, Lay’s made it one of their flavors last year, which I suggested in their Super Bowl contest. Although my version paired it with sour cream. It is made into popcorn, mayonnaise, peanuts, candy canes, lip balm, salt, lollipops, chocolate. You can get its famous image on t-shirts, socks, underwear, high heels, even dress up for Halloween as the bottle. This sauce is Sriracha of course. If you know me, you know I’ve ate it first: before anyone else. So give me some credit, hey?

A few years ago an Uncle retired from the pastorate in Indiana. We were close enough to be able to go and we went. At the farewell dinner, it was a potluck. I saw some tortillas, shredded pork in a crock pot, and a sauce with a warning sign on it that said, “Hot!” By this time I had lived long enough in the Mid-West to know that people are wimps here. They don’t like spice, they don’t like flavor. So a warning sign didn’t frighten me. Ridiculous! I needed no warning. Who cares? This was Indiana for crying in the mud! So I fixed me nice little taco and spooned a nice dollop of the stuff all over the pork. I got back to the table, sat down, settled in, grabbed the taco with my elbows thrust out thusly, and took a gigantic bite. As I chewed, I realized something was not normal about what was going on in my mouth. It began to burn a bit. My eyes started to water. The rhythm of the chews were indicating to my wife that something was amiss. “What’s wrong?” she asked. I couldn’t speak. I could only sit back and let the burn proceed. It got worse. I was making quite the scene with the mouth open and fists pounding on the table and the sweat coming down. People were noticing, and they were entertained. Entertained I tells ya’! Well, maybe I was putting on a bit of a show, but my face was truly melting off my skull. I could have handled it like a man: stoic and motionless, but I’m all about being the center of attention when the appropriate opportunity presents itself and this was matinée time for the melty face guy. After it was mostly over, I had to meet the people who did this to me, for it was amazing. I loved it! Someone with taste, with spice, here in Indiana! So I had my Uncle introduce me and found out he was an Hispanic man who (of course) wasn’t from around there. Big surprise there, right?

Since living here I’ve found that to get real good food you need to find it at potlucks. But you have to swim through a lot of unsurprisingly bland victuals to find some. When you do, you find out those who bring the good stuff, ain’t from around here. Sad, but true. I have seen a correlation between people who eat boring stuff also lead a bit of a boring life. It is without spice or flavor. I’m just messing with you. I know you might get upset, but not trying new things tell me you’ve settled a bit. Try something new today!

~Stranger

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Posted on January 16, 2014, in Strange Confessions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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