Monthly Archives: March 2014
Steve Seabury, owner of High River Sauces and Producer of the NYC Hot Sauce Expo, announced the Winners of the 2014 Screaming MiMi Awards during the first afternoon of the Expo! If you’ve been following my You Tube videos and Facebook posts this weekend, you already know that the show is a rocking success!!! Thousands of people getting their “burn” on kept 45 vendors from across the country crazy busy sampling, educating, and entertaining the crowd. Seabury has raised the bar for Hot Sauce and Fiery Foods Events, with Hard Driving Rock playing during the show, and the likes of Food Network’s Chris Santos, Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Chris Caffery, and Twisted Sister guitarist Eddie Ojeda doing demos and signing autographs!
But the real stars were the sauces, salsas, and spicy products of love being showcased all weekend. The Screaming MiMi’s were judged several weeks ago by a veritable Who’s Who of judges from Food Network, Bon Appetit Magazine, and other true experts in the culinary world! The complete List of winners is below!
I’m having blast at the show and I highly recommend all you to make the trip! Why would you make the trip to NYC for the Hot Sauce Expo! Because, Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s a Fiery World!
Screaming MiMi Awards 2014 Complete List of Winners
1st- CaJohns – Firehouse
2nd – Race City Sauce Works – Carolina Cayenne
3/rd – Culley’s Limited – Trinidad Scorpion Hot Sauce
1st-Hoboken Eddies – Home Grown Smoke
2nd – Pucketbutt Pepper Co. – Voodoo Prince Death Mamba
3rd – Dog Gone – Chipotle
1st – Frankie V’s – The Serranos
2nd- Dirty Dicks- Dirty Dicks
3rd – Loud Foods -0 Sunshine Mango Sauce
Fruit Based Hot
1st-Hellfire Hot Sauce – Elixir
2nd- Volcanic Peppers- Lava Death by Douglah
3rd-Puckerbutt Pepper Co. – Pineapple Ginger
1st-NW Elixirs – Verde
2nd-Queen Majesty-Jalapeno Tequila
3rd – Lucky Dog-Green
1st-Dirty Dicks – Dirty Dicks
2nd-Frankie V’s-Habanero Classic Recipe
3rd-Freshies Food Corp.-Sweet Fire
1st- Race City Sauce Works- Aleppo
2nd-Scotty O’Hotty – The Ghost Sauce
3rd- Heartbreaking Dawn’s- 1498 Apricot Scorpion
XXX Hot Sauce
1st- Race City Sauce Works- Cirque De
2nd- Grim Reaper Foods- The Raven
3rd- Tahiti Joe’s – Ulane’ Akai XXXX Hot Sauce
1st – Scotty O’Hotty – Premium Habanero Sauce
2nd- Born To Hula – Ghost of Ancho
3rd-Salvy Salsa – Boom Boom
1st- Defcon Sauces – Defense Condition #1
2nd Rizzotti Foods- Rippin Red Mild
3rd- Rozzoii Foods – Rippin Red Hot
1st- High Octane- Peach Ghost Scorpion BBQ Sauce
2nd- Torchbearer Sauces-Chipotle BBQ
3rd Davis Sauces- 1929
1st-Silverleaf International- Ghost Pepper Salsa
2nd Gunther’s Gourmet-Jalapeno Salsa
3rd.Apsara Foods, Pepper Salsa
Best Label Artwork
1st- Grinders Near Death
2nd- Cully’s Limited – No. 1 Hot Sauce
3rd – Puckerbutt Pepper Co. -Reaper Sauce
I got an email this morning from a Chillihead from the UK! Notice the different spelling from our Chilehead! I just think that is majorly cool! Shows how far reaching the community of hot sauce and spicy food lovers really is, while still being a family, of sorts! So this is a link to an article from Appliance City in the village of Bunny, just outside Nottingham, England. How many U.S. appliance stores post articles about super hot “chillies”?!
The Good, The Bad, & The Spicy is a fun piece giving you a little education on some of the world’s hottest “chillies”, including the Carolina Reaper, Various 7-Pot varieties, Moruga Scorpion and more! So if you think that folks across the pond just eat fish and chips and Scotch Eggs, and nothing with any spice or fun flavors, think again! I’ve reviewed some British hot sauces for I Love it Spicy, and man oh man, can they turn on the heat!!!! I think Clint Eastwood would be proud!
Click here and enjoy some worldly adventures of a spicy life! Because, Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s a Fiery World!!!
I think everyone knows the Tom Hanks’ movie Cast Away! You know….Fed Ex guy in the plane crash who is on a small island for 5 years hanging out with some volleyball named Wilson! Everyone thought he was lost forever, but NO! He turns up, not really any worse for wear, and resumes his life. Well……..I have a kinda sorta similar story about Sweet Heat Gourmet, Michelle Mierwald’s State College, Pennsylvania’s work of love, who sent me sauces to review a looooong time ago. How long ago, you ask? Well, I ain’t sayin’, but it’s been a while! Not Tom and Wilson’s 5 years, mind you, but long enough. There’s a genuine back-story that comes with the delay – but that’s no excuse, and I am dutifully ashamed and embarrassed, and publically ask forgiveness. So here’s where I attempt to make amends!
Right after I received a generous sampling of her creations, I used them, abused them, played with them, made notes about them, enjoyed them, and never finished my formal review of them! Kinda like when, in Cast Away, packages never made it to their final destination…except one, at the end of the movie! Just like this post! (I know it’s a stretch, folks, but work with me a little, okay?!)
Sweet Heat has a great lineup of products. I thought it was especially cool that she sources some of her local ingredients in her online product descriptions, much like Tom gave credit to his ol’ straw headed buddy Wilson! So what was in those lost packages? What’s Sweet and what’s the Heat in the Gourmet?
I received the following: Honey Jalapeno BBQ Sauce, Habanero Peach Hot Sauce, Pineapple & Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce, and Moruga Scorpion Hot Sauce. I have a little left of all of them (testimony that I was saving some for the formal write-up), and they all still have a great fresh flavor and complex profile. Not a bad sauce in the lot! I found my notes, and here’s where it gets eerily similar to Cast Away…..just like Mr. Hanks was creative, ingenious, practical, and opportunistic with the ingredients he had to work with, so goes Ms. Mierwald and Sweet Heat Gourmet!
The Honey Jalapeno BBQ Sauce is fresh, and actually packs a little heat which is unusual for a jalapeno sauce. It has just enough soy and Worcestershire to give it some pop without being salty, a wonderful use of the pepper which you can feel and taste, and a spice compliment that worked well with pork, beef, and chicken.
The Habanero Peach played the cumin and ginger card nicely, creating a unique flavor profile to accompany the peaches and habs, a pleasant medium heat, and the black pepper created a nice earthiness that I really enjoyed. Think fish, veggie medleys, and a Sunday brunch frittata! The Pineapple & Ghost Pepper made a mean salad dressing, with that slow crawling, back palate bhut jolokia burn (but not too much!), and totally faked me out with the raisins, which added a fullness to the flavor profile! I really liked that one…a lot! And the Moruga Scorpion sauce was no-nonsense, front end hot! But not mind numbing hot…just a nice hot! A polite hot! A Tom Hanks nice guy, but tough as all get out to survive 5 years on a deserted island hot! I’m not a big scorpion pepper fan, as I find it a little harsh, but Sweet Heat blends the scorpion with other unnamed red peppers, tomato, a little sugar, and spices to create a Scorpion sauce I could use in chili, spaghetti, meat loaf, and on chicken. I’m sure it has veggie uses if you think about it. After all, Tom tied a raft up with VHS magnetic tape, for goodness sakes!
Short and Sweet – these are great products! They all get 4 Fiery Worlds, except for the Pineapple Ghost, which earns itself 4 1\2 Fiery Worlds!!!! After being lost in the back of my frig, my Sweet Heat Gourmet sauces are still very much present and accounted for! So go to their website and order some today! Or catch Sweet Heat March 29 and 30, 2014 at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo! Why, you ask? Because, It’s a Fiery World!
Okay, not really, but they could stop a Vampire invasion! Silverleaf International, the Missouri City, Texas based company owned by Neal and Adriane McWeeney, is home to some of the best gourmet salsas, olive oil, jellies, and marinated garlic on the planet. I’m telling you, folks! This is vampire stopping good garlic! I’m talking garlic so good that even Edward Cullen and Count Dracula couldn’t resist! Plus, when you factor in the whole silver leaf thing, those guys don’t stand a chance (Get it? Vampires…silver…silver can kill a vampire….ok, fine…. I thought it was clever..)!
Silver? leaf? What’s that got to do with anything, you ask? Well, maybe you didn’t ask, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. When I was visiting with Neal and Adriane in New Orleans, I learned a little about the back-story of their company. They had gone to Italy on vacation some years ago, and while walking in a monastery olive orchard one morning (sounds like a cool vampire movie setting, doesn’t it? Just sayin’!), they loved the shimmering silver hue of the olive tree leaves. That’s right, the same olives that you buy at the store, or press for oil have cool silvery, shimmery leaves. When they were ready to start their business, the memory of those shimmering olive leaves reappeared, Silverleaf International was born, and the rest is history!
And that history has been richly rewarded. Their ghost pepper salsa, made with fresh roasted tomatoes and fresh diced garlic cloves, combined with the super hot ghost pepper, is a perennial favorite and winner at the Houston Hot Sauce Festival, and won awards there from 2009-2012. And their Ghost Pepper Salsa Verde, a green sauce made with fresh garlic, tomatillo, and ghost peppers, won a coveted Golden Chile award! Seeing how both those awards come from Texas, where you best be on your game when it comes to salsa, that’s saying something! Just tonight, I had breakfast burritos for dinner, and their Fiery Hot Garlic Salsa was a perfect compliment, with just the right amount of Habanero heat combined with their fresh California grown garlic and spices. I highly recommend their salsa for any occasion, including watching old Bela Lugosi Dracula flicks, or for you trendy, modern types, a Twilight marathon…
So if you’re like me and get a little twitchy watching all those vampire flicks (I’m really not a monster movie kind of guy), and need some protection, Silverleaf’s wide selection of marinated garlic simply blows me away! If you go to their website, you’ll see there’s a flavor profile for everyone, from Mediterranean, to sweet bread and butter, to chipotle, and more. I love the bread and butter garlic and the ghost pepper garlic. If you’re not familiar with a ghost pepper, it reminds me of a bell pepper on steroids, so the sweet pepper flavor combined with its substantial heat marry beautifully with the garlic’s savory notes. Smashed onto a piece of bread, added to any dish, or simply munched as a snack, the ghost pepper garlic will brighten your day, bring a mild (or wild) sweat to your brow, and a big smile on your face. Unless you’re a vampire, in which case you’d pretty much be hosed.
So check out Silverleaf International’s great selection of gourmet quality products. I’ll give everything I’ve tried to date (several types of garlic, all of their salsas, an awesome peach jelly, and their ghost pepper infused olive oil) a minimum of 4 Fiery Worlds! They will be at the New York City Hot Sauce Expo March 29 & 30, 2014, so if headed to the expo, definitely make their booth a must visit! For the rest of the world, check out their website, pick up some garlic for your next vampire slaying expedition, and tell ‘em I sent you! Why? Because, Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s a Fiery World!