I got an email a while back from the fine folks at Ricky’s Lucky Nuts in Durango, Colorado, telling me how great their new line of snack nuts were and would I try them and give some feedback. Well, I’ve been accused before of being just a little nuts, so of course I said yes! After all, when you offer a Chilehead snacks with cool names like Thai Red Curry and Spicy Chile Chipotle (they even spelled Chile right!!!), there’s no way you can refuse! Right?! Right! I can tell you right here and now, folks – Ricky ain’t nuts and he ain’t plain, neither!!
I received 5 individual serving bags, and not your run of the mill honey roasted, jalapeno, plain roasted, etc etc etc! I got cool flavors! Hip flavors! Flavors that would make the “new” Colorado snack world proud (I’m guessing their snack food industry is working overtime these days!) I’m talkin’ munchie worthy!! In addition to the Spicy Chile Chipotle and the Thai Red Curry, I also got Black Pepper and Sea Salt, Sweet Chai, and Real Coffee. Real Coffee?! Really?! Who does a coffee peanut?! Well, evidently, Ricky does, and he does ‘em up proud, too!!
The Real Coffee were my favorites, as they had an espresso type earthiness to them, and just enough sweet to take the bitter edge off and merge the coffee with the nut in beautiful fashion. The bag smelled good, and I didn’t get a dusty coating all over my fingers! Is there a cutesy slogan for flavor that stays where it plays – oh wait – that’s kinda catchy! Hmmmm…….. Back to the nuts – the coating seems like it’s baked on so it doesn’t come off, and that was true with all the flavors. Score one for Ricky, unless you’re the kind of person who likes that whole “let me lick my orange cheese curl stained fingers” vibe!!! And I’m sure there are several in Colorado- especially these days!!!! So how about the other flavors?
Well, the Thai Red Curry I ate by itself and put in a stir fry along with my fav asian style hot sauce, and it was just rich enough in flavor to highlight the dish, accent the other flavors, and make me feel like I was hanging out in Bangkok! I also did the same with the Sweet Chai ! As you can see in the pic, my shrimp stir fry was awesome with that smooth but slightly off Chai note. It made an interesting flavor addition to my standard asian influences. Unlike the Red Curry used in another stir fry, where I kept my flavor additions to a minimum, I didn’t hold back while using the Chai, and it really stepped up and balanced the dish exquisitely! And it made for a tasty stand alone snack- subtle Chai tones surrounded by the nuttiness of an obviously high quality, lovingly roasted peanut. Well played, Ricky!
The Spicy Chile Chipotle was only slightly spicy, but then again, I have a pretty big tolerance. But I liked the subtleness as I woofed down the whole bag! And the whole bag did leave a nice spicy zing in the back of my throat! The Black Pepper and Sea Salt were a good snack, and also mixed in a fresh spinach, tomato, olive, and mozzarella salad. Gave a nice texture, complimented the flavors without interrupting my love affair with balsamic vinegar and EVOO, and made the salad more fun! Cause I’m sorry, but salads are booooring!!! I’ve never had black pepper in a snack nut before, and it is such a natural fit! And the sea salt was very very smooth.
All in all, I give Ricky’s Lucky Nuts 4 Fiery Worlds! Their label is fun and has good “viewability” in a store shelf or on an end cap rack by the register! Go to their website, order you some, sit back and enjoy!!! Whether used to highlight a dish, or to snarf for a snack during those munchie attacks, you won’t be sorry! And that’s because, Ladies and Gentlemen, 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!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28th, 2014
Guinness Book of Records – Smokin Ed’s Carolina Reaper Challenge
New York’s own High River Sauces proudly presents the 2nd Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo on March 29th and 30th . This year’s Expo will host only the best artisanal sauce companies in the United States. Last year’s Expo proved to be a capsaicin rush for all who attended including ticket holders and vendors a like. This year organizers are turning up the heat with spicy drinks, craft beers from Laginitas Brewery, insane eating challenges, hot sauce tastings and the prestigious Screaming Mi Mi Award Show.
One of the highlights of the Expo is on Sunday, March 30th at 4 PM EST. The Puckerbutt Pepper Company “Presents the Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper Eating Challenge” which the Guinness Book of Records will be on hand to judge and declare the winner with the World Record for eating the most Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper Peppers in 60 seconds. This eating challenge will be one of the most anticipated events in fiery foods and professional eating industries combined. Many will enter but only one will survive the wrath.
“Of all the shows we have scheduled for the year, the NYC Hot Sauce Expo is the one we are most excited about,” said Currie. “Not only do I get to bring the HEAT to my hometown, but we are going to roll out the first EVER Guinness World Record-Winning Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper Eating Contest. We are expecting giants from all over the globe to try to win this title.”
Guinness World Records announced its recognition of PuckerButt Pepper Company as the winner and title of the World’s Hottest Pepper. Smokin Ed’s Carolina Reaper beat out former record-holder Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”. The Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper delivers an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). In comparison, Jalapeno peppers only have a rating of 2,500 to 8,000 SHU.
For more eating challenges and a full schedule of events at the Expo please check out this link for more information: http://www.nychotsauceexpo.com/schedule.php
The 2nd Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo
March 29th & 30th 2014
401 7th Ave
New York, NY 10001
This year’s Expo will feature 45 different award winning hot sauce companies with tastings, eating challenges, spicy food vendors, cooking demos, and plenty of odd ball entertainment fun for the whole family. Come to the heartbeat of Manhattan to celebrate the pepper.
For more information about the 2nd Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo please contact Steve Seabury: firstname.lastname@example.org
After you finish your spicy revelry in Houston this weekend, folks, get yourself down to New Orleans for the Chile Pepper Extravaganza! I just got the schedule from the festival organizers and it’s going to be a great show! Click the link directly below to hear the radio spot playing all over New Orleans! And click the second link further down for the complete show schedule!
Click the link below to see show times, schedule, cooking demos, and more!!! Lots of great fun and demos along with some of your favorite spicy vendors! Come see Tracy Carter from Jacs Tailgaters, Johnny McLaughlin of Heartbreaking Dawns, Steve Seabury of High River Sauces and the New York City Hot Sauce Festival, “Cin” Cindy of Cin Cindy Chili fame, CaJohn Hard from CaJohn’s, Michelle Northrup of the Intensity Academy, blogger and renowned Hot Sauce Collector Vic Clinco, just to name a few, along with lots of other local chefs and celebrities sharing their knowledge and passion for food, flavor, heat, and spice! I hope to see you at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA September 27-29! Laizzes Les Bon Temp Roulet!