DISH: Heat aficionado says the top hot sauce is… | Dish | Indy Week
Pin It

DISH: Heat aficionado says the top hot sauce is… 

My friends don't bring me records anymore. I think they worry I have too many.

Instead, every several weeks, another text message or email appears: "Do you have this one?" each reads, the text accompanied by some ridiculous name—Satan's Ghost, Hellfire's First Blood, Insanity—and an absurd image of a hot pepper crying or smiling in the sun or perhaps Beelzebub wielding a pitchfork built from fiery red fruit. I invariably reply with multiple exclamation marks. Understanding my addiction, my pals find a little extra room in their checked bags for yet another hot sauce, helping stock the ranks of my obsessive collection.

Two years ago, I did much the same. Not long after arriving in Montego Bay, Jamaica for my honeymoon, I asked a bartender for a bit of hot sauce to enliven my dish. He handed me a life changer: the semi-sweet Scotch bonnet sauce, where one of the hotter peppers in the world comes suspended in a viscous mix of corn starch and vinegar, onions and acid. Its sweetness dances on the front of the tongue, just before the heat races along it and radiates to the throat. The pleasure and the pain! I was smitten.

After my first taste, I kept pouring and asking for more and pouring ... During the next week, I emptied several bottles on breadfruit, sandwiches and, yes, sometimes even mango. When I left, I wrapped a legion of bottles in tissue paper and socks, toting concoctions made from the Caribbean's primary pepper the way most tourists leave with bottles of rum and satchels of Blue Mountain coffee. It has since become my favorite hot sauce variety, so much so that I buy new brands taste untested.

Neither the Scotch bonnet pepper nor sauces made from it are particularly rare. You can grow the former in your Tar Heel garden, or find the latter in the aisles of most area grocery stores. But I'd generally foregone the Scotch bonnet, distracted by my own region's propensity for the cayenne-based sauce or even the ultra-hot, ultra-vogue ghost or Carolina Reaper varieties. But when a waiter in Jamaica hands you a bottle of Scotch bonnet, you try it, no mater how silly the beach-chair scene or the fire-breathing Rastafarian on the front label may look. And then, if you're like me, you buy a ridiculous amount, offer your new wife a preemptive apology and get on the plane.

  • ...a viscous mix of corn starch and vinegar, onions and acid

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Dish



Twitter Activity

Comments

The Refectory is no longer on the Duke Campus. Their new, permanent location is on Chapel Hill Blvd, and yes …

by Beth Owl's Daughter on The Refectory Cafe (Durham County)

Food was good. Service was extremely poor last night. Server had to be reminded too many times to bring a …

by robbo on Blu Seafood & Bar (Durham County)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

I love this piece! Just came back to revisit it Sayaka did such a good job with it. …

by Eric Ginsburg on The couple that keeps the Triangle's kaitensushi—or sushi conveyor belt—spinning at Kurama (Dish)

But was it vegan ice cream, Tina? Shame on you for promoting places that use products stolen from animals!

by cjwatson on Puppy Bowl: One Dog's Search for the Triangle's Best Dog Ice Cream (Dish)

Fine, but everyone knows that egg is not vegetarian.

by Vitamin B on Trawling the Triangle for the best vegetarian sushi (Dish)

Great place!

by Arthur B Raleigh on Trawling the Triangle for the best vegetarian sushi (Dish)

Yummy!

by Arthur B Raleigh on Five Triangle chefs share their secrets for sushi at home (Dish)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation