Sunday August 29th at Waterloo Park, the Austin Chronicle will host it's 20th annual Hot Sauce Festival!
To quote "If you want to beat the heat, you gotta eat the heat!"
They call it a friendly competition between Austin & San Antonio as folks from both cities come out to peddle their wares and join the contest for supremacy. This is a knock down drag out battle of the salsas with millions of taste bud casualties!
The admission is "free" so that means if you're up to the challenge, you can stroll through the tasting tent and sample hundreds of entries. The quotes around free mean you must make a donation to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, either cash or bring three healthy non-perishables. It's a great cause, they claim to have brought in $14,000 and 29,000 pounds of food last year!
I want to make an entry. I remember making salsa nearly every summer when I was a kid and I have been known to whip up a mean batch of red style salsa! If I make it at home, only the judges (chefs from around the state) will get to taste it. If I want the general public to try it out too, I can borrow a commercial kitchen from a place called Just Add Chef. They'll certify that it's my concoction and it was made in a safe environment.
I'll stay away from the green salsa or the "decimate your taste buds" hot sauce in a jar (think Tabasco for those of you who didn't follow me there).
Here's the link to the event for my fellow Central Texans who are interested in challenging the capsicum gods to a tongue thrashing throw down.
Firehouse Subs has an incredible variety of bottled hot sauces for you to try with your sandwich. There are dozens here alone I've never tried, but enjoy taking new ones for a ride (or vice versa) when I'm noshing a Hook and Ladder. I especially like Tahiti Joe's Polynesian Hot Sauce and Jim Beam's Kentucky Bourbon Hot Sauce with my subs. But I've given some of their hotter varieties a whirl and frankly, WOW oh WOW! I will strongly advise against Key West's Hot Sauce with A-Peel. It is banana flavored hot sauce and I ga-ga-ga-gagged!
Savory Spice Shop has a new hot sauce made with the Bhut Jolokia, AKA the Ghost Pepper with a rating over a million on the Scoville scale for capsaicin, that I'm actually terrified to try. That said, I'm thinking about getting it as a White Elephant Christmas present this year just to have the opportunity to test my fears!
I'm excited! Do you like it hot? If so, what's your favorite pleasure/pain inducer?