My family and I live in St. Augustine, FL, the "Nation's Oldest City," and for years we had been buying a particular Datil Pepper hot sauce called Snake Bite. It was our absolute favorite hot sauce. We were saddened one day to hear that the couple who made the sauce was about to retire. We couldn't just let our favorite spicy condiment disappear from the Earth like that! So, we contacted the previous owners and made them an offer they couldn't refuse. They taught us everything about making the sauce to make sure the quality was always top-notch.
Our Snake Bite Datil Pepper Hot Sauce is our #1 selling product to this date. We sell all over St. Augustine and also all over the country through our website. We have had customers from just about every single state order from us. We also make a Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce, Fountain of Youth Datil Marinade, and Datil Zest spice blend, all of which have the distinctive taste of the rare Datil Peppers from St. Augustine.
The most interesting thing about the Datil Pepper in particular is how rare and mysterious it is. I have done quite the research on this particular pepper, and there is no conclusive evidence as to where it actually originated. It thrives in St. Augustine, but it doesn't grow anywhere else. It is a very finicky plant, but the when grown in the right environment, the taste profile is the most unique of all the pepper varieties. It has a slightly fruity onset with a latent heat that pairs so well with a multitude of dishes (including chocolate!).
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Cottage Lane Kitchen was founded by me in 2010, and it isn't only my business name, but also refers to a secret lane in Chapel Hill, NC where our family homestead was built in the 1950s. Four generations of my family have cooked and preserved spicy peppers out of love and tradition in that kitchen.
The last homemade batch of my family's spicy pepper relish was made by my Grandfather in the early 1990s. He grew chilies around the outside of the house and harvested and pickled them during my summer visits. I remember him watering the empty tin cans he buried beside each pepper plant.
Normally the Craft Hot Sauce Podcast interviews hot sauce makers all over the world. This episode is more of a riff from Brian the host about some of the things his hot sauce company Craic Sauce got up this summer.