Around a year ago I had the opportunity of eating a fresh Carolina reaper pepper. I have been a hot sauce fanatic ever since I was a kid, and Javier had been eating them for a while now.
My Oldest friend and business partner Javier Duran turned me on to a local grower so we visited his house where he had a whole Carolina reaper plant growing in his front yard.
After 20 minutes of pain from sampling a pepper; I had asked the owner if I could purchase some, then he gave me about 10 Carolina reapers free of charge. Later on that day I began experimenting with the peppers and mangos I picked from Javi’s backyard.
We begin with first de-seeding the peppers, and I’ve got to say the most necessary tool here is gloves. The second time this recipe was attempted we didn't even wear any gloves, and we didn't realize how bad of an idea that was until afterward.
The process includes making mango puree, behind-the-bar style; afterward, I make a salsa consisting of shallots, garlic, cilantro, half about 1/4 an orange pepper and Carolina Reapers. Spiced with Salt & cumin. The whole mix is boiled underwater for about ten minutes. In an attempt to bring out the taste of the reapers the peppers are shocked under ice water first and then cut down with half an orange bell pepper.
The result is a bright orange sauce, not too thick and with a sweet citrus aftertaste to cover a high amount of heat.
Small batch production is annual, during Miami’s mango season. In the last year, there have been a few (less than 5) small batches that have gone out to friends and family, due to the slight pull this recipe has evolved.
Unfortunately, the local supply of Carolina reapers in Miami has disappeared (to our knowledge), we have been using dried Carolina reapers delivered to us via. mail. Although I would rather use & grow my own peppers. There is a process of re-hydrating the peppers. We also always shock the peppers under ice water for about an hour; this helps balance the flavor and reduce some heat.
I believe we have found a unique flavor because of our choice in ingredients. We use shallots instead of onions, and the apple cider vinegar compliments the mango. There is a little bit of cumin and salt to bring out the citrus and there, that's our take on mango Carolina reaper sauce.
The idea of creating a Co. is based on a love for spicy things, and then to fund both our respective music projects. And the name Palate crashers is Synonymous with The Palace crashers(band). All the design and artwork is done by Javier Duran (Lil Baphomet).
A couple resources that might be helpful and of interest is the latest Smokin Ed Craft Hot Sauce podcast ep, where we talk about what makes a good reaper mash. There are also a number of Florida craft hot sauce profiles that are always opens for giving advice on finding local ingredients.
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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.