When a hot sauce cook doesn't go right - February 2020

February 01, 2020

Hi there,

Have you ever felt like your head is about to explode from the number of thoughts processing and amount of stuff going on? 

Yeah? It was one of those months for me. 

Not in a bad way! From the first day of 2020 to the end of the month, there’s been a lot going on, from closing on a house to getting engaged! But I encountered a tricky little situation during a hot sauce cook one January Sunday morning in our commercial kitchen in Lowell, which gave me some perspective on failure and growth.

My co-cook Ben and I were making a 5 gallon batch of 40 Shades of Green Chilli, a sauce I’ve made 20 times before. This batch had come out significantly less spicy than normal, and the flavor had shifted to such a more fruity sauce that I had to consider calling it flavor sauce instead of hot sauce! At the end of this cook, I was left frustrated with the change of flavor and was unsure how to adjust. 

A lot of us have set high standards and goals for ourselves, whether those be personal or professional, hot sauce related or not. It got me thinking of the late great Kobe Bryant who held himself to the highest standard of perfection, knowing well that perfection is impossible. We know we’re going to encounter failure, so how do we face it or even embrace it? 

To recover and adjust our hot sauce batch, we started talking about what we were tasting, describing what the heat was like and the evolution of flavors we tasted. Food can be so challenging to achieve consistency since the ingredients will always taste a little different. 

At the end of the cook we strategized and made our hypothesis on how to adjust it back to the flavor we love. We wrote down the plan, made some tweaks with a smaller batch the next week, and nailed it!

The inevitable failure, followed by overcoming it and growing, is what invigorates me. Behind every success, there’s problem solving that moves the story forward.

Today, two hot sauce entrepreneurs share their journey, influences and lessons learned with you in their own craft hot sauce profiles. 

First off is Haico’s Hot Sauce from Ottawa, Canada. I can tell Haico is a fun and welcoming person from the vibes and energy I picked up from his story. I can’t wait to meet him at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.

And then there’s Connie from Caulfield Provision Company who shares more about her family hot sauce business. I could sense her passion throughout the whole craft hot sauce profile. 

I’ve been using their #56 Smokey Red Pepper Chipotle Sauce and #67 Minty Jalapeno Tomatillo Sauce on my eggs and will be using it tonight on my Super Bowl carnitas tacos.

Both those sauces will be available on our Craft Hot Sauce Club, a $28 membership that includes three craft hot sauces shipped directly to you. I search for some of the most flavorful sauces and put together their stories for you to enjoy with the sauces. Sign up below, and I hope you have a great month!




Caulfield Provisions Company, Group of Hot Sauces on Picnic Table

Potomac, Maryland


Line of Haico's Hot Sauce Products

Ottawa, Canada



Try the Craft Hot Sauce Box 

A hot sauce box with the most flavorful small-batch hot sauces that have also contributed to Craft Hot Sauce so that they can share their story with you. Sign up today to try Caulfield Provision Co and other craft hot sauces.

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