It feels good to be writing this newsletter from a coffee shop with the spring rain coming down. In the last couple weeks, I’ve noticed that my curated online feed has been filled with spring foraging.
In 2016, I interviewed Tim Paulman of Paulman Acre on our podcast who talked about foraging morel mushrooms that he used in a special limited edition hot sauce. So naturally whenever I learn about new foods I think: how would this ingredient work in a hot sauce?
In April of 2020, I bought fiddleheads from a local farmer, cooked them up, and the flavor bursting out of these furled fronds of young ferns was incredible! When I asked the farmer when the fiddleheads would be coming in this year, he said it’s really hard to tell when they’ll be ready, and sometimes they can only be harvested for a few days per year.
With a food this elusive, I thought making a fiddlehead hot sauce would be a creative culinary challenge and a good way to preserve the seasonal flavor of fiddleheads. Then last week I learned about another spring herb with a short harvesting season: ramp. Yup, ramp.
Ramp is a type of wild leek that exudes a garlic smell and can take 7 years to mature. The ramp hype is real, and I bet there's a whole community like this one dedicated to ramp and responsible harvesting.
Now that I was foraging ramp, I went all into foraging mode! I harvested stinging nettle, daylilies, and sought out the most local quality honey and mint I could find. I just finalized the recipe for this local foraged hot sauce which consists of 15 ingredients, 11 of which I have never cooked with before.
Once I finish the sauce, I'll post the recipe on our website. I'm hoping for a unique, earthy, fresh flavor that will be loaded with natural antioxidants. Stay tuned!
With days getting warmer, salads coming into season, and people getting their grills out, I foraged some hot sauces and stories for you too!
We love helping people find their flavor. We'll start you off with a box of mild to medium heat sauces, get your feedback and then customize your next hot sauces.
I've tasted all these hot sauces and can attest to the quality, but cool labels are the cherry on top! Check out these hot sauces with cool labels.
It may not be Gene's Picks (Seinfeld reference anyone?), but these are hot sauces that are in my rotation and fridge as we speak. Try some of these out for yourself!
Thanks for tuning in this month! Have a great weekend!
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I wanted your first note of the year to come from the hot sauce part of your life. Happy New Year! I hope you’re in good health and I’m counting on 2022 being a great year ahead.
I’m here to share a recent conversation I had, which is now on the Craft Hot Sauce Podcast. Sometimes when I write this newsletter or market a hot sauce, it’s not my most natural channel of communication. The podcast has grown to be my favorite way of connecting with the wider craft hot sauce community and sharing those experiences with you.
Hope you’re enjoying your week as we ease into the winter months. In the past couple of newsletters I’ve described the hustle and bustle of the chili pepper harvest season. I feel like the mania that built up during summer peaked a couple weeks ago at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.
The event was everything we hoped for with lots of engagement with hot sauce enthusiasts and makers. We gave out more samples of Craic Sauce over a two day period than ever before, receiving lots of positive feedback, especially with our Brian Boru’s Curry sauce.