Monday, February 18, 2008

Hot Sauce War Heats Up...

Things are getting ugly. First Chef Dewey LoSasso, of North One10, creates a hot sauce (above), made from habanero peppers, that belongs next to a bottle of mescal and a warm young heartbreaker, tempting you to go a little further, get good and hot, I like it like that, now kiss me till it burns. The plain white label warns that this is not a bottle to be taken lightly, no abuelitas or guys in sombreros to make you titter, this is pure heat.

Then, apparently inspired by D-Lo's courage, Chef Michael Schwartz, of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, takes to the hot sauce-making like a bull mastif to a French poodle. Hard. He not only one-ups the Scovilles (scientific hotness measurement), he adds a mysterious orange-colored substance (okay, carrots), which gives the sauce a sweet jailbait essence that is illegal in 22 states (apparently including Florida), and so he packages the thing in a tall test tube-like bottle, with a plain cork stopper. No label. NO LABEL.

You know a great man once said that the best government is one that governs the least. And another great man rejoindered that, in that case, the best government was the one that governed not at all.

The same applies to hot sauce labels. These are both just shy of US Grade Pepper Spray. But I can't put pepper spray in a bloody mary or on top of penne with fresh mozzarella. Or can I.....?

This was the result of me running to the sink like a schoolgirl and knocking the jar over after I seared my freakin tongue. I actually let it sit there for awhile, I thought it might attack me (that was just a hallucination from a mild capsaicin OD. I'm okay now).
Muchas Gracias to the Thomas Paine and Henry David Thoreau of Miami chefs....