Monday, March 2, 2009

Condiment of the Week: Jamaican Hell Hot

I was just about to start writing about this condiment saying yes, yet another hot sauce, but then I read the full name on the label and it is actually "Baron Hall Farms Jamaican Hell Hot Pepper Concentrate". So there, I don't just write about hot sauces, I write about pepper concentrates too! To the average person, however, this is a hot sauce through and through. The big trend in hot sauces is to make it as hot and unbearable as possible, then come up with a creative way of marketing it (think insane double death hell sauce). A cool label, a crazy promotion, and a fun name later, maybe you've made it on the public radar. If you are like me, however, you like hot sauce for the flavors and spice that it adds dishes. Jamaican Hell Hot is exactly what it sounds like, a hot sauce bottled and made in Jamaica with extreme, long burning heat that sticks in the back of your throat to remind you that you put one drop too much on that piece of chicken. It warns you on the bottle that the hot sauce is "not radioactive although it could be". It even tell you to use it in moderation until you acclimate, as if natural selection must take place first. The difference between this sauce and others of its ilk is that it actually has a distinct flavor to go along with its heat. The sweetness of the peppers, along with a little bit of sugar give it a subtle fruity taste. Throw in a few unusual ingredients like ginger, pimento and cinnamon, and it suddenly becomes a great add to sauces and Spanish food. The overall combination is a disturbingly strong heat that packs a robust Caribbean flavor.

Favorite Use: Splashed sparingly over rice and beans
Strangest Use: Tuna Fish salad with apples - the heat pairs nicely with the sweetness of the apple.

Pepper Concentrate - Not Hot Sauce

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