Some Like it Hot

How spicy do you like your food? 

Chili peppers – spicy and burning hot — Vector by toranoko

I was cleaning out my hot sauce collection to get more packed for moving. Now I have hot sauce that when the factory makes them they need safety gear. 

Some of the hot stuff at my home.

I make very spicy salsa. When I make a batch at home I wear gloves, a bandana over my mouth and sometimes eye protection. It is not fun breathing in the fumes when you have a hot pot of chillies cooking. You don’t want any on your skin or under your nails. I tell my family if you are cutting peppers don’t touch any mucus membranes so not your nose, mouth or eyes. And whatever you do, wash 3 times in cold water before going to the bathroom.

I can’t handle it as spicy as I used to. Got me thinking, what if I make my own hot sauce? 

Pepper’s spicyness go on a scale range called the Scoville scale, named after an American pharmacist in 1912. This goes from the more human tolerable range of things like paprika and banana pepper up to the “you might be better to set yourself on fire than try to digest them” level. Dragon breath, ghost pepper, scorpion peppers.  The hottest 

I have tried things that had ghost pepper in it. The jelly from Seattle Washington was the only one that had good flavors, everything else was hot but bland. Heat without flavor is just burn your face off with no enjoyment.

My range of enjoyment is the middle of the road with habaneros or Thai Chillies. They are still more than many people I know can handle. 

My homemade salsa has 6 cups of banana peppers and 6 to 8 habaneros. 6 cups of tomatoes, 1 cup of onions, fresh oregano, fresh ground cumin, fresh lime juice and apple cider vinegar. It is so tasty. I make about 24 jars, 2 a month for a year. I used to use 6 cups of jalapenos in place of the bananas. I switched it out because myself and another family member have problems with jalapenos.

2 years ago we started doing spicy pickles too. Adding a full hot pepper to a Litre (quart) jar of pickles.

One of the places I buy hot sauces from is Pepper Palace, the staff there is so awesome at helping you select the right products for you and others. Before the pandemic they gave you the ability to sample many of their products. I like that. Before being able to do that I have dumped out many sauces that were not enjoyed. If you want to see how hot sauce is made this by Brian Ambs.

In hotter parts of the world like Trinidad or Northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, they grow peppers year round (where some of the worlds spicyest peppers come from), in Canada we have to grow in our home with heat and grow lights or heated greenhouse from early summer to later in the year like June or July. The advantages of growing any pepper, spicy or not, in the home is they have a head start for the year and I have had pepper going all winter in the house. The disadvantages are sometimes your plants get sick, Sadly that is what happened this year as I had to take my lights down to pack up for moving. So I’m down 4 plants. Next Year once I move I will grow more hot peppers from seeds.

When you plant any pepper, put some sulfur near the roots, peppers love sulfur. I use 3 to 6 paper matches. It makes a huge difference in helping them grow and bud.

Hope you stay warm as we are nearing winter in the northern climates. If not you could try some new hot sauces they might warm you to the bone! Hope to read about the spicy things you have enjoyed or tried and then burst into flames. I have tried sharing hot stuff with willing friends that don’t handle quite the same heat scale as me, I’m lucky they still talk to me. 

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