The Essential Hot Sauces

“He who controls the spice controls the universe.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune


Oblique Strategy:
Don’t break the silence

I am all about the hot sauce. Food exists largely as a means to shovel hot sauce into my mouth. There is a simple test – if it doesn’t make the top of my head sweat – it isn’t hot enough.

Ok, I’ve been digging around my archive USB hard drive and found a blog entry from 2006, my second version of The Daily Epiphany, called The Essential Hot Sauces.I had a magazine ask for an article version of this – though they settled for a different one.


Right now, I have only three essential hot sauces. There are others that are good, but these are essential.

Cholula

First, is Cholula, the one that I guess would count as my single favorite. It’s the one with the wooden ball for a cap – easy to spot on a shelf. What makes it special is the fact it is made with Chile Pequin (or Piquin, similar, but not quite there, to the cultivated Tepin), a tiny wild chili instead of some cultivated pepper. The sauce costs more because of that but it has a complex flavor unmatched in cheaper sauces.

Bufalo Chipotle

Next, I still have Bufalo Chipotle on my list. None of the other Bufalo brand sauces are very good – but their Chipotle is the best. I’ve enjoyed the various uses of chipotle (smoked jalepeno peppers) for years, long before they were as famous as they are now, and am a little perturbed at something I like so much become chic, Americanized, and homogenized. Still, the old standby, Bufalo Chipotle hasn’t changed a bit. Its flavor, from a smoked pepper, is very different from any other type of sauce, and it great for a change of pace. Also, it’s thick and dark in color (almost a black-purplish-brown) and can be attractive when used with a contrasting sauce such as:

The third sauce is one I learned to like since 1998. It’s Sriracha, and is an Asian sauce – the one in the plastic squeeze bottle with the rooster on the front.

Sriracha

It’s thick too, and a bright orange, and mixes well with other stuff. I think I eat more of this than any other kind.

I think I need to add a couple more – a Louisiana sauce at least (Something other than Tabasco – that old favorite seems to be getting too thin and vinagar-y lately) and maybe a habanera-based sauce (these are so hot… I want to find one with some flavor in it).

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


It’s funny to read this after all these years. It’s odd to thing about a time before Sriracha because it is now such a ubiquitous part of my life. Otherwise, those three are still essential.

At the end, I wondered about Louisiana hot sauce, since then I made up my mind and wrote a blog entry about it:

Tabasco or Crystal

A tough choice.

Crystal it is.

And I wondered about Habanero based sauce. I have a homemade habanero sauce that is great and the link takes you to a blog entry and recipe, but I don’t make it too often – it’s too dangerous (I’m sitting here sweating, just thinking about it). I will buy a Yucateco sauce, green or red, to keep on hand in case of emergencies. Be careful with it, it’s hot.

But what I wanted to write about, is that I am addicted to a new hot sauce. We were at a restaurant (already forgotten what it was) and they had a green Sriracha sauce that was delicious. It wasn’t very hot – but it had a great flavor. They had red and green, but the green was something new.

Green and Red Sriracha

What caught my eye was that the bottles were labeled Distributed by ALDI.

Aldi, if you don’t know, is this cool new model of a grocery store. There is one at the end of our street and over a block. I like it especially because it is uphill from the house. I ride my bike uphill and then buy milk or water or other heavy items and coast downhill back home.

Now every time I go there I buy three bottles of the green Sriracha. I eat a lot of it because it isn’t all that hot – so I put too much on. I put it on everything. And I mean ever-y-thing. It’s too soon to say if I will add it to the essential list – I might tire of it. We’ll see.

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What I learned this week, March 14, 2014

10 underrated novels from great authors

I have always loved “The Crossing” by McCarthy more than some of his more ballyhooed works.

“The second chapter in McCarthy’s Border Trilogy is also, at least in our eyes, the finest. More poetic if less acclaimed than spiritual precursor All The Pretty Horses, The Crossing is bleakly brilliant as McCarthy describes a young cowboy’s savage journey from New Mexico to Mexico during the WW2 period: surviving gun fights, wolf attacks and a cracked, scorching terrain that save for arguably Blood Meridian, has never been as violently and mercilessly described by McCarthy.”


From Deadspin:

Above is a video taken Saturday night at an ECHL Idaho Steelheads game. It shows fans pouring a $7 large beer into a $4 small cup, and discovering that each holds exactly the same amount of liquid. Now the arena is facing a lawsuit, because rule number one in sports is that you don’t shortchange hockey fans on beer.

CenturyLink Arena in Boise, also home to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA’s D-League, is facing a potential class-action lawsuit from four fans, alleging that the arena management company defrauded fans by offering taller-but-thinner large-size cups that hold the same 16 ounces as the shorter, wider small.
….
“It was recently brought to our attention that the amount of beer that fits in our large (20-oz) cups also fits in our regular (16-oz) cups. The differentiation in the size of the two cups is too small. To correct that problem, we’re purchasing new cups for the large beers that will hold 24 ounces, instead of 20, for the remainder of this season to provide better value to our fans.”

That acknowledgement wasn’t enough to head off a lawsuit, and, as noted by the Idaho Statesman, even with 24-ounce cups, it’ll still be cheaper per ounce to buy the small.


He once went on vacation to The Virgin Islands ..Now they are just called The Islands.

He once went on vacation to The Virgin Islands ..Now they are just called The Islands.

7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room


6 Shocking Authors I Seek to Syncretize

I linked to the above article not so much for the exact authors mentioned, but for the general idea/technique of reading a number of wildly variant (though all provocative) books (would this work with fiction also?) while consciously looking for hidden connections. Interesting idea.


10 Inconspicuous Flasks For Covert Operators


I always thought that I had a certain knowledge of geography and history. Until I visited this site, however, I never realized how little I knew of the fascinating country of Zubrowka.

budapest

Academie Zubrowka


I have always been fascinated by Trilobites

Trilobites

Trilobites

When Trilobites Ruled the World


Why don’t I get invited to parties that have a Sriracha Fountain?


These weapons cutaways are so damn cool


Holy Shit! Looking through this list, I really think I have seen all these movies. I pretty much agree with the order of the list (especially concur with which is THE WORST Godzilla movie of all) although I would put Godzilla vs. Destoroyah a bit higher to #2 and maybe slide Destroy all Monsters to the top slot. That film was an eleven-year-old’s dream

Rank All Monsters! Every Godzilla Movie, from Worst to Best


Michael Peticolas on the Building of a “True Craft Beer Movement” and What’s in His Fridge


What I learned this week, March 7, 2014

This is not a frame from a science fiction movie

This is Real

This is not a frame from a science fiction movie

 


5 Ways to Drink in the Great Outdoors


Foldylock


sri

The 17 Greatest Sriracha Hot Sauce Food Recipes


This video explains the current crisis in international relations


How to wake someone up with a laser pointer and a dog.


A New Dallas



Why Everyone Needs to Read Steve Blow’s Pro-Highway Argument


M. Emmet Walsh!


I read in a lot of places – car drivers that are hostile to bicyclists because, “They don’t pay gas taxes, so why should they be allowed on our roads.”

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

from the Oregon Bicycle Transportation Alliance

What I learned this week, March 15, 2013


The Strangest Beers in America


25 Ways to Use Sriracha

25 New Ways to Use Sriracha


train_animate

Brookville Awarded Contract to Manufacture First American Designed and Produced Off-Wire Capable Modern Streetcars for City of Dallas

petunia3


A List of Dreadful Phrases


What Are Some Strategies for Winning “Rock Paper Scissors”?


Bogus Grammar Errors You Don’t Have To Worry About


belmont9

The 24 Best David Bowie Songs


Perhaps security at DFW airport gets a little lax in the the middle of the night.


9 Ways to Upgrade Your Instant Ramen


12 Great Performances by Non-Professional Actors


From Esquire – a beautiful woman has a funny joke for you.


The Fifteen Worst Make Out Records Ever


Artist Re-Imagines Great Albums as Book Covers


Sushi from a Truck!

The food truck extravaganza was packed. I knew from experience that the trucks would be running out of food soon. Desperate for something new, I scanned for the closest truck that I had never tried before and spotted one called Crazy Fish – sushi, baby. That’s the ticket.

I scurried to the back of the long line and found it moving quicker than it looked. While I was waiting I scanned the board. Most trucks, when faced with giant crowds like this, simplify their menu in order to get the food out quicker. They had four rolls advertised – Sweet n Spicy, Crunchy Philli, Eye of the Tiger, and TNT. I settled on the last two.

As I crept closer to the front of the line the woman kept yelling out at the crowd, apologizing. “We’re making these rolls fresh, by hand, on order, so it takes a while,” she said. She looked harried and exhausted.

Finally I placed my order. While I was chatting with the woman making my rolls the next guy stood up to order. “I’m sorry,” the woman said, “We have to close for a few hours, we just ran out of rice.”

I was lucky enough to get the last two rolls. I guess I should have shared them with the folks in line behind me.

But they were too good to share.

The Crazy Fish food truck.

The menu, four different rolls.

It really is all about the sauce. How can you not love anything that has both Sriracha and Wasabi in squirt bottles? In my opinion, food is best when used as a method of transporting spicy sauces to the taste buds.

The line, waiting for Sushi.

My two rolls. The Crazy Fish truck makes it clear that they are not about tradition – they are about deliciousness. I find that philosophy hard to argue with. And yes, I put a lot of Wasabi and Sriracha on my food. So sue me.

Meat Pie!

As I was puttering around the house Saturday, trying to shake off the ache of a sleepless night, I thought about getting some cereal or something in my gullet – but I realized there would be food trucks at the Ciclovia de Dallas and that I would want to eat there. That made for some hungry driving around, but I was rewarded as I cycled across the closed-off Houston Street Viaduct by the appearance of a gourmet food truck that I had never tried before.

It was the Three Lions truck and this one boasted English Food. A while back I tried the excellent Three Men and a Taco truck and it was good. The problem is that the folks behind this truck were British ex-pats and driving another Taco truck around North Texas didn’t fit in with their souls. So the gaudy Taco wrap came off and the truck became Three Lions.

Most of the Ciclovia festivities were over before I arrived. When I rode my bike up to the truck they were working on the menu sign, crossing off the Sausage Roll. Looking at what was left, I decided on the Meat Pie (The Carolina BBQ Pork Mini Burger looked good, but didn’t sound very English to me). While I was waiting for my food a guy came up to grab a napkin and told me, “Oh man, those sausage rolls are great… Oh crap! They are out of them!” He looked at me like a poor relative as they handed me my meat pie.

I moved to the condiment section and chose the bottle of Sriracha (anything good is better with Sriracha on it). A Hispanic family was standing there eating the last of the sausage rolls and the man pointed to the Sriracha and in broken English said, “That stuff is good… spicy!” I agreed and gave it another squirt.

I carried my pie back to where my bike leaned up against the concrete bridge rail. I sat there eating, listening to the live music, and watching the bikes of the Ciclovia de Dallas roll by. It was good, though I was so hungry I can’t really give a fair review.

Some day, though, I’m going to try that sausage roll.

Three Lions Food Truck Home Page

Three Lions Facebook

Three Lions Twitter

Three Lions food truck at the Ciclovia de Dallas

Texas in our hearts, England in our blood.

A meat pie, Sriracha sauce, a diet Coke, a bike, and a concrete bridge

What I learned this week, February 17, 2012

Mastering Words: Transform Your Writing Weakness into Strength

  • Attitude
  • Asking for help
  • Read
  • Resources, resources, resources
  • Think outside the monitor
  • Write and rewrite

All writers shares a common epiphany on the writing path. I call it Staring Into The Abyss. This experience happens when our writing has strengthened to the point where blissful ignorance rubs away and we begin to realize just how much we don’t know.

It’s a dark moment, a bleak moment. We feel shock. Frustration. Despair. Some stop right there on the path, their writing spirits broken. Others take a micro-step forward, progressing toward the most important stages leading to growth: acceptance and determination.

Once we come to terms with what we don’t know, we can set out to learn. Taking on the attitude of a Learner is what separates an amateur from a PRO.



How to Make Sriracha Powder


20 Great Songs Under Two Minutes

  • 20. St. Vincent – “The Sequel”
  • 19. Guided By Voices – “A Salty Salute”
  • 18. Tom Waits – “Bend Down the Branches”
  • 17. Outkast – “?”
  • 16. Queen – “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon”
  • 15. Radiohead – “I Will”
  • 14. Violent Femmes – “Fat”
  • 13. The Shins – “The Celibate Life”
  • 12. Titus Andronicus – “Titus Andronicus Forever”
  • 11. Neutral Milk Hotel – “Communist Daughter”
  • 10. The Beatles – “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road
  • 9. Elvis Costello – “Welcome to the Working Week”
  • 8. The Clash – “Career Opportunities”
  • 7. Nirvana – “Tourette’s”
  • 6. Minor Threat – “Straight Edge”
  • 5. The Smiths – “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”
  • 4. Pixies – “There Goes My Gun”
  • 3. Weezer – “You Gave Your Love to Me Softly”
  • 2. Ramones – “Judy is a Punk”
  • 1. White Stripes – “Fell in Love With a Girl”

Bookshelf Porn



The Best Taquerias in Dallas

  • Boy’s Taquería
  • Tacos El Guero
  • Taco Heads
  • El Tizoncito
  • Torchy’s Tacos
  • Hermanos Cruz Restaurant

http://vimeo.com/33638252