Vote For the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Inaugural Class!

Hot Sauce Hall of Fame at the NYC Hot Sauce ExpoYou can now vote for who is going to enter the very first year of the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame!

The upcoming 3rd Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo is hosting and presenting the official Hot Sauce Hall of Fame. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 5 people that all have been instrumental in the fiery foods industry through the years. The induction ceremony will be presented live on the main stage at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.

To be eligible for the nominating or voting process…

Review – Paulman Acre Pinalava Sunshine Smoked Pepper Sauce

Paulman-Acre-Pinalava-Sunshine-Smoked-Pepper-Sauce-3Rudy Reviews is back with another sauce to report on. Today I will be reviewing a sauce that came to me from the kind folks at Paulman Acre Smoked Pepper Sauces. Paulman Acre is located in Oceanside, California and is the creation of a gentleman by the name of Tim Paulman. The company started a Kickstarter campaign, and with much success they went into full operation in November of 2014.

Tim informed me that before starting his company, he made his living as a computer scientist for 20 years. He wasn’t content on spending the rest of his life in front of a computer screen; and after spending six years worth of whet, Tim is now confident in his products enough to offer them to the masses. Growing up in Appalachia, Tim told me that farming and food processing is a part of everyday life for most people to a certain degree so it only made sense to him to shy away from his computer career and step into the sauce industry. So today I will be giving my take on a sauce he named “Pinalava Sunshine.”

I received an informational packet with the package and something I found interesting was that they included a “Small Batch Facts” section. In it, it states that for every 60 pounds of peppers the Paulman Acre company uses, 10 pounds of sweet peppers and 5 pounds of habanero peppers are added and in time they achieve 25 gallons of product.

Tim also told me that he doesn’t like to refer to his offerings as “hot sauce” but rather “smoked pepper sauce.” Let’s see what’s in this rather attractive looking bottle, yeah?

Fiery Food Challenge Winners List from ZestFest 2015

zest-fest-2015-fiery-food-challenge-winners-golden-chilesBelow are the winners of the Fiery Food Challenge straight from ZestFest 2015 in Irving, Texas. A massive thanks to CaJohn Hard of CaJohn’s Fiery Foods for sending these!

I will be working on reformatting &cleaning these up and adding links to these as the night transpires. Congratulations to all of the winners!


Barbecue Sauce: Mild – Consumer Ready 1. High River Sauces – Rattler BBQ Sauce 2. Woody’s Bar-B-Q Sauce – Woody’s Hickory Mild B-B-Q Sauce 3. Southern Belles BBQ – Original Belle

Barbecue Sauce: Medium – Consumer Ready 1. AmberFyre Foods – Manhattan Black Cherry Bourbon BBQ 2. CRC BBQ Enterprises LLC – Riley’s Triple R Sauce 3. Full Boar BBQ – Full Boar BBQ Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Barbecue Sauce: Hot – Consumer Ready 1. Pepper Smack LLC – Pepper Smack Pepper Q 2. Full Boar BBQ – Full Boar BBQ Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce 3. Southern Belles BBQ – Southern Heat…

Video Restorations and Outtakes – CaJohn’s Reviews and Peppers at the Beach

uncovered hot sauce video reviews

Although the personal friendship between Al “Buddah” Goldenberg (of I Love It Spicy) and I hit a huge snag in 2013 (for personal reasons which I won’t get into here), he will always be a brother to me and I look forward to the day that we can be close again.

Also around that time frame, Al’s YouTube channel for I Love It Spicy unfortunately had gotten hacked, and three years of videos were deleted, which numbered in the hundreds. I know the loss of those were absolutely devastating to him, and I felt his frustration, anger and sadness.

Many of those videos that were wiped out had been recorded and uploaded by me for the ILIS website, as I was one of the many reviewers and contributors. I have a boatload of these video files scattered across untold DVD-R and hard drive backups from the past 5+ years. One day I may take a weekend to go through and collect all of them together for future uploading, just for old time’s sake.

But a trio of these older review videos had gotten unearthed when I recently searched a 1TB external drive for a logo file for an unrelated project. Of course, in traditional “stop what I’m working on to instead do something counter-productive” style, I had to pause to watch all of them. After doing so, it became a no-brainer to upload them to my channel for your pleasure…

Firecast Podcast Episode #72 – Chile Pepper Myths and Science, Featuring Dr. Gillian Dagan of ABC Research Laboratories

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Episode #72 – Chile Pepper Myths and Science, Featuring Dr. Gillian Dagan of ABC Research Laboratories

In this special extra spicy hot, capsaicin-injected episode, Scott chats with Dr. Gillian Dagan of ABC Research Laboratories, and discusses topics such as what a food lab does and the rundown on HPLC testing to determine where things fall on the Scoville Heat Scale.

Scott also dispels several chile pepper and hot sauce-related myths, and reviews both Chili Hellion Smoked Habanero Powder and the NatureBox snack service.

Links mentioned in the episode:

The Firecast is Sponsored in Part By:

Other Links mentioned in the episode:

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Firetalkers: Interview with David Tran of Huy Fong Foods, Inc., Makers of Sriracha “Rooster” Sauce

david-tran-huy-fong-foods-sriracha-sauceThere’s no doubt that Sriracha is the hottest trend in hot sauce nowadays. There is simply something incendiary about this style of spicy condiment that has garnered a ravenous following among foodies, chileheads and hipsters alike.

Sriracha, as a general type of sauce, is named after where is is believed to have originated in the coastal city of Si Racha, in the Chonburi Province of eastern Thailand. It is a thick, sweet, garlicky-pungent chile sauce that typically has a base of fermented red chile peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. Although sales-wise it’s still not as popular as the more traditional, runny, Louisiana-style pepper sauces (typified by heavyweights McIlhenny Co.’s TABASCO Pepper Sauce, Frank’s RedHot Sauce, Texas Pete, Bruce Foods Corporation’s Louisiana Brand Sauce, and Baumer Foods’ Crystal Hot Sauce), Sriracha is rapidly picking up steam, and is in an estimated 9% of all U.S. households.

By far the most popular producer of Sriracha sauces is Huy Fong Foods, Inc., based in Irwindale, California, in a state-of-the-art 650,000 square-foot facility, which owner David Tran completely designed himself. And although there are numerous direct competitors, including scores of small, craft hot sauce makers all vying for their slice of the Sriracha pie, it is Tran’s “Rooster Sauce” (its informal nickname because of a picture of a rooster on each clear plastic bottle) gets almost all the attention and adoration in the fiery foods world.

Tran, an immigrant from communist Vietnam, started making his Huy Fong sauces in 1980 along Spring Street in Los Angeles’ Chinatown district. After a move to a 68,000-square-foot factory in Rosemead, California in 1987, sales for his signature product started to take off, growing steadily throughout the 1990s and ’00s. By 2010, Huy Fong Foods opened their Irwindale factory, and their Sriracha Sauce (which Tran pronounces “see-RAH-cha”) became a household name, all with zero advertising; quite a triumphant “word of mouth” American success story.

In honor of Huy Fong Foods launching the brand new redesign of their website (just within a day of this writing), David Tran was kind enough to let me ask him some questions…

Scott’s Ultimate, Number One, Primary Chili Recipe


Here is comes. After several years of a baffling absence, I’ve finally decided to make public my very own, “top-secret”, personal, Roberts-family chili recipe. This is the delicious, spicy, hearty, chunky, “go-to” chili that I developed several years ago, and it is the chili I make on a regular basis throughout the year.

Well, just to clarify, there’s probably nothing too secretive about my ultimate, number one, primary chili recipe. I haven’t been trying to hide it for any particular reason. I just…I don’t know! I have no idea why I’ve never gotten around to posting it until now!

Well, this stuff is worth the wait. This killer chili recipe is an all-purpose crowd-pleaser that’s good for any time, whether you need a hot, steaming bowl of chili love on a cold evening, or you need a hot dog topper for a spring or summer afternoon…

Video of Inside the Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Factory


Here is a short but sweet video of the process Huy Fong Foods, the most popular maker of Sriracha-style condiments, goes through to create their spicy “Rooster Sauce”, courtesy of Hypebeast. Here is their explanation of it:

“In our latest edition of Hypebeast Process, CEO and founder of Huy Fong Foods, David Tran, walks us through the whole process of the iconic condiment’s lifespan, from inception of idea to execution of product. David started the company in 1980 by hand packing the infamous sauce by hand with a miniature spoon, sourcing only the freshest ingredients to be sure that the element of spice was just right. Now, 35 years later, the only thing that has changed is the process of manufacture, with the quality and origin of Sriracha chillies remaining the same. Quality control is of utmost importance to David with an idealistic business projection to make the sauce spicier in the future. Every detail is painstakingly monitored, even down to the ingenious packaging whereby the color of the lid serves a significant purpose. David Tran says Sriracha can be used on any food so squeeze some onto your breakfast/lunch/dinner and enjoy the video…”

Firecast Podcast Episode #71 – Interview with Best Product of the Year Winners Born to Hula, Plus Ken’s Favorite Products of 2014

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Episode #71 – Best Product of the Year Winners Born to Hula, Plus Ken’s Favourite Products of 2014

Scott chats with New Jersey-based Born to Hula Hot Sauce owners Ed and Amy Bucholtz, who make what Scott picked as best spicy food product of 2014 in their Reaper of Sorrow Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce.

In his regular segment, Ken Alexander offers his choices for best fiery foods products of the year.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Ken’s Picks for Best Products of the Year:

Scott’s Picks for Best Products of the Year:

The Firecast is Sponsored in Part By:

  • Sucklebusters – Texas BBQ Rubs, BBQ Sauces & Texas GunPowder! SuckleBusters is preferred by competition BBQ Cooks, and has won numerous awards including back-to-back 1st Place sauce wins at the American Royal – the World series of BBQ competitions.

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Review – Boulder Hot Sauce Company Harry’s Habanero

Boulder-Hot-Sauce-Company-Harrys-HabaneroHey everyone, Rudy Reviews is back with a hot sauce review! Today I’ll be reporting on a sauce from Boulder Hot Sauce Company called “Harry’s Habanero.” Boulder Hot Sauce Company is located in Boulder, CO (who would have thought?) and is operated by a gentleman named Harry Robertson who makes all of the sauces by hand and are made with 100% fresh ingredients that contain no fillers or congealers. On their website, he proclaims that sweet carrots act as the natural thickener for this sauce. Harry also makes another sauce which he named “Smokey Serrano.”


Purified Water, Vinegar, Habanero Peppers, Fresh Poblano Peppers, Fresh Onions, Fresh Carrots, Red Ripe Serrano Peppers, Fresh Garlic, and Salt…

Fiery Foods & BBQ Survey


Whatever kind of foodie you are, which include being a chilehead, BBQer, hot sauce fan, chile pepper grower & eater, chef or cook, sauce & product manufacturer, and more…I want to know about you!

Please take a few minutes to fill out the following survey so that I can serve you better as a blogger, a podcaster, a writer and as an influencer in the fiery foods & BBQ industries. I promise that your information will be kept confidential and will not be sold to any third parties. Thanks!

Take the Survey

Latinos Who Suck at Hot Sauce


If you know me, you know that I despise all ethnic and racial stereotypes. (Except Vulcans. I don’t care what you tell me, they’re all green-blooded, pointy-eared bores!)

One such misconception is about Hispanics. They frequently hear, “you’re Latino! You must LOVE hot sauce!” This spicy video, courtesy of FLAMA, proves that age old stereotype is not true:

Firecast Podcast Episode #70 – Scott Picks the Best Products of the Year for 2014

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Episode #70 – Scott Picks the Best Products of the Year for 2014 in Hot Sauces, BBQ Sauces, Spicy Foods and More

In this special end of the year episode, Scott gives his choices for the top fiery foods and BBQ products for the year 2014, including the best hot sauce, BBQ sauce, BBQ rub/seasoning, spicy sweet product, salsa, spicy snack, condiment, best burn and overall best product.

In his Ken’s Fiery World segment, blogger and reviewer Ken Alexander reviews seasonings and flavor enhancers from Blazin’ Bob’s Hot Pepper and Half Crocked Chef, and Scott offers a tip on how to properly heat up store-bought hard taco shells.

Product Links mentioned in the episode:

Other Links mentioned in the episode:

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Hash Brown Cupcakes with Chicken, Bacon & Mozzarella Recipe


2 Large Baked Potatoes
3 Slices of bacon
2 Chicken Breasts
1 Quart of Chicken Stock
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1 Large Egg
Salt & Pepper
Hot Sauce (All-Purpose, or your favorite kind)

Slow cook the chicken breasts for 4+ hours in chicken stock and set aside to cool. Bake the potatoes and set aside to cool. Peel the skin from the potatoes and grate. Mix the grated potato with 1 egg, salt and pepper and a bit of oil. Press into a cupcake tin and make a well in the center. Bake at 400°F until the edges begin to brown. Set aside to cool and remove from tin carefully.

Shred the chicken breasts. Cook the bacon until crispy and break into small pieces over the chicken. Grate fresh mozzarella into the mix and add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.

Spoon mix into cooled cupcake cases. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes at 400°F or until hot and browned.

Firecast Podcast Episode #69 – Jennifer Reynold of Sauce Goddess, Plus Holiday Hot Sauce Gift Ideas

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Episode #68 – Jennifer Reynold of Sauce Goddess, Plus Holiday Hot Sauce Gift Ideas

Scott interviews the honcho of Sauce Goddess, Jennifer Reynolds, and finds out the story behind her divine BBQ products. Ken Alexander and Scott list several holiday hot sauce gift pack specials for your Christmas present shopping, and Scott reviews Bobby Brown Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce.

Sauce Goddess Links mentioned in the episode:

2014 Holiday Gift Packs and Specials

JAC’s Tailgaters
25% off before Christmas

Voodoo Chile Sauces
3-Packs for $21 with Free Shipping anywhere in the Continental U.S.

Various Gift Packs and Shipping Deals. Go to website for details.

They have a large selection of SuckleBusters Texas Gift Baskets. FREE Shipping for a $50 order (coupon code free) + for every $25 we include one of our new spicy BBQ Rubs (regular $5.99, no coupon needed) . That’s FREE shipping + 2 FREE BBQ Rubs @ $50.

Volcanic Peppers
Orders over $50.00 ship for free anywhere in the Continental U.S. before January 1st, 2015.

Smoking J’s Fiery Foods
Orders over $50.00 ship for free.

Scotty O’Hotty Hot Sauce
10% off wooden holiday gift sets now through Dec. 17th with a portion of all website sales going to Wounded Warrior Project!

Build your own basket! By styles and themes…

Ken’s Asian-Style Stir-Fry Basket Example:

Volcanic Peppers Aji Dust (Pepper Powder)
Volcanic Peppers Yellow Bhut Jolokia Dust (Pepper Powder)
Volcanic Peppers Hot Garlic ‘n Onion Seasoning

CaJohn’s Al Buddah Mild Asian Sauce

Captain Thom’s Thai Monkey Sauce

Born to Hula Pineapple Habanero Sauce

Intensity Academy Chai Sweet Chili Sauce

Other Links mentioned in the episode:

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