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The NYC Hot Sauce Expo Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary


November 27, 2016

The NYC Hot Sauce Expo Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary

New York’s own High River Sauces proudly presents the 5th Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo on April 22nd & 23rd 2017. The NYC Expo will feature up to 45 artisanal hot sauce makers from all over the United States and as far as Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and South America. The NYC Hot Sauce Expo has grown into an International Hot Sauce celebration. Witness the action packed event with hot sauce tastings, eating challenges, spicy food vendors, craft beer, spicy cocktails and plenty of odd ball entertainment for the whole family…

2016 Hot Sauce Holiday Deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

black-friday-cyber-monday-hot-sauce-sale-2016Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas Season Deals
The big sale is back, and we will update it as we get new additions to our listings. It usually grows as we get closer to the holiday, so if you are shopping or curious of what will be offered, then keep coming back. If you are a company that would like to add your sale to our listing, then please either email me your whole sale as you wish it to be listed, and I will link to your website or sales page OR you can post below in the comments. We will also we sharing this listing with some other chile blogs and numerous Facebook groups.

It is very important to note that we only want to include companies that have met all the legal requirements to sell products online and ship across the US. I can not speak of international law, so companies wishing to ship outside the US are free to do so at their own discretion. We encourage our Chilehead friends to support these small market companies and the small market companies to support the Chilehead Community.

A huge thanks to Al “Buddah” Goldenberg of I Love It Spicy for getting this sale together…

Hot Sauce Depot Launches Website Redesign

hot-sauce-depot-product-comparisonHot Sauce Depot has announced the first major redesign of its website, www.HotSauceDepot.com, since it first launched back in 2007. Key features of the redesign include a faster, more accurate search function, an enhanced mobile interface, new product filters, product comparisons, and an improved Rewards Program.

“The goal of this redesign is to make it as easy as possible to find what you’re looking for,” said Mary Polakovic, Creative Media Specialist at Hot Sauce Depot. “We wanted to help people find new sauces they’re likely to enjoy by giving them the ability to narrow down their options based on their preferences, so we added product filters for type of pepper, flavor, heat level, brand, price range, etc. This is also helpful for people who don’t enjoy spicy foods themselves but want to choose the right hot sauce to give to a friend as a gift.”

“We’ve also added a product comparison feature so you can select different sauces and compare them side-by-side to see how they stack up in terms of flavor, price, heat, and more,” Polakovic said. “We hope that users get a chance to play around with some of the new features, and we welcome all feedback.”

For more information, visit www.HotSauceDepot.com.

Kids BBQ Championship Season 2 is Now Casting


Kids BBQ Championship, Food Network’s exciting culinary reality show, is coming back for a second season!

JS Casting is looking for the most talented kid grillers across the country. They are in search of young cooks who have what it takes to compete for the chance to win a grand prize. If your child is a cooking prodigy who can smoke the competition, they want to hear from you!

Apply now at www.JSCasting.com. For questions, please contact BBQKidsCasting@gmail.com.

Tailgating Checklist Infographic: How to Host the Perfect Tailgate

football-tailgate-party-checklist-infographicCollege football season is now well underway. Hundreds of thousands are congregating around university parking lots all around the nation, cooking, drinking, and celebrating with fellow gridiron fans.

It’s easy to throw an amazing parking lot party right at the tailgate of your car or truck. With these easy steps and tips, you’ll have an easy tailgate menu and a good game plan for all the action in the parking lot before the real game starts. So, if you’ve never partaken in the activity of tailgating, here is a handy infographic guide on how to host the perfect tailgate!

Bacon-wrapped Cheese-stuffed Hot Dogs: Ingredients

  • Hot dogs (about 2 per person)
  • Soft hot dog rolls
  • Cheddar cheese sticks
  • Bacon (1 slice per hot dog)

The key to making a tailgate party low-stress is picking a…

Want the Perfect Hot Sauce Gift Pack For the Holidays? Try the Scott Roberts Gift Set


For years, I’ve thought of somehow creating a really cool “hot sauce of the month” club or compiling a really nice multi-bottle gift set so that chileheads can try out some of the best hot sauces available. Let’s face it; we’ve all seen them, and inevitably, there will unfortunately be lackluster sauces or junk products included in these types of sets that the retailers force upon you. It’s made me ponder, “why can’t there be one package that people can buy which contains all top-notch hot sauces?

I’m excited to present the solution to that problem! I’ve collaborated with Dylan of Heat Hot Sauce Shop to give you a 100% custom-selected hot sauce gift pack. The Scott Roberts Gift Set is exactly what you’ve been looking for. It has six sauces that I’ve personally chosen as some of the best and most flavorful pepper products in the fiery foods industry today!

So You Want To Be A Hot Sauce Or Chile Pepper Reviewer? Avoid These 7 Pitfalls.

Pitfalls of Hot Sauce and Chile Pepper Video ReviewingDo you want to be a hot sauce or chile pepper reviewer?

You may feel a pull towards showing your spicy food passions on camera. It could be anything from trying scorching super hot peppers to sampling to reviewing hot sauces and BBQ sauces.

With today’s technology, its become far less cumbersome to get your mug in video formats all over the world, with social networks having full video integration. YouTube is still the major player, and along with a half-dozen other video outlets, all you basically need to do nowadays is open up the site or app, hit record, and you’re good to go.

Outside of technological considerations (more on that at the end of this article), what do you need to be successful?

Here are a few basic important things…

What Are Your Top 10 Favorite Hot Sauces of All Time? 2016 Edition

Top 10 favorite hot sauce listsFive years ago, I asked a huge group of chileheads – everyone from chile growers to bloggers to product makers to industry folks – to compile a list of their top 10 Favorite Hot Sauces. My original blog post highlighted many of the top tens I received. The post was a huge traffic monster, and spurred lots and lots of discussion in the comments.

Since 2011, I’ve changed blogging software that was running on my site from my own custom PHP scripting to Wordpress, and sadly I wasn’t able to transfer the comments over. Because of this, I’ve always wanted to do a follow-up post and get more comments and discussion going. I’ve also wanted to hear from a few other new voices and get their choices for their favorite sauces of all time…

Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Nomination Ballot for 2017

Hot-Sauce-Hall-of-Fame-Crest-LogoThe Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation proudly presents to you the Nomination Ballot for the Class of 2017. The Nomination Ballot allows professionals from the fiery foods industry, also known as the Selection Committee, will determine the top 10 names placed on the final ballot.

The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 3 people this coming year into the Class of 2017. Inductees will receive a distinctive Red Jacket with the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Crest and the prestigious Hall of Fame Ring.

And, you can be a part of this and help select the nominees for this year’s induction…

Why You Need to Enter THE Chile Pepper Awards

the-chile-pepper-awards-2016Calling all manufacturers of spicy goods! Do you want your product to be seen by 200,000 chileheads? Does a full page in Chile Pepper to showcase your product sound good? What about being included in Chile Pepper‘s renewal notices? An award to prove to your peers and customers just how tasty your product is?

If your answer is a resounding YES!, then you need to enter The Chile Pepper Awards competition. And the good news is that there’s still time to meet the deadline of October 21.


– Banner ad just for entering the contest. Whether you enter 1 product or 10, your banner ad will be on www.chilepepper.com. ($595 value for free)

– Ad in Chile Pepper Bazaar. One for every THREE entries. Remember 200k hungry, high-income, speciality product buying readers are waiting to see your…

2016 Weekend of Fire New Product Report and Photos


Suzi and Scotty Owens of Scotty O’ Hotty Hot Sauces

It was a thrill to be back in Fairfield, Ohio for the 10th Weekend of Fire (shown as Weekend of Fire X on their marketing materials), held at the expansive Oscar Event Center inside of the Jungle Jim’s International Market mall. Held on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd, this event is the biggest and longest-lasting fiery foods celebration in the Midwest. I was there both days to take in the sights, the sounds, and (most importantly) the flavors.

Show attendance seemed down over previous years. The crowds on both the show floor and around the “Arena of Fire” eating contests looked sparse on Saturday, while on Sunday, they picked up a little bit.

When it came to the eating challenges, I paid little attention to them outside of the one event I helped judge (the Hot Diggity Dog contest sponsored by CaJohns).

Instead, I wanted to focus on the food products at the show…

Review – Ricky’s Lucky Nuts


Along with pretzels, consider peanuts to be one of the two most boring and bland entities of the snacking word. Those two things are used waaaayyyy too often as a “filler” in trail mixes and snack mixes. I could honestly do without ’em most of the time.

So when Ricky’s Lucky Nuts offered to send me five of their flavored peanuts – Black Pepper and Sea Salt, Real Coffee, Spicy Chile Chipotle, Sweet Chai, and Thai Red Curry – I admittedly was not too enthusiastic at all about trying them. I thought, “alright, let’s get these quicjly out of the way.”  I was ready to award these average or even below-average reviews.

Instead, I was wowed – and even floored – by these five offerings. The flavorings were pretty much spot-on, and dazzling roasted peanuts are miles higher than any hum-drum Planters variety…

Blast From the Past – CaJohns Open House Diary and Photos


The following is my recollection from the CaJohns Open House event from Monday, August 2, 2010. These open houses were held at the CaJohns Fiery Foods facilities in the Columbus, Ohio area the day after the Weekend of Fire Hot Sauce Expo. These were CaJohn’s way of providing excellent free food and commeraderie for chileheads owners of sauce companies. In addition to the post-WOF open houses, these get-togethers were also held in conjunction with other events such as the Columbus North Market Fiery Foods Festival, and were an absolute blast for anyone attending!

Having been guided by my iPhone’s GPS/Map app, I was the first visitor to arrive at the new CaJohns facilities in the northern Columbus, Ohio suburb of Westerville. Not knowing where to park or even if this was even the correct building, I pulled the Roberts family truckster into a large back parking lot. I noticed the familiar white and yellow CaJohns van pulling out of a spot and heading around to the front of the building and I followed suit. John “CaJohn” Hard bounded out of the drivers seat and gave me a welcoming handshake. For a few minutes he chatted about the chile pepper plants (among them some Bhut Jolokias) that were planted out in front of the building before we darted inside.

CaJohn first showed me the impressive trophy for the inaugural Reviewers Cup, a competition to see which hot sauce blogger was able to taste and identify ingredients in food most accurately. He confided in me a couple of hints as to what the contest would have in store for us. Prior to this, I had no idea what to expect (would we sample hot sauces? A dish of a multi-ingredient, mish-mash of components such as chili or jambalaya? Or would Chef Steve concocted something special and completely unanticipated for us?). CaJohn said that it would be simpler and that blogger participants would taste ingredients common to hot sauces and salsas. Hmmm…

Why You Should Donate to the Fix Sriracha Sauce Kickstarter Campaign

FIX Kick Starter Lemongrass Sriracha SauceI’m absolutely flooded with requests from burgeoning hot sauce companies to promote their fundraising campaigns such as Kickstarter. I get at least four or five requests per month from people and sauces I’ve never heard of asking me to plug their stuff.

Sorry, that ain’t happening. Unless I know your product(s) and your company, that is something I refuse to do.

In the case of Fix Hot Sauce, however, I am more than pleased to give them a shout-out with their Kickstarter campaign. Why? Because their regular red sriracha sauce is the best sriracha sauce I’ve ever eaten. The stuff is outstanding. And I want to give aid to any and all struggling businesses with products I belive in.

Now the fine folks at Fix Hot Sauce want to expand their product line to include a green-colored lemongrass sriracha sauce. This new condiment has a slightly more earthy and brighter tone, with a fresh lemongrass and citrus flavor. The sauce uses special organic green chile peppers that originated in Vietnam. This new lemongrass sriracha is slated to be released early in 2017.

Sound good? Do yourself a favor and visit Fix Hot Sauce’s Kickstarter page and consider helping out one of the most promising new sauce makers in the fiery foods biz…now!

Jungle Jim’s Weekend of Fire X – 10 Years of Heating Up the Midwest


Are you serious? Jungle Jim’s Weekend of Fire fiery foods show is already turning 10 years old? Outrageous!

The venerable Weekend of Fire (or WOF for short) is an expo that will always remain special to me. Why? It was one of the first hot sauce festivals of any kind that I’ve attended. Unlike more “national”, larger-scale events like the Fiery Foods Show in Albuquerque, New Mexico or ZestFest in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas area, the WOF felt a little more like “home” in its more centrally-located digs in Fairfield, Ohio, inside of the Cincinnati metro area. During the first several years of the WOF, the Jungle Jim’s staff graciously let us fiery foods bloggers have our own booth (which we’ve used for various purposes, from being a “hub” to plug in and charge our electronic devices to raising money for charities) at the show. Us bloggers have been able to give massive amounts of input into the show, including the schedule structure and eating contests. We’ve recorded chilehead round table podcast episodes there on the premises. The WOF’s venue is the Oscar Event Center, which is technically a part of Jungle Jim’s International Market, one of the greatest supermarket experiences in the world. Last, but not least, the WOF has often coincided with the unaffiliated CaJohn’s Open Houses 90 minutes northeast in Columbus, Ohio, itself a lighter, fun excursion for hardcore chileheads.

And now…this li’l ol’ show has been going on for ten years? Where in the world has the time gone?

Anyway, this year’s Weekend of Fire marks a return of the Roberts clan to the event. We’ll be hitting most, if not all, of both days it is open – Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd. If you happen to see any of us wondering about the show floor, feel free to stop and say “hi!”

If you are looking for any reason to attend, let me give you a few:

There are plenty of fun eating contests to participate in or just watch (merely witnessing eager contestants scarfing down large quantities of scorching hot buffalo wings, hot dogs, pie, pizza, and more while sweating and turning lobster-red is a blast in and of itself). A full schedule of food battles can be found at…