Monday, January 15, 2007
Perfect Tommy is one of those connoisseurs of substances measured in Scoville units. He likes hot stuff. In our meanderings along the Delaware River, we have frequently wandered by the little town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, home to all kinds of quaint boutiques. One of these stores is called Suzie Hot Sauce and it specializes in - you guessed it - hot sauce. Perfect Tommy has been pining for a chance to visit for ages, but whenever we've passed by, either the store hasn't been open or Perfect Tommy hasn't been in the mood.
Today's birding trip found us cruising by Suzie Hot Sauce a few minutes before 5 PM. Perfect Tommy was in the mood, there was a parking place, and in short order, we were in. The small store was absolutely stuffed with all manner of hot sauces and spicy condiments, several grades of hot pretzels for taste-testing purposes, chile-laced chocolate, Creole sauce mixes, you name it. There was a corner devoted to Asian hot sauces, but most of these were things I had seen in the Asian supermarket before. If you don't have an Asian market nearby, however, this could be a useful resource.
Since the store was closing at 5:00, there was no way we could scour the shelves with true discernment. We did our best, however. Perfect Tommy got some of the aforementioned chile-laced chocolate, some hot and spicy Cajun chips (which didn't last long), some hot pistachio brittle, some serrano chile puree and a small bottle of Cholula hot sauce. I was a little better and limited myself to the serrano chile puree, Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning (if only I'd had it last week) and some Outerbridge's Original pepper sherry. The woman behind the counter raved about the pepper sherry as I checked out; I told her I'd read about it and was curious to try it.
I also tried some of the hot pretzels. I worked my way up to the X hot level (the top is XX hot). I thought I handled it pretty well, but the burn turned out to be a slow-building one, and my stomach muttered at me for a while afterward.
As Perfect Tommy and I acted like, well, kids in a hot sauce store, The Lurker stood back and watched with his usual amusement. He is not a fan of spicy food, and so was immune to Suzie Hot Sauce's temptations.
All three of my purchases will doubtless liven up stir-fries and other dishes in the future. Better yet, I can now research hot sauces on the Hot Sauce Blog and have a hope of finding some of the obscure ones.