Hilary Clinton doesn’t leave the house without it and Brooklyn has decided to celebrate it. Thousands of Brooklynites came together at the annual Hot Sauce Expo this past weekend in Greenpoint and things got spicy.
Now in its fifth year, the festival showcases the world’s best and spiciest creations from well-known brands like Tabasco to lesser-known homemade sauces. Attendees were able to sample hot sauces on crackers and chips, or straight up with fiery shots of the hot stuff.
“This is a way for artisan hot-sauce makers to get their product out there so people realize that their only options are not Franks, Tabasco or Sriracha,” said Merle Mortenson, chilimaster of Hellfire Hot Sauce in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Over the course of the weekend, there were a host of unique competitions and events. On Saturday it was the Spicy Bagel of DOOM Challenge, the Margarita Mix-Down, the Chicken Wing Challenge and, in true New York fashion, the Pizza of Hell Challenge. Sunday was just as exciting with the Spicy Meatballs contest, The Slaytanic Burrito Challenge, the Chihuahua Beauty Pageant, the Bloody Mary Mix-Down National Championship and the most anticipated event, the Guinness Book of Records Carolina Reaper Pepper Eating Contest.
If you’re geting heartburn from just reading this, then you’ll be happy to know that there was help on hand for those in need of relief. To combat the intense heat, craft beer, margaritas and mixed drinks were available. But no beverage was more appreciated than the milk provided by Farmland Fresh Dairies. The company served milk cartons and frothy concoctions consisting of milk and whipped cream.
Participants were also able to converse with the artisans, learn how to make hot sauce and how to create blends with the perfect amount of heat and flavor.
“A lot of people don’t know about this stuff,” said Mortenson. “A lot of people don’t know what’s the hottest pepper. A lot of people still think it’s the habanero or the ghost pepper. Hot sauce is a health fad. It’s healthy, it’s good for you and that’s another thing people are starting to realize.”