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Fire & Brimstone Hot Gourmet Pepper Sauce

Fire and Brimstone logoBeing composed of mostly water, the common cucumber is not known for its abundance of spice. However, it very well could be the secret ingredient in Basil’s Fire & Brimstone Hot Gourmet Pepper Sauce. Amid the sauce’s mangoes, mustard, onions, and cold-pressed organic canola oil, you taste only a hint of cucumber, but it seems enough to round out the taste experience from an international award-winning made-in-Alberta condiment whose seasoning mainstay is the Jamaican Scotch bonnet pepper.

The Scotch bonnet is one of the hottest chilies in the world, and is closely related to the Jamaican hot and habanero chilies. Its popular name derives from its Scottish tam-o’-shanter-like appearance.

When Basil Simmons’ sauce won three American awards in quick succession in early 2001, it became the most internationally honoured new hot sauce in North America, in a market that is teeming with the condiment.

The competitions were a trio of taste-offs beginning with Chile Pepper Magazine’s annual Fiery Food Challenge in January, a sequence that would see 350 food professionals begin the judging procedure in Fort Worth, Texas, and local citizenry continue their deliberations in New York in a competition on Wall Street called Sizzlin’ on the Street with Pepcid Complete. That victory would be confirmed by a more exclusive New York judging panel that included John Mariani of Esquire Magazine and Jane Miller of the James Beard Foundation.

The Simmons sauce took honours against 47 other entries, winning the Fiery Food Challenge, the Golden Chile Trophy, and the Complete Heat Award. At the time, the sauce could only be found in Canada, as the Simmons family did not have an American distributor.

The sauce is more Mexican salsa in texture than many pepper sauces, and comes in hot and mild varieties. In addition to the pepper sauce, the Simmons family has in development a number of equally enticing condiments including Sweet Lightening Pepper Brittle, Spicy Garlic, Ginger Jalapeno Gourmet Jelly, Ginger Peach Gourmet Jam, and Hot Pepper Ginger Ketchup. Clearly, they have not strayed far from the heat of the homestead in Guyana.

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