Hot sauce is happiness. Plain and simple. When presented with two culinary options, I will ten times out of ten choose the option that goes better with hot sauce (because food is simply a vehicle allowing us to choose our appropriate fiery condiment).
This past weekend, I stumbled upon Greenport Fire while gallivanting around Greenport, N.Y. Not only does this joint have a ginormous collection of hot sauces, but it also specialized in hand rolled cigars, beef jerkies and spicy snacks, hot pepper jellies, bloody mary mixes, and other assorted forms of edible and smoke-able badassery. But let’s be serious: I walked through these doors strictly for the hot sauce.
I don’t know exactly how many hot sauces these guys have, but it’s pretty close to a bajillion, which is a way scientific and actual number. Organized by company and in line from mild to death-inducing, I wish I had more time to sample even more than I did! The owners are super legit and knowledgable. There are plenty of charts showing the Scoville heat units for every sauce, so you don’t murder your mouth accidentally, and the owners are ready to go with dollops of whipped cream should you sample way past your taste buds’ abilities.
And did I mention how rad the place looks? It’s dimly lit with bright lights oozing from the cases. The ceiling is plastered with all sorts of vinyl records and cassette tapes. Here’s a closeup:
I made the most insane huevos rancheros last night and was able to toss some extra bacon-y goodness atop my massive brinner (breakfast for dinner!) delight. I find sriracha always goes great with eggs, and if you’re in the mood for a thicker sauce, then it’s usually the way to go. This sauce, by Fat Cat Foods, is garlicky and peppery, and super savory. I guess you’d say it’s Thai-inspired, but then they went and slabbed some bacon flavoring into it to Americanize the hell outta the thing. But hey – it’s vegan and preservative free, too!
The full ingredients list: vinegar, serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, roasted red peppers, garlic, bacon flavoring, cane sugar, sea salt, and paprika. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes sriracha. Because bacon.
2. My other purchase that day was Lucky Dog’s Orange Label Hot Fire-Roasted Pepper Sauce, which was spicier than the former, but just as flavorful. Featuring a heavy dose of orange habaneros along with serrano, jalapeno and cayenne pepper, this particular product is the company’s medium-hot-to-hot spice level, but it definitely packs a punch! It’s super garlicky (you can never over-garlic, in my opinion), and made with a mellow cider vinegar.
Lucky Dog also makes an Extra Hot version of the same kind and I’m really curious to try that one. It’ll probably be my next purchase. Along with these, the company also sells mustard chipotle sauces, extra hot lightly smoked pepper sauces, and a bunch more.
I just now realized that I bought both cat and dog branded hot sauces. Weird. But cool? Moving on…
Another super notable hot sauce I sampled but did not buy (only because it nearly scarred my life) is the Carolina Reaper by Culley’s. Made from New Zealand’s own carolina reaper chillies, this hot sauce is (as the company states), “not for the faint hearted.” THEY SPEAK TRUTH, PEOPLE. Though the whipped cream really could’ve come in handy on this one, I stood strong. But holy shit, this was HOT! The label has like a gazillion “Very Hot” pepper pictures on it and categorizes it as “XXX Hot.” If you love heat, you should try this if given the chance…but be warned. It’s intense.
If you’re ever near Greenport, I definitely recommend stopping into Greenport Fire. Below is only one of the many, many sampling trays they have along their entire row of display cases. If only we had more time…but seriously, hot sauce lovers will not be disappointed!