Hot Stuff (Guatamalan Insanity Peppers)
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 99 09:23:13 -0700
Subject: Hot Stuff (Guatamalan Insanity Peppers)
Forwarded-by: Buz Owen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Further forwards gasping for breath ...
Blair's Death Rain
Imagine Dresden in a bottle and you're approaching the blitzkrieg strength
of Blair's Death Rain - "The hottest dry spice," the packaging half-brags,
"on Planet Earth." Part of a line of seasonings aimed at those who like pain
with their fries (Death, Sudden Death, After Death), Death Rain is 70 times
hotter than a jalapeno. Death Rain's inventor has to wear a protective suit
and a respirator when he mixes the stuff. To those who'd walk with fire,
Death Rain's label includes this cautionary note: "Avoid any and all
contact with sensitive body parts." Napalm, anyone?
As seen in the NY Daily News...
Meet the maker of Blair's Death Sauces - a man with a fire in the belly,
Blair has what is perhaps an unusual goal for a maker of food products: He
wants to hurt you. And he wants you to enjoy it.
Blair is the mastermind behind Blair's Death Sauces, a growing line of
nuclear concoctions so potent they make Tabasco look like peppermint ice
cream. So potent that Blair has to wear a bodysuit and a respirator to make
them in his Highlands, NJ headquarters. So potent that he says his Sudden
Death sauce matches any on Earth for sheer firepower.
"Absolutely," he says. "I'll put my Sudden Death next to anything." Blair
started the Death Sauce line three years ago, but his interest in making
tongues sizzle dates to 1990, when he was the owner of a Jersey Shore
restaurant. Aggravated by late-night drunks, he started goading them to down
chicken wings made with his palate-punishing homemade sauce.
"I'd say, 'If you can eat this sauce I'll give you another drink," he
"Not many of them had another drink."
Soon, adventurous eaters started showing up to take Blair's Wings of Death
challenge; Eat four wings and get them for free. (First, though, they had
to sign a waiver.) Fewer than one in 100 managed it, says Blair.
That original sauce, Blair's Death Sauce, is now the mildest he makes. Next
came the even more scalding After Death. But even that pales in comparison
to Sudden Death, which Blair introduced last year along with Death Rain,
which he bills as the world's hottest dry spice. Still, that's still not
his most piquant product. That honor goes to the new 2 a.m. Reserve, which
at $25 a bottle is the equivalent of a small-batch bourbon for the hot sauce
connoisseur. At 100 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper, it is, he says,
"far off the scale."
Blair's sauces are all-natural -- the source of all that scorch is habanero
peppers from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, processed into concentrated form.
New York City hasn't proved a particularly "hot" market for Blair, who sells
most of his sauce in warmer climes -- mostly New Orleans, California, and
Florida -- but he believes that's about to change. Whether it will remains
to be seem, but either way, Blair's Death Sauces beg the question: Why would
anyone want to eat this stuff? Where's the attraction in a condiment so
savage it comes with a warning label? One reason, says Blair, is "the
challenge, without a doubt." But mainly, he adds, "It's fun. It adds
excitement to food. You can take a regular pot of chili and put some Sudden
Death in it, and it's a whole new world."
© 1999 Peter Langston