Saturday, November 19, 2016

Chile Pepper Festival 2016 Part 1

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Chile Pepper Festival 2016 Part 1

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Saturday, October 1

Tons of Chileheads and chocolate lovers attended the Chile Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Live music was abound and there were over 60 vendors selling their spicy goods. The Annual Brooklyn Botanic Garden Chile Pepper Festival is always a fun event. This was our third year attending. This Chile themed event has something for everyone and is not only limited to Chile based hot sauces. The festival has a grand selection of Chile chocolates, fresh Chile peppers, Chile infused products, dried pepper rubs, spicy condiments, spicy ice cream, spices and extracts for cooking and baking and a large selection of hot sauces to satisfy all types of heat palates. I was impressed this year by the way the vendors were set up into categories: Hot Sauce Sorcery, Chile-Chocolate Debauchery, Combustible Condiments, Piquant Pickles & Such, and Hi-Scoville Sweets. This year the festival layout was slightly different and elongated the spread of the tents and booths. This worked out well and made the crowds of people more manageable. This led to much shorter lines at the booths for sampling and shopping. The longest booth lines was two to three minutes and in the past we waited five to ten minutes at some of the more crowded vendor booths. 

Allen of The Two Frys Preparing To Sample Hot Sauces
Sophia about to get some Spicy Chocolates
The grounds at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden are beautiful. The day of the festival it was overcast but cool, and made for great comfortable weather to also see some nature--trees, plants and flowers in addition to visiting the vendors. We spent five hours at the festival this year visiting some friends booths and making new friends. The live music featured NYC-based Hazmat Modine, Afro-Caribbean pop artist Aurelio, Senegalese soul rock Elage Diouf, Algerian beats and Nigerian melodies from Dahka Band and Louisiana bands Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Pilette's Ghost. 

Allen heading to the Chili Pepper Festival Main Area
We tried some hot sauces and hot condiments that were new to us. It is good to see new vendors this year to spice up the festival and add to the diversity of the products for sale. It was great seeing some old friends vending like Kenya Chasten of Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce, Jon Bratton of NYC Hot Sauce Company and Vid of Torchbearers Sauces. Every booth visited had friendly and informative staffers that were more than happy to answer any questions about their spicy products, peppers or chocolates, etc. It is important to note there are several benches in the grounds to rest or eat food purchased at the festival. Some events do not offer seating so this is welcome when you need a break. Getting to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is an easy train trip from Manhattan and even for us coming from the Bronx, we took 2 trains and the trip was just over one hour. Very close to the gate of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is the Brooklyn Museum, which we plan to visit soon.

Hot Sauce Sorcery Highlights:

NYC Hot Sauce Company
It is always a pleasure to see our friend Jon Bratton of NYC Hot Sauce Company. NYC Hot Sauce is the only sauce 100% made in NYC. All aspects are done in the city from pepper growing, sauce making, bottling and labeling. The booth was festively decorated with a fall theme with hay and corn stalks. NYC Hot Sauce is my favorite Habanero table sauce and it goes great on everything from eggs, veggies, meats, rice and soup to name just a few foods I have used it on. NYC Hot Sauce is a highly recommended local sauce and available for purchase online.

NYC Hot Sauce Company - Allen Two Frys and Friend Jon Bratton
NYC Hot Sauce Company always a festive booth at events
NYC Hot Sauce Company - Jon Bratton slinging sauce
Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce
We were happy to see our good friend Kenya Chasten and his family at the festival. Guyank makes an excellent and tasty hot sauce that is also a family fave around here. Based in Queens NY, Guyank also feature other great products like Fry Bread mix, Guyank Rub, and BBQ Style Sauce. I am always picking up the sauce when I see Kenya and crew so I always have a reserve bottle in the pantry for when I run out. Guyank Hot Sauce is great as a condiment but also to add to your food when cooking. It will bring up the heat to your food and add a punch of flavor. Be sure to try some Guyank Sweet-Hot Sauce.

Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce Kenya of Guyank and Allen Two Frys
Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce Family - Our friends for several years now
Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce - Kenya setting up samples 

Torchbearer Sauces
We had a visit with our friend Vid from Torchbearers to pick up a bottle of one of my favorite sauces, the outstanding "Oh My Garlic" Sauce. Also available from Torchbearer is an impressive line of killer BBQ, Horseradish, Dipping and Hot Sauces. The Hot Sauces run from mild to super extreme, like "The Rapture" and "Zombie Apocalypse". I know "Zombie Apocalypse" is very hot since I tried it years ago and survived. Try some today for an extreme heat experience to remember.

Torchbearer Sauces - Large Selection 
Torchbearer Sauces - Allen's Favorite Torchbearer Sauce "Oh My Garlic"
The Bronx Hot Sauce
They sell The Bronx Hot Sauce at Sophia's job every week at the farmers market that visits the campus. I currently have two bottles in stock in our pantry. It was great to see The Bronx Hot Sauce at the Chile Pepper Festival. The Bronx Hot Sauce uses Serrano peppers grown in the community gardens of the Bronx.

The Bronx Hot Sauce

Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce
Sophia was looking forward to Pisqueya Hot Sauce since her Mom is from the Dominican Republic. It was great speaking with owner Maritza Abreu and other family members about the hot sauce. I enjoyed a sample on (moro) rice and beans, and purchased a bottle for future review. Pisqueya comes in two sizes, 3.3 oz. and 6.6 oz.

Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce Sampling Table
Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce Booth
Pisqueya Dominican Hot Sauce is amazing

Queen Majesty Hot Sauce
It is great to see Queen Majesty Hot Sauce at the festival as we have purchased all their hot sauce products and love them all. I did not get to speak to them this time, but we are fans of the great taste and balanced flavors of the products Queen Majesty offer.

Queen Majesty Hot Sauce - 3 Great Flavors

Beast Feast Maine
Beast Feast Maine was a new sauce company for us featuring a diverse lineup to sample and purchase. Beast Feast offer some great hot sauces and other sauces. Upon first taste, I immediately bought a bottle of their Beast Feast Gourmet Hot Sauce. The flavors and heat were a perfect combo. We look forward to using more sauces from Maine-based Beast Feast in the future. I was glad to have met them for the first time at the festival this year.

Beast Feast Maine Booth
Beast Feast Maine has a great selection of goods

Apinya Thai Food Co.
Allen is a fan of Apinya Spicy Thai Hot Sauce and did some prior research on the web before the festival and wanted to pick up one of Apinya's Thai Rubs and Seasonings. I purchased the hotter of the two rubs in the lineup, Thai Chili & Garlic (Thai Spice Mix). This will be great when we make our homemade stir fry and my chicken wings which we will post on Two Frys. I also picked up another sauce from them I never had before, "NAGA" Thai Chili Sauce.

Apinya Thai Food Co. - Thai Rub
Apinya Thai Food Co. large selection of flavorful and hot Thai Sauces

Bacchanal Sauce
As I visited the Bacchanal Sauce booth I was welcomed by the sauce creators and told about a new product, Mango Hot. I tasted the Bacchanal Original Sauce before and really liked it. Upon tasting the recommended Mango Hot Bacchanal Sauce, I was immediately hooked and purchased a 4 oz. bottle on the spot. This newer Mango Hot is a creamy, fruit and pepper based hot sauce made with Scotch Bonnet Peppers. This sauce is delicious and has full on flavor to accompany the heat. I will be covering Brooklyn-based Bacchanal Sauce in the future.

Bacchanal Sauce Selection
Bacchanal Sauce - Mango Hot Sauce with Scotch Bonnet Peppers

Black Irish Hot Sauce
Black Irish make a great selection of raw and fermented hot sauces. It was the first time I sampled their sauces. I tried the Orange Habanero Sauce and enjoyed the color of the fermented sauce as well as the hot pepper kick. It was one of the newer fermented sauces I sampled and it was very good.

Black Irish Hot Sauce Booth

Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces
Homesweet Homegrown have a real nice lineup of hot sauces that are flavorful and fresh tasting. From PA, Homesweet Homegrown had an impressive and large selection of peppers from their farm in cartons for sale from mild to super hot like Ghost and Scorpion peppers. All the pods looked very healthy and ready to be made into your homemade hot sauces. Be sure to check out their Orange Crush Hot Sauce.

Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces Fresh Chilis
Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces Ghost Peppers from PA.
Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces - Signature Hot Sauces
Homesweet Homegrown Hot Sauces - Super Hots Ghost Pepper Close Up

Redhead Hot Sauce
When I visited this booth, I tried a sample of one of the sauces, Redhead Original. Redhead Original has heat and a fantastic robust flavor profile. It was good to see this local company again this year at the festival. The original sauce would be great as a condiment on cheese and crackers or hor d'oeuvres.

Redhead Hot Sauce - Great Local Stuff
Redhead Hot Sauce Booth

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