Like your meals served with a little pain on the side? Prefer your dishes to be hotter than Hades? You must be a hot-sauce-aficionado! But can you really handle the hottest? Many travel far and wide to get their chance at the world’s hottest of the hot, and we’ve come up with the top (and maybe, most surprising!) places in the U.S. where you can test your true limits.
First, your journey will take you to the Henry Family Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia – probably not the first place you’d think of when you think ‘hot sauce,’ but these New Englanders really know their stuff. At about 8 times hotter than a habanero, you’ll want a tall glass of water after trying the Red Naga Jolokia – made mainly of Ghost Chile. Keep yourself composed long enough after one drop, and you’ll feel the heat fade away to a delicious tomato fruity-ness. But at nearly 1 million Scoville units (the official measurement of spiciness) – we’d be impressed if you make it that far.
A second spot to grab some of the hottest stuff on the market is in a place in just about every city -- Buffalo Wild Wings! Their Blazin’ Sauce rings in at about 200,000-350,000 Scoville Units, making it one of the hottest widely-available sauces in America. BWW is known for it’s fun, sporty atmosphere and more than 20 varieties of sauce, but the Wild is the Blazin’ Sauce is the only one that comes with a warning: “Keep away from your eyes, pets, children: The hottest sauce we got.”
The third sauce on our list claims to best the Hottest Sauce in the Universe – that’s Pepper Palace’s Hottest Sauce in the Universe. Just make sure it’s the 2nd Dimension! At 3.5 Million Scoville Units, this one might just blow your mind. We don’t know if it’s really the hottest in the entire universe, but we’re sure it’s one of the hottest in America. Just how many pounds of ghost pepper can make one batch of hot sauce so darn hot? 40lbs. Yes, FORTY. Eat at your own risk, but luckily you can find these bottles in specialty stores nationwide.
If you’re looking for a day-long (or maybe week-long!) experience trying out as many hot sauces as you can, our next destination is a hot sauce festival, where thousands of spice-lovers gather to see who can really out-heat the others. America’s largest is the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, drawing nearly 15,000 visitors each August for the past 25 years. Best of all, it’s free to the public, with suggested donations gong to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas – where visitors have raised enough for 45,000 meals in just one day! Feel good and eat good, too.