What makes the Peppermaster so special anyway?
Flavour. Experience. Courage. Caring.
Let me start by comparing conventional mashes with my mashes. My first product made when I was 8 is the cornerstone of my company. Hurricane Mash. A commercial traditional mash (which many small companies purchase to use as a base or to stretch out their products) is up to 14% salt. Not selected sea salt, but common table salt containing silicon dioxide and other free-flowing anticaking agents. Listed as production aids in the Product Data Sheet required for every product they do not have to be listed in the list of ingredients. The salt is mixed with industrial processed white vinegar, and conventionally grown, pesticide covered and fumigated peppers, which are often rinsed in a bath with various meta-bisulphite or other sterilizers.
My mashes are different. I start with fresh local peppers from farmers that I know. Some are organic certified, some are pesticide free, all care about the food they are selling to their friends and neighbours and what they are feeding to their own children.
We blend these fresh peppers with individually squeezed fresh limes and selected kosher sea salt. Holding the ingredients in homogeneity is important too, so that separation does not occur in the finished product which can create zones of different acidity which opens a window for bacteria to grow or product to degrade rapidly. We use an organic tapioca starch and a touch of European grade (non-GMO) Xanthan gum to make our mashes homogenous. An organic certified citric acid is used to assure acidity levels are correct.
These ingredients all go into the jar cold. They are sealed and THEN cooked in a boiling water bath for the most minimal amount of time required to achieve commercial sterility. This heat treatment replaces the extreme use of salt and vinegar or chemical preservatives. It also locks in and traps all those fresh overtones, minor capsaicinoids, lycopenes and flavonoids that make peppers what they are, both in heat and in flavour. It is a time consuming and more expensive process, and the ingredients cost us more, but it creates a much higher quality product and as a small company in a Big Food World we had to have the courage to make these choices and to charge those higher prices. The outcome is well worth it.
In terms of flavour the end results of all this caring and experience can be seen in the bright colours of my mashes and their intense flavours. Taste one and you will know.
The master part really comes from my palate which was honed by food fresh from the reefs and tropical produce of The Bahamas. Tamarind, limes, guava, mango, sour orange and fresh picked coconut were common and of course peppers. Lots of bird peppers and goatpeppers, so my palate sees these as a critical element in food. I am well tuned to the flavours of fresh peppers. It is exactly this that allows me to guide the flavour of a pepper to its full expression in a sauce, whilst controlling its heat, regardless of its intensity.
You know, I dont know more latin names of peppers than other people, or how to best hybridize or grow them. I do know how to use them though, and how to bring their flavours to life, and keep them alive in the jar until you open one.
Some say that what makes me The Peppermaster is my ability to take heat OUT of your mouth. I give lots of heat, and I can take it away and soothe your palate. Check out The Antidote.
I am now entering my 58th year of making hot sauces (and now many other non pepper products) which has given me lots of time to make mistakes, to find victories and to gather experience. I continue to learn, and I appreciate the importance and the responsibility of using fresh whole foods to make healthy, responsible and delicious foods for all my extended friends and family, which of course includes you!
Thank you for your amazing support.
Together we CAN change this crazy world, one pepper at a time!