4/11/2013 - As the saying goes, “some like it hot,” and New Hampshire has no shortage when it comes to local business offering salsas, sauces and spices. Here are some local products that pack a punch, and some additional options for anyone who likes it a little milder.
After Burn Hot Sauce & Beef Jerky
After Burn Hot Sauce & Beef Jerky of Bow was started by a couple of friends who shared a love of all things hot.
“We like it hot, and we have fun with it,” said George Beck, one of the owners, along with his friend Doug Parker.
Their friend Tom Weston has recently joined them, adding beef jerky to their product line. Beck said the friends came up with the name for the business while sitting around a campfire and the business now carries the slogan, “Try us today, remember us tomorrow.”
“Everything is done by us,” Beck said. “We do the cooking, capping and bottling.”
Their hot sauces range from Wussy Ass Medium Hot Sauce to the XXXX Blow Your Ass Off, which Beck’s calls a 10 on the heat scale. They also offer jerky, rubs and a Pomegranate Mango Barbeque Sauce and Marinade; another one is currently in the works, in addition to a wing sauce.
Beck said their hot sauce could be used in a variety of recipes, added to salsas, spaghetti sauce, chicken dips, mayonnaise and cream cheese. One local customer adds Jamaican My Ass Burn sauce to her egg rolls.
After Burn products are available online and at several local retail locations. Visit afterburnhotsauce.com.
We Add Spice
When Chris Lambert’s friend gave him a pound of hot peppers about two years ago, he and his wife started experimenting with hot sauce recipes, testing variations and ingredients. Feedback from friends and family was positive, and We Add Spice was born.
“We came up with some really fantastic-tasting hot sauces we had never tasted before,” he said. “People that use it and try it, use it on everything.”
We Add Spice currently offers five hot sauces, including Rockin’ Razz Berry and Atomic Blueberry, which are fruit-based sauces, and its most popular Hot Rod. Lambert stresses that his sauces have “yummy heat” that is “all about flavor, not heat.” He uses a combination of berries, local peppers, habaneros and red Fresno peppers, which add heat and sweetness.
Lambert recommends adding his hot sauce to pasta sauce, meatballs, burgers and chicken salad. He said his raspberry sauce is fairly mild and can even be used as a salad dressing. “Some people just drink it,” he added with a laugh. “The reactions of people keep us going.”
Pick up We Add Spice sauces at stores in Concord, Manchester, Raymond and Hooksett. Find out where at weaddspice.webs.com
Jehu Hot Sauce
After growing peppers for a few years, Pete Andreasen figured the best thing to do with them was combine them with fruit juice and make hot sauce. After giving it to friends and family, he was told, “You should try to sell this – it’s good.”
Andreasen started Jehu Hot Sauce out of Laconia, attending winter farmers’ markets in Tilton in 2012, and the business has been expanding since.
“We kind of fell into it, and it’s growing,” he said.
Andreasen offers medium and hot sauces, using habaneros, guajillo peppers, cayenne peppers, pineapple, mango and apple, among many other ingredients. They are “first the sweet, then the heat,” as their customers like to say. Products include the Smoked Apple, Smokey Tom, Pineapple Sunrise and Bike Week, Jehu’s signature sauce with extra cayenne, only available in hot.
Andreasen recommends using the Smoked Apple on macaroni and cheese and in pork recipes; the Downtown sauce for streak tips and the Smokey Tom in lasagna.
Jehu Hot Sauce is now in almost 20 area stores, including the Concord Co-Op, Concord Hannaford, and The Fresh Market in Bedford. Visit jehuhotsauce.com.
Nila has been making chutney for many years, but moving to New Hampshire a few years ago from India added additional flavor and ingredient offerings.
According to Roy Gandhi-Schwatlow, Nila’s husband, they started out small, selling their chutneys at local farmers markets.
“People liked it, and Nila started inventing new chutneys,” he said.
Nila’s now offers 32 flavors, some seasonal, including Bashful Beet, Chili Chili Bang Bang and Go Go Ginger Garlic, three of their hotter chutneys; their most popular, Sweet Heat and their newest, Mushroom Magic.
Gandhi-Schwatlow said chutney is a versatile product that can be eaten with cheese and crackers, used in several recipes and paired with meats like chicken and pork. He was recently on WMUR’s Cook’s Corner and made Go Go Ginger Garlic ginger vegetables. Several recipes are available on the Nila’s website at nilaschutneys.com that are “chutney plus one” ingredient. Products are available in several local stores, including the Concord Co-Op.
Doug’s Best Batch Salsa
Doug Rose of Doug’s Best Batch Salsa said he had been using the same recipe for years, giving away his salsa to family and friends, before his 12 year-old daughter told him it was time to get serious.
“She said, ‘let’s really make it.’ It’s been a lot of fun and very interesting. We have met a lot of great people,” he said.
Rose started selling his salsa and barbecue sauce at farmers’ markets and old home days and now has products in 15 stores, including Natural Choice in Hooksett, Hooksett Agway and Miles Smith Farm in Loudon. The Hungry Buffalo in Loudon uses his sugar-free barbecue sauce in house recipes. He uses local vegetables from farms in Hooksett and Manchester in his products.
“We truly support local businesses and care about grassroots organizations,” he said.
Rose describes his salsa as medium-hot, “with a little bit of zip to it” and some sweetness from the vegetables. It includes a “run through the garden, with peppers, corn, cactus, tomatoes, onions, pineapple and more.”
“A tremendous amount of people have asked me to make a hotter salsa,” he said, noting plans are in the works to offer one in the future.
The Doug’s website is currently being developed, but more information will be available at dougsbestbatch.com
Sizzlin Sauces, based in Conway, offers six hot sauces and two relishes made from habanero peppers grown right in Chef Bud Selmi’s greenhouse. Selmi started Sizzlin Sauces in 2003 after a bumper crop the previous year yielded him five pounds of habaneros.
“I made a batch of hot sauce, and my friends said, ‘Wow, you should bottle this and sell it,’” Selmi said.
His current offerings include hot sauces, like Spittin Fire, Howlin’ Hollar, barbecue sauces, rubs, Garlic Relish and Mojo’s Tapenade. Not all of the Sizzlin Sauces items are really hot; some use unique ingredients like pumpkin, prickly pear cactus, pomegranate and carrot to add flavor with a little kick. He has since won more than 60 awards in places like Texas, New Mexico and New York City.
As a certified chef, Selmi has been on WMUR’s Cook’s Corner and was chosen as the N.H. Restaurant Association’s Celebrity Chef to help promote Restaurant Week. Because he “knows what flavor combinations go well together,” he recommends using his sauces to enhance the flavor of recipes.
“Start out by using a little bit in a recipe or sauce so you realize what the flavor combination is, and then you can add more. A little bit really accents the flavor of foods,” he said.
Sizzlin Sauces are available throughout the state and online. For more information, visit sizzlinsauces.com
Jack’s Ass Kickin’ Salsa
Jack’s Ass Kickin’ Salsa of Merrimack is run by the Kelly family, named for their late family member Jack. Their salsa isn’t new, as it was sold several years ago, but it ceased production in 2005. Members of the Kelly family brought it back last summer and are offering three salsas: mild, medium and hot.
Jack’s Ass Kickin’ Salsa is currently available in several stores including Robie’s General Store in Hooksett, Harvest Market in Bedford, Sully’s Superette in Goffstown and online. For more information, visit jacksasskickinsalsa.com