Giving Up the Ghost Pepper

M-OTP-1I’ve been working on this article off and on most of the day, and rivers of sweat and tears are running down my face. No, it’s not from the hard work. It’s the hot sauce.

A few minutes ago, Debbie brought me a bowl of her wonderful, homemade-from-scratch chicken vegetable soup. You guessed it: I’m on a diet. New year, new Ziegler —again. Since this was going to be my lunch, I decided to spice it up a bit. What a great opportunity to try out that new hot pepper sauce I just bought!

Now, you’ve got to understand, I am a hot sauce aficionado. I’ve been collecting them for 30 years and I own hundreds of bottles of every description. I eat sauces and whole peppers that would put to shame any Vietnamese, Mexican, Korean, Indian or Jamaican brands you can find in your specialty foods aisle. My latest discovery is Dave’s Gourmet Ghost Pepper sauce, made with the naga jolokia pepper, which is rated at 855,000-plus Scoville heat units. For scale, Tabasco tops out at about 5,000 Scovilles. This is the kind of sauce you keep away from your eyes, pets and paint jobs. So I only used three or four drops.

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