If you’ve heard the saying you either live to eat or you eat to live, there’s no doubt about it that I am in the, “I live to eat” category. Food brings people together, it gives the body nutrients, and sometimes it lights your mouth into a tear-jerking blaze. I’ve always been one to enjoy lighting my mouth on fire and enduring the pain, especially when family and friends are gathered around to light our mouths on fire together! Such a great bonding experience by the way. I strongly recommend it.
The Story Behind the Sauce
I’ve always been a creative person at heart and food has always been at the top of my mind. Throughout the years I’ve developed a need to try something new as often as possible. Of course, I have my few go-to meals that I enjoy like everyone else, but those meals can sometimes become boring over time. I began to search for new ways to cook in order to add more flavor to meals and create a whole new experience for my taste buds.
After searching far and wide, I stumbled upon a recipe for a hot sauce that was more than just a pepper sauce. It contained FRUIT. Pineapple to be exact. This broadened my horizons of flavor possibilities way beyond the typical buffalo, jalapeno, and habanero sauces stuffed in the back corner of my fridge.
Believe me, I still enjoy pepper-based sauces. They have always been there when my food needed a little heat. For that, I am grateful. They always will have a place in my heart and on my plate., but I was looking to experiment and push the boundaries of hot sauce flavor combinations.
After discovering this new realm of flavor, I began to re-create recipes. Some turned out amazing, while others were far from it.
Finding the Sweet Spot
After getting comfortable with utilizing fruit in my hot sauces, I began putting my own unique twist on recipes and creating my own list of ingredients from scratch.
Just like when I was testing my skills with existing recipes, some of my own recipes were delightful, while others… not so much.
But, among all the different unique flavor and pepper variety combinations I experimented with, there was one hot sauce recipe that was a stand-alone favorite amongst family and friends. A blueberry-based sauce with Carolina Reaper peppers. I got busy creating numerous variations of this sauce and every single one turned out to be remarkable. It was only right to not be selfish and to share this sauce with the rest of the world.
Perfecting the Pepper Joe’s Blueberry Reaper Recipe
After I decided I was going to get my sauce produced at a larger scale I had to choose the best recipe. One thing that many people don’t realize is the amount of vinegar that is needed to create a shelf-stable sauce. I chose apple cider vinegar for this specific sauce because it allowed the deep flavor of the many other ingredients to shine through. Using only a white vinegar in previous recipes, the flavor seemed to be very surface level and the sauce had a more-vinegary taste.
The ingredients chosen were for a reason. This sauce was meant to taste bold while maintaining a high level of freshness. It does exactly that. The blueberries shine through excellently with fresh and sweet flavor. The fresh squeezed orange juice and fresh squeezed lime juice add to the citrus notes that only shine through right before the heat of the Reaper. After the Reaper gives you a swift kick to the tongue, the soft cinnamon notes play mind tricks to help distract you from the pain.
Flavor + Heat = Pure Magic
Super-hot sauces can be fun to torment your friends with, but at the end of the day I want to create a positive food experience full of flavor and just enough heat for heat-lovers like myself. You won’t ever see us creating a sauce that sacrifices flavor for an insane amount of heat. This new Blueberry Reaper sauce is only the tip of the iceberg of the flavors and heat that lie ahead. I couldn’t be more excited to continue sharing my passion of hot sauce with everyone else.
A Look to Match the Taste
After finalizing the recipe, it was time to come up with a label. I worked with our graphic designer, Keaton. (If you’ve seen our product labels, you know we are very fortunate to have someone like Keaton on our team.) What he came up with by far exceeded my expectations.
With at least 4 more reaper sauces in development, this design was a perfect fit for us. Our main objective is to create a uniform look and feel that ties these tasteful sauces together in order to create a full experience of flavor and extreme heat. These labels do a great job capturing that.
Blueberry Reaper Sauce Reviews
It’s been an amazing experience to see everyone rave about my Blueberry Reaper Hot Sauce. Seeing all the great reviews and smiles that have come along with the first initial sauce release has been heart-warming. I never thought that something that I created in my kitchen would be enjoyed by so many people. I hope you get a bottle and try it for yourself and I can’t wait to put out more tasty creations for the world to enjoy!