Recently, your fearless bloggers attended our local Highland Games. We saw bagpipers, we saw large men throwing large objects, we saw dogs herding sheep. These are [or might be] the traditions of my people. (Sorry, I wasn’t patient enough to backtrack past 1650 on ancestry.com. I thought I was Irish/English/Welsh/Scottish/French though. I am pale.)
Then, we saw the most exciting thing of all: a Scottish hot sauce. More specifically, Scomac Hot Scotch Bonnet Sauce.
Honestly, we were surprised. All three of us have visited Scotland. While Scotland does provide some culinary adventures (haggis, anyone?), it is not known for its spicy food. (Things Scotland is known for include incomprehensible accents, periodic elections to decide whether to divide from the UK even though everyone knows it won’t, Braveheart, Brave, men in skirts, and incomprehensible accents.) Personally, I don’t even remember hearing of a Scotch bonnet pepper before seeing this bottle, and I’m not sure the makers had heard much about it either given that it made up only 2% of the sauce.
As it turns out, the Scotch bonnet pepper (not to be confused with the Scotch bonnet mushroom or the Scotch bonnet shell) is not from Scotland at all. This makes sense because I’m pretty sure there aren’t many peppers out there that are built for cool, grey weather and rain. Wikipedia informs me that Scotch bonnet peppers are also known as Boabs bonnet, Scotty Bons (catchy!), Bonney peppers, Ball of Fire (dangerous!), or Caribbean red peppers... because they are actually from the Caribbean and just happen to look like the tam o’shanter hat that gave them their name (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch_bonnet_(pepper)). They were not really used in Scottish cooking... until now.
Sauce: Hot Scotch Bonnet Sauce
Chili pepper: Scotch Bonnet (Capsicum chinense)
Country of origin: Scotland
We have found the reason that Scotland doesn’t have a lot of spicy food: weak sauce. This was our least favorite sauce that we have tested so far. First off, not that much kick. Second off, most of the flavor came from malt vinegar and soy sauce, with a bit of molasses. It was a sweet sauce more than a spicy sauce. You could save some money, buy some Worchestershire, and be happier with that.
As a consolation, below are videos of a man throwing a heavy object really far, and a man throwing a heavy object almost 12’ in the air. He got it the next time. Enjoy.