Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lord of the Hot Sauce

by M

In honor of the Hobbit's upcoming release, we have some special hot sauce from New Zealand.  New Zealand is a place I have always wanted to visit, especially after the LOTR series hit the US back in 2001.  These movies are good and of an epic stature, but they are just way too long.  I have a limit for how long I can sit in a chair without going insane, which is about an hour and a half.  Anything more and you've overstayed your welcome.  These movies weigh in at about 3 hrs apiece, for a total of 9 hrs.  Then there is the directors' cut version that goes even longer.  I'd rather use Gollum's toothbrush than sit on my ass for that long.  

I don't want to go to NZ because I am some dorky fan boy who wants to dress up like a tool and parade around pretending to fight orcs.  I want to go because these movies were filmed on such beautiful landscapes of all kinds: huge snowy mountains, lush green fields, and warm beaches abound.  New Zealand is kind of an end-of-the-earth place, really far from the rest of the world (even from Australia, it is a 3hr flight). It seems like the last bastion of simplicity, out of the grips of western assholery, European Nihilism, Asian idiosyncratics, and mideast craziness.  Just beautiful earth, a lotta sheep and maybe some beers.  I guess that is why I can't go… because everywhere is corrupted in its own way, and I'd rather think of it as a beautiful bubble that will be void of the nuclear apocalypse.

One thing is for sure, if New Zealand survives the nuclear apocalypse, we will be fine in the hot sauce department.

Name: Kaitaia Fire Chili Pepper Sauce
Kaitaia Fire
Chili pepper: Piri Piri (Capsicum frutescens) ??
Country of origin: New Zealand
Rating: 8.8

In many ways Kaitaia hot sauce is a classic hot sauce, not as distant or exotic as the land it comes from.  It is kind of the normal hot sauce recipe: aged red chillies and a vinegar base. But it is done really well. I am a Red Hot kind of guy.  Red Hot is not the best hot sauce but it is widely available and pairs well with anything.  Kaitaia is Red Hot done well. It has more kick, the perfect amount of heat. You can use a little, but a few too many splashes you will get a runny nose and some hiccups. The flavor is quite good too, both peppery and salty, and pairs well with most foods you will want to eat hot sauce with. The best part is Kaitaia is readily available online here.
Who knew? Our New Zealand lab member did not really remember a New Zealand hot sauce when we enquired about one, which was not too surprising. But when Kaitaia found it's way into our hands from another kiwi-going fellow, he said "Oh, of course, Kaitaia, everyone uses that.” And they should, because it is delicious.

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