Posts Tagged ‘Spicy’

Success does not stack up on just one spectrum. When measuring levels of success, one cannot look at one line, or a ladder, so to speak. Success comes in many different directions. One can specialize in one thing and gain success due to that one particular aspect. For example, GoPro specializes in their action cameras, and while they have other products, the general public only recognizes GoPro for their action cameras. However, some paths have a certain ceiling to success, and when one reaches that ceiling, they must branch off to find success elsewhere. For example, musicians traditionally have such a ceiling of success that they can attain, with the occasional exception of musicians who truly transcend their time. Rock bands such as Reel Big Fish and The Offspring can only gain so much success, so when they have reached their cap on music fame, they turn to side projects. For example, Dan Regan left Reel Big Fish a few years ago to open a microbrewery. Just over a decade ago, The Offspring’s frontman Dexter Holland opened up a side project in his hometown to whip up hot sauces that he has named Gringo Bandito.

Armed with the success of their music career, frontman of the multi-platinum group The Offspring’s Dexter Holland founded Gringo Bandito hot sauces in 2004. Many of the mainstream brands of hot sauces do not contain the proper proportion of peppers in the sauces, so those who consume mainstream hot sauces have turned complacent to how spicy a hot sauce should taste. With Gringo Bandito hot sauces, you only get vinegar and peppers, simply natural ingredients with nothing hidden. Gringo Bandito hot sauces come in three primary varieties: traditional red, salsa verde (green sauce), and super hot. Quite frankly, albeit I cannot take foods beyond medium spiciness, the super hot sauce contained plenty of upfront flavor that the spiciness really does not affect me until the very end. Despite the generous percent of peppers in these sauces, the heat does not torture your palate, so you can have your heat and eat it too.

As an annual treat, Gringo Bandito releases Private Reserve hot sauces created in small batches. TODAY starting at 9am Pacific time, Gringo Bandito will have three Private Reserve flavors available: Yellow Bhut, Yellow Moruga and Yellow Carolina Reaper. Interested patrons can order within three package tiers:

  • Super Duper: Signed & numbered Private Reserve bottle with foil label, custom pine box, two guitar picks, certificate of authenticity, t-shirt, and a cheapskate bottle to taste
  • Just Super: Private Reserve bottle with foil label, custom pine box, two guitar picks, certificate of authenticity, and a cheapskate bottle to taste
  • Cheapskate: Single bottle of Private Reserve with circle label

One lucky customer who buys the Super Duper will win a signed guitar. Gringo Bandito will offer 350 Super Duper’s, 100 Just Super’s, and 200 Cheapskate Editions. They will not sell any more than that, so once they sell out, you will have to wait until next year to taste these extra hot sauces.

I concocted a live taste taste of these hot sauces, so if you would like to watch as I taste them, click here to check out my live stream! This link will expire on the night of Saturday, December 3rd.

As we delve deeper into 2014, we look back on the previous year to learn and make progress for the rest of this year. Day by day, people live their lives, some by a set routine, others by thriving on new discoveries and expansions. The human race always seeks to progress culture by devising and adapting new approaches to existing methods. While not all humans share the same interests, all humans at least bear knowledge about food, as everyone has eaten food their entire lives. From the early days of basic meats, vegetables, and grains, food has evolved into a vast range of ingredients, tastes, cooking methods, and presentation. Innovative foods often make headlines as a new discovery, so as a result, many modern chefs tend to experiment more rather than stick to basics. Over time, many food trends surface, giving way to entrepreneurs to capitalize on those growing trends, such as cupcakes, frozen yogurt, and the recent gourmet food trucks trend. However, many food trends remain relatively undisturbed, known only to the true food fans. Last year saw a few food trends touched on, yet they still have not flourished. Read on to find out five food trends to pay attention to this year.

5. Frozen S’mores

From the creative minds behind the world famous Cronut comes new, never-before-seen desserts. Last year, the release of the Cronut went viral, and soon the entire world would go hysterical to try one. Plenty of knockoffs now exist around the world, but none compare to the original in New York. Now that same purveyor has introduced another luscious creation – the Frozen S’mores. Just like the Cronut, Frozen S’mores combines two completely different foods: ice cream and s’mores. This inside-out hybrid starts with an ice cream center, wrapped in a chocolate cookie/wafer, then stuffed inside a marshmallow. This gets frozen to maintain its shape, and whenever a lucky customer orders one, the customer receives it flash-torched to quickly crisp the outside while maintaining the frozen center. The past few years have always seen some type of new pastry or dessert that becomes a hot food trend for that year. Perhaps in 2014, the Frozen S’mores will expand beyond its home in New York and find new stomachs to nestle in around the world.

4. Ice Cream inside unexpected foods

Following up from the previous entry, we can all agree that everyone loves ice cream. Even vegan and gluten-free people love ice cream, or at least their versions of it (sorbet, etc). Traditionally served in a cone or straight up in a cup or bowl, multiple generations have enjoyed this cold treat throughout their lives. In the past few decades, we slightly see more and more ice cream inside unexpected foods. Sure an ice cream cake made sense, and only a matter of time separated the first ice cream cake from the first ice cream cupcake. Then people started inserting ice cream into any sort of dessert, such as ice cream cannolis, ice cream tacos, and deep-fried ice cream. But then where does one go from there? Once all the dessert ideas run out, start looking into meals. Would you boldly try a burger with ice cream in it? (Slater’s 50/50, first photo above) As strange as that sounds, it did not taste bad, but the rest of the burger masked the ice cream in it. The latest craze to hit the airwaves comes to us from Orange County, where ravenous millennials can wrap their hands around ice cream-filled doughnuts. (Afters Ice Cream, second photo above) This time, I feel that they just want to capitalize on a fad, as this tastes exactly how you picture it in your mind – a doughnut (glazed or non-glazed) with ice cream. But with the advent of this, who honestly knows where the culinary world will go from here?

3. Japanese meets Western

Last year, the revelation of the Ramen Burger (Go Squared, first photo above) turned into the most talked-about subject during its 15 minutes of fame. No one had seen anything like it before, and when an opportunity to try one locally cropped up, the entire region flocked to the destination, generating lines lasting over three hours just to try this new food. Once the fad settled, knockoffs appeared everywhere in an attempt to capitalize on the public’s desire to keep up with trends. We now see many different ways where Japanese cuisine meets Western preparations in addition to a Ramen Burger. Somewhere out there, a Ramen Pizza exists. Elsewhere, creative home cooks have discovered how to make things like Ramen omelets, Ramen burritos, Ramen chili, Ramen casserole, and many more things with Ramen in it. But why stop at Ramen? Japanese cuisine consists of far more different foods than just that 10-cent college meal every adult recognizes. Have you heard of Okonomiyaki? Some genius decided to attempt an Okonomiyaki Burger (Mitsuwa Marketplace, second photo above) one day. How about everyone’s favorite Japanese food, sushi? Hybrid sushi has already existed for some time, such as a Cheeseburger Sushi or Teriyaki Pork Sushi (Yatta Truck, third photo above). What other creative things can you think of to do with Japanese cuisine?

2. Hot Sauces

If you have not heard the news about Sriracha sauce, the city of Irwindale, which houses the primary facility that produces Sriracha sauce, aims to shut down the factory due to foul odors emanating from the facility. Thanks to this scare that Sriracha sauce in the United States may cease to exist, chefs, home cooks, and food fans across the country scrambled to search for suitable hot sauces to replace their beloved rooster sauce. Plenty of different types of hot sauces exist, and Americans already have fallen in love with both Tabasco and Tapatío sauces. However, nothing can truly replace Sriracha sauce – its combination of ingredients yield an intense spice full of harmonic flavors that help to open up one’s palate to fully absorb the food that the sauce dresses. In fact, Los Angeles even hosted a festival dedicated to Sriracha recently. Heat seekers swear by Sriracha, and will have to look high and low for new hot sauces to satisfy their need for heat.

1. Cauliflower

Every year, some obscure vegetable that nobody ever paid much attention to enters the spotlight and suddenly becomes a thing that everyone wants. In 2012, Brussels sprouts came out of nowhere and took the world by storm, leaving everyone craving more Brussels sprouts. In 2013, everyone suddenly wanted to eat more kale. Now in 2014, we see the inevitable rise in the popularity of cauliflower. Traditionally seen in salads, creative chefs have come up with new ways to deliver cauliflower such that casual customers would crave more, such as Roasted Cauliflower (Tavern On 2, pictured above) with ingredients like capers, bacon, and more. Sooner than later, much like with Brussels sprouts and kale in the previous years, people originally adverse to cauliflower may turn a new leaf this year and give it a try. With high nutritional density, people can view cauliflower as similar to broccoli in terms of serving. More importantly, nutritionists have linked the consumption of cauliflower to reduced risk of prostate cancer. Gentlemen… eat more cauliflower!