Monday, September 9, 2013

Chile-cstacy at The Bowers Chile Pepper Festival

Like to get all fired up, friends?
Not afraid of a little burn?

Whoo whee, then do I have an event for you!
This weekend, we hit up The Bowers Chile Pepper Festival and had a total blast! 

As you may have learned from previous posts, "For Those Who Like It HOT" & "Spice It Up," I get hot for da' peppas! This event is right up my alley.
Walking through the festival, my strategy was to visit every vendor to find the most delectable, hot sauce in the mix.
Now I'm no wuss when it comes to spice. At each stand, I started with the hottest sauce and took notes while working my way through to find the most palatable- the ONE that would add notable heat but wouldn't overpower a dish.

While I was sampling the spice, my 4-yr-old peanut was working hard to complete the task her dad had assigned her—writing down the names of five new peppers!

Pepper festival-ing is serious biz, friends.

About halfway through our adventure, something strange happened.

Another hardcore pepper-popper had taken note of my high tolerance and sought me out to try the concoction he'd determined to be the wackiest and hottest at the festival.

A sucker for spice, I couldn't resist.

With other festival-goers staring intently at my reaction, I boldly sampled a concentrated form of the famed Carolina Reaper pepper, one of hottest chile peppers in the world. Although it wasn't a day-ruiner, this particular mixture was definitely too much for every day use.

I think I got high?
Dude's day about to be ruined. Wish I could've photographed his face, but that wouldn't have been in good TASTE!
Then things got extra weird when the vendor pulled out an unidentified vial, squirted a few drops on his own tongue and then tried to convince me to try this homemade mystery mix as well. Um...nope.

Now, friends, I've tried 'em all, even "Ghost" Bhut Jolokia peppers. Something about this challenge just got a little too hokey. This was my first pepper stand-down ever.

As the dare got passed onto a hulk of a man, I was so glad I passed the buck. THAT was a day-ruiner for sure. Poor dude.

I walked away smiling, however, having sampled just the right amount of spice for one day.
The score? 

After a complete loop and thorough tastings, I took home Sweet Heat Gourmet's Carolina Reaper & Roasted Garlic Hot Sauce and, to turn it up to eleven, a local vendor's Mixed Scorpion & Ghost Pepper Relish.

As a peppy pepper-lover, I give this event a five-star review! If you're looking for a way to spice up your scene, don't miss The Bowers Chile Pepper Festival next September. You'll get your kicks...and then some. 

Have a hot one, people!
What's your favorite hot sauce? Don't know if you can beat these.
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