Taste of the Caribbean: Taking a Chance on Homemade Pepper Sauce in Dominica
What are you afraid of?
You might be brave. You might be crazy, careless, or all of the above, but chances are there’s at least one bugaboo in your life. For me, danger lurks in unmarked bottles like the one above. The bright-orange mixture within: homemade pepper sauce.
Now, I like a bit of pepper from time to time, but I’m certainly no connoisseur. As my West Indian friends might say, my mouth “soft like buttah!” So, it was with more than a wee degree of trepidation that I approached the nice lady holding the bottle at the New Market in Roseau and struck up a conversation.
I wanted to know what ingredients she used, the secrets to her special family recipe, and what kind of heat it had in store for me. Her answers…
I didn’t make that hot sauce. Somebody make it, but I sell it.
Fright! The bottle was even more ominously anonymous than I previously imagined! There was only one thing to do now… I had to buy it!!
Yeah, I was scared, but curiosity overwhelmed my fear. I had to know if this mystery pepper sauce was better than the commercially-sold local favorite, Bello.
From the time I first encountered it on my breakfast table at Rosalie Bay, I really liked Bello Hot Pepper Sauce. As I noted in an earlier post, Bello works for me because it’s not too hot – the perfect balance of heat and flavor.
This unmarked hot sauce, however, is a whole ‘nother story!
Several weeks passed following my trip to Dominica last summer before I worked up the courage to crack open the bottle. It was my wife who did the prodding. Two, maybe three drops on my dinner rendered a previously nice bowl of red beans and rice into a scorching inferno!
The mystery pepper sauce entered my life a good 15 months ago, and still a good 70% of it remains in the bottle; as lasting an edible souvenir as I’ve ever picked up anywhere in the Caribbean and easily the hottest pepper sauce I’ve ever tried.
Know of any other super-hot pepper sauces you’d like to see us try? Labeled or not, we’d like to know about them and put them (and my fears) to the test! Leave us a comment below to clue us in…