Fermented Hot Sauce: The Finale
Putting fire in a bottle and then gifting it to your friends, because who doesn't love fire in a bottle?
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Hello my friend,
No recipe today, just a follow up on my last letter about hot sauces, and how little bottles of fire can spark joy.
It took 2 weeks, but the ferment is done to my taste. I’m pretty sure it’s delicious, but it’s hard to tell because I tasted it and now my taste buds are numb. My sauces are now in pretty little woozy bottles — that’s what those hot sauce bottles are called, “woozies” — and I can gussy them up any way I want. When you do it, you can keep them all to yourself and/or give a bottle or two to some very lucky friends who will almost surely finish it and ask for more. It’s that tasty.
When we last saw our fermented vegetables, they were hanging out in a gallon jar with an army of lactobacilli who do not fear the reaper or, in this case, the habanero.
Place the strained vegetables in a good, strong blender (you did buy one, didn’t you? Don’t make me go on a rant about blenders again):
The blended pulp will probably be too thick for a hot sauce, so ladle a bit of the fire water into the blender and keep blending until the sauce is the consistency you want. This is a matter of taste. If you place those little orifice reducers in the bottles, you’ll want it to be thinner. If you like it on the thick side, that’s fine too.
Now is the time to balance the flavors. Add the cumin, honey, lime and apple cider vinegar we talked about last time. Add other flavorings if you so choose. Blend all that good stuff together one more time. Remember, our motto is “cook until it tastes good” or, as it says on my family crest, “coques donec sapit.”
Grab a small funnel with a bottom opening that fits inside your woozy bottles. Pour the sauce into the bottles and — for the love of all that is holy — label them. You don’t want someone getting into this stuff if they’re not expecting it.
You can go rather plain with the labels …
… or, you can really get into the spirit of things. I love how the small brown bottles with the skull stickers look like something you might find in an apothecary shop or evil villain’s lab. I bought the skull stickers here.
I throw mine in the fridge until I need them. Remember, you don’t want to leave them in a warm environment where the fermentation continues until you wind up with bottle rockets, broken glass and lots of crying. Refrigeration slows the ferment down.
And that’s it. Twelve bottles of delicious, homemade, good-for-you hot sauce from some hot peppers, a pineapple, an onion, some garlic and a few other ingredients you probably have in your kitchen cabinet.
Did you make the hot sauce? I’d love to know what you think of it. Leave a note in the comments if you have any questions or would like to brag about your creation.
Until next time,