Weekend Adventures Part 2: Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

Printed on the side of the tortilla chip boxes. I don’t know. I just liked it.

Last year, it was 112 degrees on the day of the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival; on top of that, there was still one more day for ArmadilloCon. While the festival has been a must-attend for Jon and me ever since we lived here, between the weather and the conflict, we decided to skip out. This year, the con and the festival were on separate weekends, and the weather was much more temperate (it even rained a little bit!). And I’m glad we went, because there were some delicious new things.

Chips!

We started out in the tasting lines for the sauces entered in the competition. We hit the specialty sauces first, and tasted some amazing creations, from great habanero sauces, to those made with citrus or curry or cucumber, to one that included shrimp!

Shrimp salsa! Who would have thought?

But our favorite by far was from a newcomer to the festival this year: the Cajun Garlic Essence sauce from Jac’s Tailgaters, based out of Louisiana.

 

After tasting all the specialty sauces, we moved on to the green sauce section. Halfway through, we decided we were done with the long, slow lines, so decided to hit up the hot sauce vendors who were offering samples. And, of course, let people take our money in exchange for delicious hot sauce.

We ended up buying condiments from five different companies (in order of appearance on our festival meanderings):

High Octane Sauce Company

  • Rice Burner Sweet and Spicy Asian Sauce (I didn’t sample this, but Jon assures me that I’m going to love it)

Cin Chili

  • Cindy’s Cin-namon Apple BBQ Sauce (delightfully sweet and savory)
  • Hell’s Passion Hot Sauce (reminds me of my former favorite, Scorned Woman, before they changed their recipe for the worse)
  • Triple-C Steak Sauce (I don’t remember the last time I bought steak sauce, as I don’t really eat steak, but this was too delicious to pass up)

Austin Slow Burn

  • Habanero-Rosemary Jelly (I’m a big fan of their Habanero-Cranberry Jelly as well, but we decided to purchase the new flavor this year)

Jac’s Tailgaters 

  • Cajun Garlic Essence (I will reiterate: the best sauce entered in the competition)
  • Bayou Gold Chipotle Mustard Sauce (because I am a mustard addict)
  • Cajun Lightning Hot Sauce (I think it’s new, because it’s not on their website; it cost $3 more than the rest of the sauces, but was well worth the price)

Thai Gourmet

  • Thai Cumber Salsa, medium heat, with Thai peppers (Our first choice was the high heat with habaneros, but they were sold out; this was the next best thing, and still very delicious)
  • Massamun Curry Sauce (I can’t wait to cook with this!)

After over three hours of standing in the sun and sampling sauce, we came away with enough to last us at least six months (probably; we’re hot sauce addicts). And, at the end of all that, what was the natural choice? A trip to Amy’s Ice Cream, to chill out. The perfect ending to a perfect afternoon.

Guinness ice cream with Heath bar crumbles mixed in. Delicious.

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4 thoughts on “Weekend Adventures Part 2: Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

  1. Hey I would first like to say I am sorry for not seeing this until today. I would also like to to tell you thank you so much for all the kind words about our products,, We had to miss it this because my work had me working in DC but I already have plans to come back there next year.. Again thank you so much for your write up..

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