My fascination with hot peppers started when I was about four years old growing up on my family’s Texas cattle ranch.
When I would occasionally sass my mom back, she would put some Tabasco hot sauce in my mouth as punishment. Well, little did she know that she was starting me on the road to hot sauce perdition, and she must have scratched her head more than once when I became sassier than ever just to get more hot sauce.
Of course, I never told her I liked the hot stuff. I guess she finally caught on because she switched to washing my mouth out with soap instead of hot sauce, but continued using hot sauce on my brothers. Meanwhile I had developed quite a taste for pepper fire.
Fortunately, we had a garden, and each of my brothers and I had a plot in the garden that was our own responsibility. I grew as many hot peppers as I could get away with, and by the time I was six or seven, was avidly experimenting with fiery concoctions made from the different hot peppers I grew. This trend has never stopped.
I was lucky because my mother was eager to have her kids learn to cook (AND wash the dishes, scrub the floor, etc.), so I had a fairly free hand in the kitchen between meals and ranch chores. Of course, this was aided by a little blackmail on my part: I would hint that I wouldn’t be such a smart ass if she let me make hot sauce in her kitchen.
From then on, most of the Christmas and birthday presents I gave were one form or another of my hot sauces. Nobody seemed to mind though. In fact, everyone loved the nefarious brews I concocted.
Fast forward through high school and college to current day Vermont. Now a lot of things can be said of Vermont, both good and bad, but one thing is true: It is a great place to start a specialty food business, and that is what I did. I started testing some of my fiery brews on the unsuspecting people who frequented the farmer’s markets in Vermont, and contrary to my expectations in this cold land, most of them LOVED the fiery flavors I fed them. I knew I had a good thing going.
After months of researching and cutting the red tape that tries to strangle the food industry, I started Greene’s Gourmet Hot Sauce Company in mid-July, 2004. It has been a huge hit in Vermont, and keeps growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, I have the whole of Vermont pretty well covered in hot sauce.
I attribute the success of my hot sauces to several factors. They taste really good–most hot sauces I have tried don’t taste very good, just a lot of heat and vinegar and salt.
My sauces don’t have dyes, capsaicin extract, any artificial preservatives or ingredients that taste bad and are bad for you. They are all natural, and GMO free. The color and heat in each sauce is from the peppers.
Sure, it is a lot more work and a lot more expensive to make than the standard kind of hot sauce, but the results are well worth it. I know you will agree when you try them. One taste and you’ll be hooked.
The Hot Sauce Guy