On April 20 and 21, the Williamsburg, Brooklyn waterfront played host to more than 30 different hot sauce producers, and hundreds of guests had the opportunity to sample their offerings, from the mild to the head-splittingly spicy.
The $10 admission fee allowed guests the chance to sample and purchase many hot sauces that are otherwise hard to find. The offerings ranged from hyper-local (five varieties were from New York City) to far-off (Jacksonville, Fla., Dallas, and Chicago were all represented), and in many cases the founders/ inventors were the ones showcasing their product.
As opposed to showing off their creations via food, vendors offered their sauces on their own, available to sample via tiny spoons. This made things a bit awkward once the heat really kicked in, because most vendors didn’t have anything to cool it down (we overheard more than a couple of people ask for milk). A quick glimpse around revealed several people at any given time whose mouths were clearly on fire, but that’s the risk you take when you go to a hot sauce festival, right? Thankfully, many vendors helped guide guests through their lines of products, making sure they didn’t go past their desired heat limit. There was plenty of food coming off the grill, though, and lots of beer to wash everything down with, including the recent Texas import Shiner Bock.
Overall, the event was a great opportunity for small hot sauce producers to get their product out there, and they all appeared to be selling well. On our end, it was an opportunity to sample some of the world’s most creative sauces. It might be a while before we try that ghost chile sauce again, though.