The Hot & Spicy fest featured a multitude of purveyors of hot sauces and spicy salsas. We made our rounds and found a few that we liked. We tried various sauces from SOHOT. They had exotic flavours like "Gingerly Hot" and a mangoey "Sweet Surrender." I liked the intense clean kick of "Climaxxx," but our favourite flavour was "Cilantro Sutra," a fiery blend of lemon zest and corriander seed, which we bought a bottle of.
We loved the Chili Chocolate hot sauce from Peppermaster. It'd probably taste great on some smoked pork, crackers, or just about anything. It gives new meaning to the phrase "hot chocolate."
Next we tried a unique twist to serving hot sauce, a la mode. This delectable treat was courtesy of Jake Albert's Fuego Rojo, a pomegranate habanero glaze, served on vanilla ice cream. I can't say I've had that combination before. And I must say, it was the taste highlight of the festival.The ice cream quickly smothers the heat so that all you get is a complex dance of sweet and spicy flavours. Yummy!!!
Moving on, we tried a variety of other hot sauces and salsas. We even tried some hot hummus, and a not so hot and not so impressive chocolate hummus. It's amazing how different peppers give markedly different flavour profiles, from the smokey full bodied habanero, to the super hot light zing of scotch bonnets. Some sauces are just hot like Fyah!
Enough about hot sauces, what about the food? Sadly we were less than impressed. There was a smattering of Caribbean food... and a good jerk or roti is always satisfying, but we were expecting some hot Mexican, maybe some Indian vindaloo, or some fiery Sichuan. We ended up getting an ackee and saltfish combo, with fried plantains. It was a hearty meal, but just OK.
Ahhh, another gorgeous sunny day at Harbourfront, with sailing ships on the horizon, and screaming fighter jets above us.