Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce

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Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce

Post by pinback » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:05 pm

As much as we're all struggling to tolerate RetroRomper, I will say that I will be forever grateful for the three things he has given me in our time together here:

1. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
2. No cookies.
3. A recommendation for Palo Alto Firefighter "Pepper Sauce"

I was feeling magnanimous enough that I put aside my distaste for the name "pepper sauce" to give Retro, and the brave firefighters of Palo Alto, CA, a shot.

I ordered one 8 oz bottle of each of their two varieties. Here is a picture of them, not taken by me!

Image

That's just what they look like here in my kitchen! One is the original "Pepper Sauce", which uses red jalapeños only, and the other is the "Habanero Pepper Sauce" which also uses red Js as its primary ingredient, but also throws in some habs for extra heat.

The Hab sauce won the "Specialty Chile Hot Sauce" category at the 2014 Scovie Awards! Why either red Js or habaneros are considered "specialty chile", I have no idea!

Anyway, back to the sauce. The ingredients are the aforementioned chiles, water (unusual), vinegar, paprika (unusual), sugar, and "spice", a vague catch-all for all the things the creator apparently doesn't want us to know about it. The other unusual thing is that you don't see "salt" anywhere on this list. Retro, being the crazy sonofabitch he is, actually called the guy who makes the stuff to have him confirm there is zero salt in the sauce. Confirmed! Which is especially strange because other reports on the sauce around the internet accuse the sauce of being "overly salty". Which it is not, and literally cannot be, because there ain't none.

The packaging, heat, full-flavor, and thickness of this sauce all point to one fact: This is not a "drop here, drop there" hot sauce. This is a "grab the bottle and drown whatever you're eating in the shit." The jalapeños impart a modicum of warmth without overwhelming the vinegar and sugar which cut out any bitterness and touch all of the pertinent tastebuds. It is a rich, fulfilling sauce which is not afraid of going big on flavor. But what is that? Something else... something... different. Must be in that "spice" category. But what is it?

Aha! It is cumin, the other primary flavor of the sauce. So in a sense, it taste less like a chile sauce and more like a chili sauce. In fact, I would imagine that blended with a big bowl of con carne it would simply disappear into the standard chili spice mix. Or perhaps, as I suggested to Retro earlier, it could double as a chili base. One gets the sense one need only add ground beef and beans (or whatever you like) and you're already halfway or better to a satisfying bowl of red!

My first use was on tacos, and I can tell you, I used up about 1/4 of the bottle already just dumping it all over every available surface of those damn tacos. The perfect accompaniment to any tex-mex meal, and I would presume, everything else!

It is also available in 64-oz jugs for those who can't get enough, which I am guessing I will become!

The habanero version of the sauce tastes virtually identical to the "regular", but has a higher, longer burn. As a well-seasoned chile-head, I think I prefer it. However, so far I haven't found a way to go wrong with either.

I give Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce & Habanero Sauce 87 empty cookie jars out of 100!
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by pinback » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:19 pm

As promised, used the sauce in chili. This recipe is spot fucking on, folks:

1.5-2 lbs coarse ground chuck
3 tbsp quality chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cayenne
1/4 tsp each clove, allspice, cinnamon
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp red wine (or other) vinegar
1 medium white onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
8 oz water
1 can beef broth
1 can Rotel
1/4 cup Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce

- Brown beef in small amount of oil, drain
- Add garlic/onion, sauté till soft
- Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne, flour, clove, allspice, cinammon, stir for one minute
- Add tomato sauce, broth, water, vinegar, Palo Alto sauce, Rotel
- Bring to boil, simmer for 1.5-2 hours until desired thickness
- Salt to taste
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by pinback » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:32 pm

The Habanero sauce is the most addictive sauce I have ever come across. It has been a major part of every single meal I've had since I received it, and it shows no signs of stopping.

Retro told me he thought it was too hot and overwhelmed the flavor of the food it was on. He is wrong about this, and should be roundly shamed and ostracized from the community for this opinion.

I look forward to ordering a 64 jug once this 8oz bottle is empty, which should be in a matter of days.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by Flack » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:12 am

I saw you interacting with the company on Facebook. Have you considered asking them for a free 64oz bottle? In the past I have asked for tons of free things and probably got 1/2 of what I asked for.

Here's what I would do -- pitch them a "31 Days of Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce." Come up with 31 things you can put the sauce on. Post them on your web site, one a day for all of March. (Or scale it down and do it for a week, although you will probably only get a small bottle out of them.) Then with each post link to it on Facebook and Twitter and add hashtags.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by pinback » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:12 am

I better get some free shit, I've basically been their entire marketing department for the past week.

WHERE'S MY FREE SHIT, maggots. WE ARE NOW ENEMIES.
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Post by Flack » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:42 pm

Good luck.
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Post by pinback » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:30 pm

I just don't understand. I wrote one small review of Sobieski on this stupid site and unprovoked someone from Sobieski found it and sent me like T-shirts and free vodka and coasters and all sorts of shit.

I go on their own Facebook page and I'm writing recipes and I'm pumping it and pumping it and pumping it and the sauce too, and all I get is "hey, thanks for the kind words!"

NO. NO. That is NOT how we conduct business in this country.

I want a fucking handout. Right, fucking, now.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by Flack » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:27 pm

I would hurry up and get it before they search Google and find you calling them maggots.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by pinback » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:17 pm

Goddammit.

This place ruins everything. I finally found one thing I enjoyed.
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Post by lethargic » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:11 am

With the food items you post about I have to think your dumps are majestic.

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:06 pm

gsdgsd has also recommended the sauce. So I shall get some.

I also assume this is the food that caused lethargic to be effectively without a wardrobe because of the back end.
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Post by Flack » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:06 pm

I pitched an article idea to them about them sending me some fire fighter hot sauce and I would take it up to the local fire department and write a big thing but... no response.

There is apparently one place that sells this sauce in Oklahoma and it's 2+ hours away.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:37 pm

We have an ENTIRE FORUM filled with men of great means unable to guilt these dudes into giving us some free sauce. This is an outrage! What's a forum got to do to slather the entire thing in hot sauce?

Also, Flack, I have questions for you on IRC when you are there again. About that time that company advertised on robohara.com?
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by gsdgsd » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:26 pm

My order arrived on Thursday night. Since then, I've been planning meals around ways to incorporate the habanero stuff (or adding extra meals, like, "I know I just had eggs an hour ago, but I think I need nachos). Alerting us to this sauce's existence is the best thing Pinback's ever done.

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Post by pinback » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:30 pm

This was all Retro, bra. We can forgive not getting any cookies now.

We can let the healing begin.

(EDIT: Except he prefers the regular to the hab, which is obviously wrong.)
Last edited by pinback on Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by gsdgsd » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:32 pm

Yeah, but he didn't post it here, so he has to share the credit.

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Post by Flack » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:25 am

I e-mailed the Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce people and said that if they would send me two small bottles of their hot sauce, I would do the following:

- Come up with 10 recipes that work with their sauce.
- Prepare some of those recipes.
- Take the food up to a real fire station and let fire fighters try the recipes and take pictures of fire fighters in a fire station holding Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce.
- Post this on my website which gets a few thousand hits a day.
- Talk about this on my podcast which gets between 1,000 and 10,000 downloads per episode.

I got a response back from them, which essentially said, "no thanks. But we hope you enjoy our sauce!"

So now, I hate them. And when I told my wife that she should hate them too, she said, "Why would you hate a company just because they wouldn't send you free stuff?" So now I hate her too.

My opinion of the company has shifted and I now officially side with Pinback. If I ever do buy a bottle of their hottest sauce the first drops will go into my eyes to remind me of this burning hate.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:49 pm

Haha, this is great. On one hand, I guess I can sort of see how, from their perspective, they don't want to give free stuff out. On the other hand, man, that's a lot of things you were going to do for their sauce.

So, do we hate them? Or what? I understand that their sauce is so good that we CAN'T hate them.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:57 pm

As a sort of hot sauce connoisseur in training, I threw caution to the wind. I ordered the 64 ounce jug of this because of you monsters.

I thirst.
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Post by pinback » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:49 am

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:As a sort of hot sauce connoisseur in training, I threw caution to the wind. I ordered the 64 ounce jug of this because of you monsters.

I thirst.
Which kind?
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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