Last night I rediscovered Dave’s Insanity Sauce, the hottest sauce on the planet. The only other time I tried it, years ago, was at a hamburger joint that featured a variety of sauces. I like hot food. I regularly eat two habaneros, a jalapeno, a red chile pepper and a Thai chile in my breakfast. So on that first encounter I laid the Dave’s on a hamburger like most people use ketchup. Let me tell you, I finished that burger three beers and a lot of “woo-hoo!” later.
So last night I used more caution. Just five thick drops on three scrambled eggs, and it was still a whole lot hotter than my breakfast recipe. I was sweating and swearing and loving every minute of it. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “Hot damn!” Dave’s is made with habanero peppers, the hottest in the world. But to me the sauce tastes hotter than eating the peppers by themselves.
My first encounter with the hellish habanero was in a bar (can’t remember the name) up on Mt. Washington, overlooking the three rivers in Pittsburgh. This establishment offered buffalo wings in four varieties: mild, medium, hot, and Three Mile Island. The latter were covered in habanero sauce. I ate the whole platter, accompanied by generous draughts of beer. As I was sweating and whewing my way through the meal, the bartender asked, “Why are you doing that to yourself?”
Because I love them. The habanero has a unique taste, almost fruity at first, and the heat doesn’t hit you right away. It takes a few minutes to get really hot, and then it just keeps getting hotter! No matter how you douse it with water, beer, or what have you, it keeps coming back.
When my wife and I were first getting together, we kept our relationship a secret for months. She worked in software sales for a client of mine. I know, conflict of interest. But this time it all worked out. Anyway, our common employer hosted a summit meeting of some of their most influential customers, and one evening they took them all out to The Kitchen, a very nice and intimate restaurant in Sacramento. It’s so small that they had to reserve the entire restaurant. They seat the diners around a large counter where the chef prepares the meal right before your eyes.
My future wife and I managed to sit beside each other without drawing too much attention. As we sipped our wine awaiting the feast, I noticed all the baskets of things scattered around the counter. Right in front of me was a basket full of huge habanero peppers!
Knowing about the gradual onset of the habanero’s heat, I picked one up and bit it in half.
While I could still speak, I handed the other half to my sweetheart, saying “Not too bad” before the wave of heat engulfed my soul.
So she popped the other half in her mouth.
I’m afraid it was probably the half containing most of the seeds.
She shrieked and quickly downed about a pint of wine. Of course, the heat only continued to rise, so she drank rather more quickly than usual all that whole evening. In front of her employer and her best customers, too. And she couldn’t taste any of the fine meal or desserts.
But she didn’t kick me out. So I thought to myself, “She’s got a sense of humor — she’s a keeper.”