I would love you to take a minute and watch the accompanying video: it is the launch of the first product in my new line of hand-picked, highly curated items called David Rosengarten Gastronomic Selections. The debut, an extraordinary collection of hot sauces that I don’t even call hot sauces—they are varietal chile extracts—showcases everything I care about. Hand-made work, limited production, best in class and sourced by me—for you.
It was just a month ago, during the 2012 chile harvest, that I discovered farmer Bob Henry, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley—a place Bob calls the “best site” in the U.S. for growing chiles. And what chiles he’s chosen!—some of the rarest, most exotic, highest-pedigree chiles in the world.
And then…what does Bob do with his blue-ribbon babies? He coddles them into “extracts”…pure chile juices, that, like great grapes into wine, fully reflect the base material. That’s what struck me: their purity. Their varietal character. And that was before I got to the kitchen.
You know how most hot sauces—like the famous one from Louisiana—have their own strong characters? From vinegary to sweet, they are game-changers when mixed with food.
NOT BOB’S SAUCES! Because they’re so pure…they make food hotter, more vibrant…but they blend in, as if they’re more relaxed! THESE ARE THE BEST HOT SAUCES FOR COOKING I’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED!
*The tangy Jamaican Lime is like adding citrus juice with a built-in chile kick to all dishes requiring acid. It is fabulous on raw seafood, like clams and oysters…and absolute salvation on ceviche, since the extract treats the fish better than lime juice does!
*The African Fatali, as a member of the Habañero family (which has a cookie-like aroma), loves cozying up to creamy dishes, appearing to make them creamier still. Creamy indian curries, Central European sour cream sauces, salads with mayonnaise…all vibrate when this extract is added.
*The Ghost Chile from India—the darling of the chile world right now—exudes tomato/bell pepper flavors in addition to extreme heat. Add Louisiana hot sauce to gazpacho…and you’ll taste Cajun Gazpacho. Add Bob’s Ghost Chile extract…and you’ll find a heightened gazpacho that still tastes exactly like gazpacho. I like to call it “Ghostpacho.”
I adore Bob’s extracts as random drizzles, sure. But it is their ability to blend seamlessly with food—while simultaneously heightening the flavors—that is so extraordinary.
(if you are having trouble playing this video, please let us know by emailing email@example.com)