Do not - I repeat: Do not underestimate this hot sauce. You will be sorry.
Let me explain something to you; I love hot. I'm not one of those fakers who claim they like it spicy and then punk out the minute a jalapeno is added to the plate. I eat foods most people consider inedible due to the extreme heat level. So when I saw the label, I didn't wince. In fact, I scoffed. That was one of the stupidest things I've ever done, unless you count that time I forgot to turn my car off and went to watch a feature-length film.
This sauce is hot. It's not even kind of hot. It's ridiculous. Craig Learner, owner of Hot Licks® warned me that in-store they sample this product on the tip of a toothpick. I didn't think toothpick applications applied to me, so I jammed a celery stick into a pool of the magma-liquid and stuffed it into my mouth. Ouch. Owie. Crap! Oh no - CALL 9-1-1!
I entered the sacred order of fire-swallowing. The capsaicin triggered a numbing burn that evolved into a swelling, sweltering sting no milk could soothe. After about five minutes of blowing my nose and wiping my brow while sucking on ice cubes, I had learned my lesson.
That's when I called my twelve year old spice-loving son Jorge over for a taste. Sure it's mean, but it's also a great bonding experience. My son did two things: he broke out in a red flush and then he went in for another taste. Another! He loved it. Since Thursday my son has sampled the sauce at least eight more times. I'm afraid of the kind of woman he'll marry if he likes that much pain.
So there's the truth, the real deal, this sauce is not lying. If you are looking for extreme heat, look no further. If you are like my son, you'll go straight up and douse your eggs, cheese, meats and whatever else you can think of with this stuff. If you're like me, you'll stir a few drops into your bowl of soup, chili, favorite dip, or salsa. It adds the perfect mouth-punch peppery people look for, without losing any teeth.
However - I wouldn't end this blog without an unexpectedly wild way to use this sauce. So here it is:
Chile-Cocoa, that's right, hot and spicy hot cocoa. Don't be scared. The Mayans were mixing chiles and chocolate thousands of years ago, and we all know they were pretty smart.
You can whip up your favorite hot cocoa or you can borrow my recipe. There are lots of great cocoa powders out there, but I am partial to Hershey's. I do a mix of Natural Unsweetened and Special Dark. Here's how I do it:
1/3 cup of hot water
2 tablespoons of regular Hershey's Cocoa Powder and
2 tablespoons of Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder (Or you can substitute 4 tablespoons of your favorite cocoa powder)
1/2 cup of sugar
4 cups of milk (I like whole milk for a richer cup of cocoa, you can use whatever milk you prefer)
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt (literally, a tiny pinch - the salt brings out the depth of the cocoa and the sweetness too!)
2-4 drops of Hot Licks® Suicide Hot Sauce
Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Turn off the heat and stir in all of the cocoa powder and the sugar, whisking until it forms a smooth paste. Next, add the milk, vanilla and salt, and then turn the heat on to medium, Whisk until the mixture comes together and looks like chocolate milk. You'll need to stir it often so the heat doesn't scorch the milk. As soon as it starts to whisp steam from the surface, add two drops of the Hot Licks® Suicide Hot Sauce and stir. Get a spoon and taste it. You should first taste the rich warm and sweet chocolate, followed by the soft heat in the back of your throat from the pepper sauce. If you want it spicier, add two drops more. The goal is to have just a tiny hint of heat to surprise your mouth. The flavors go together in such a subtle but complimentary way you will wonder why you never tried this before. This recipe serves about four large mugs or six smaller ones.
Chile-spiced chocolate is popular with chefs worldwide. Chocolate bars can be melted down and spiced with pepper-sauce and remolded for a delicious spicy-sweet dessert. How do you like to use Hot Licks® Suicide Hot Sauce? The wilder the better!
So are you brave enough to try some Suicide? Why not? You only live once.