The Art of Capturing Heirloom Flavors

Thursday, 22 January, 2015 By Lee Greene
Scrumptious Pantry Single.php


Today is National Hot Sauce Day. It is a great day to celebrate all styles of Hot Sauce – and boy, there are plenty. Super spicy and less fiery. Small batch artisan sauces, gourmet products and established classics. Our three Heirloom Hot Sauces fall into the Flavor Sauce category. They are all about flavor, not only about heat!

So I thought today is also a great day to take you on a tour of how we capture Heirloom Flavors in our products. Especially, in our Heirloom Hot Sauces.

As in everything that we do at Scrumptious Pantry, we want to showcase the unique flavors of rare heirlooms. We want you to taste their unique character, and their personalities. That is the number one guideline for us. Secondly, we want to make sure that everything you buy from us elevates the food you are pairing it with.

All our products are nuanced, focused on flavor and made to create the Perfect Bite!

To achieve that, we scrutinize our ingredients for the best quality and the most important ingredient – yes, I know it sounds cheesy, but hey – is love. Love and the time our collaboration partner Coop Sauce and our team take to go the extra mile.

Every batch of our artisan hot sauce starts with fresh ingredients: peppers, garlic, onions…of course depending on the recipes. At the center of the process is the wild fermented mash – it adds complexity to the sauces. Personality.

Scrumptious Pantry Hot Sauces Mike mixing

The fresh peppers ar washed, sprinkled with coarse sea salt and then they are lovingly roasted one baking sheet at a time. The process of roasting concentrated the sugars – and sugar is important for a successful fermentation (after all, fermentation is wild yeast “eating” sugar).

Once the peppers are roasted, they are destemmed, and portioned out in large buckets, where they get mixed with spices, salt etc according to the recipe. Then the fun begins – with a large immersion blender the peppers get chopped up. Bucket for bucket. That’s hard work, especially in a hot kitchen. (That is why we are super excited about the Local Producer Loan we received from Whole Foods Market to buy a kick ass hobart, an industrial mixer that is so bad ass, it will make our lives so much easier – and the process more efficient.)

Once the buckets are all mashed up, they all get filled in our fermenters. We use large paper totes with a plastic lining or a 55 gallon drum, depending on the batch size. And then we let it sit for approximately three weeks. Now, not that you think that’s an easy time. Mike, the mastermind behind Coop Sauce and our Mr. Fermentation makes sure to check the ferment twice a day. Cause the last thing you want is the fermentation to go bad. You might need to adjust salt or temperature or what not to keep the fermentation on track.

Scrumptious Pantry Hot Sauce Fermenter low res

Then – the big day! The fermentation is ready and the mash is blended with organic vinegar, water and possibly some other ingredients – whatever our recipe calls for. Some of our hot sauces are sweetened with organic honey, for example, and that get’s added at this step. If you are wondering why we are adding a sweetener to the hot sauce , well it is because as I mentioned before – we want to create a super flavorful, balanced hot sauce that has a nuanced flavor profile. It’s just a little honey, just a little sweetness – nothing that overpowers, but just enough to create the perfect balance. There is nothing more Non-GMO than old heirloom varieties, so we do make sure that all added ingredients, like the vinegar and honey are organic.


Once blended, the sauce get’s heated to food safe levels, filled in the bottle, labeled and boxed up. Voila! Heirloom Flavors in three tasty Heirloom Hot Sauces!

Scrumptious Pantry Hot Sauce Happy







At Scrumptious Pantry we preserve the exciting flavors of rare heirloom fruit and vegetables and precious heirloom seeds. Delicious varieties put up in gourmet condiments and artisan preserves for you to enjoy at home! Because Heirloom is much bigger than just Heirloom tomatoes.

Your thoughts on The Art of Capturing Heirloom Flavors

  1. Thanks for sharing some insights on your piquant partnership with Co-Op Sauce, Lee. As a (recovering) food scientist, I’m curious about what Mike measures during the mash fermentation. Given his hand-crafted expertise, I’m sure Mike’s eyes, nose and palate are the primary detectors of fermentation progress, but does he actually measure pH, TA or other quantifiable variables to determine when the mash is ready? Also, is this fermentation a “natural succession” of the microflora that are present on the peppers (similar to the lactic acid bacteria present on cabbage, which ferment it into sauerkraut), or do you add a culture of selected bacteria?

    I would like nothing better than to see the process in-person sometime in the future, along with a pair of kurious kindergartners. =)

    1. Hi Jim, thanks for your question! Yes, we use wild yeast – it might be on the peppers or just floating around in the space. As for what Mike is keeping an eye on – yes, with all his experience it is a visual check, although we of course determine pH of the product for food safety records!

      Cheers Lee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *