Luckily in my house mom always kept (and still does) a batch of freshly made hot sauce, cooking with coconut oil and the unmistakable aroma of scotch bonnets announcing the arrival of something good! For work, my folks embraced a rather nomadic lifestyle. I remember occasions when we moved and left furniture and toys behind but we never (ever) left the pepper bush behind. The bush that still to this day grows happily in my mom's backyard. She tends her plants like one of her children and that, Solsa friends, is where our peppers come from - Mom's garden.
The warm humid days and long summers create the perfect conditions for Scotch Bonnets to grow. Although they all look alike, many different varieties are found and where they grow greatly affects the quality of the fruit.
At this time, we are limited to small batches because when mom runs out of peppers so do we! Batches are whipped up when the vegetables are at peak maturity and right before the rainy season puts an end to the fruiting of the pepper plants.
Growing up on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica was really fun. A familiar scene on every table was a big jar of pickled vegetables adorned with peppers; most too hot for a kid to eat. There was one particularly intriguing jar, the one that contained the colorful
pods of Scotch Bonnet variety of peppers. The distinctive aroma took over the kitchen whenever something savory was being prepared.
With the arrival of industrialization came a great number of great improvements to our lifestyle. A bridge over the big river that made it possible for the deliveries of rare tasty treats like fancy wrapped candy and boxed cereal. With this convenience also came the demise of one of my most favorite traditions... the big jar of pickles. Each one unique, now suddenly run out of town by the arrival of a little red bottle... so sad.
The recipe hasn't changed much as only the minimal processing of cooking the sauce is required for a safe and stable commercial product. We have chosen to not use any artificial enhancers, preservatives or stabilizers in our bottles and rely on its simple ingredients to work the magic of the sauce and our other upcoming products. Due to its pure nature, this sauce is not meant to last forever in your pantry or refrigerator. Store in a cool dark place, fermentation is kept to a minimum, but nevertheless, the ingredients are still intermingling and working together. Some settling is expected and variation in colors between batches is normal as this is a natural product.
Enjoy it fresh! Give it a good shake and bring the magic out!
- Alex Obregon