What are the ingredients?
Organic Peppers, Organic Rice and Cider Vinegars, Organic Cane Sugar, Salt, Organic Hardneck Garlic
Where is Hot Winter made?
I ferment and bottle Hot Winter Hot Sauce in Cottage Grove, OR. I grow peppers just a bit south of there, near Dorena.
What is the Hot winter pepper?
Is the hot winter pepper a hybrid?
No. The Hot Winter Pepper was selectively cultivated from a natural mutation in an heirloom variety. With help from Erin Cadwell, I spent 5 years refining this mutation into a distinct cultivar that is as stable as any open-pollinated seed.
so you grow your own peppers?
I developed Hot Winter while working at a farm on the Klamath River, however I moved to Portland to scale up my production, and am currently contracting with regional growers for all of my peppers and garlic.
Are your Peppers grown in oregon?
Approximately 75% of my chiles are grown in OR. The rest come from Erin Cadwell, my former co-worker in Orleans, CA, which is located about 2.5 hours South of Grants Pass. A list of farm partners can be found on my ABOUT page.
do you use frozen, or dried peppers?
Never. Hot Winter is made with fresh, regionally grown peppers. These chiles give Hot Winter a unique flavor, but working with local farmers does limit our production season. This is why we are occasionally out of some varieties.
WHen is your production season?
Peppers are actually a late summer crop. Since Hot Winter is fermented, this means that our production season runs through the Fall, with new batches released in late Fall and early Winter (hence the name: Hot Winter).
Is hot winter organic?
I purchase all of my peppers and garlic directly from regional farms using Organic growing practices. All farms are small scale operations, and have been certified either by Oregon Tilth, or my own personal inspection. My sugar and vinegars are certified organic, and purchased from Azure Standard. The only exception is my collaboration with Los Roast: the Hatch Chile.
does hot winter need to be refrigerated?
No. Just keep the lid on when not in use. Exposure to direct sun or heat may cause fermentation to re-start. This will make the sauce bubbly, but is not cause for concern.
what is fermentation?
I ferment the peppers with heirloom garlic, in a process similar to making sourkrout. If you want a deep dive into the science of fermentation, I recommend THIS article, which describes the history of Hot Winter, and the microbiology of our process.
Why is Hot Winter fermented?
Fermentation preserves the taste and vitality of our fresh chiles. The process also removes much of the pepper water, which serves to concentrate flavors, and to thicken our sauce.
How do you use hot winter?
Put it on anything! I especially like Hot Winter on eggs, and pizza, but it's also great mixed with mayo on sandwiches or burgers, or used to flavor simple dishes like rice and beans, or stir fried veggies.
is it hot?
Hot Winter is offered in several varieties: each features a different kind of pepper, and has a different heat level. None of our sauces are "super hot": we are aiming for robust, but not overwhelming heat, featuring unique flavors that pair well with food. Hot sauce should be delicious, not painful. I do offer hotter sauces, for lovers of heat, but these also have a surprisingly complex and balanced flavor.
Can I order hot winter for my grocery or other store?
Do you have a store front?
where do I find the expiration date?
As to expiration dates: we just don't have them. Hot Winter is fully shelf stable, and is safe to store for years. This is because the product is both fermented and pasteurized. I encourage folks to "stock their bunkers". Really though, MOST expiration dates are totally imaginary. Planet Money recently did an update on this, which you can listen to HERE. I have spoken at length with food safety inspectors from both ODA and FDA, and there is simply no reason to assign an expiration date to our products. As the bottle notes, over time, "some discoloration is normal". This is the result of oxidation, and what happens when foregoing the use of artificial colors and preservatives. We recommend shaking older product, as the discoloring effects neither the flavor nor safety of the sauce.