Before I tell you about this event, let me share the fact that Albuquerque has TWO big chocolate events in the month of March. TWO. What the hell? I attended one last year, and it was a madhouse, plus Bob and I bought a bunch of chocolate—whatever would fit comfortably in my cloth shopping bag. Then…we ate it all…
Now, I’m not sure how long exactly it took to eat it all (no, we did NOT finish it all in one day…), but since we’re both trying to lose a few pounds this year, we are not going to attend either one. If you would like to go, here are the pertinent links:
The first one benefits our local Natural History Museum, and you probably need to socialize here. It sounds rather swanky, so you’d probably need to dress rather well—both of these requirements would certainly turn Bob off: 22nd Annual Chocolate Fantasy Benefit
The other is a more casual event, and was crazy-crowded when we attended last year, as I said above: Chocolate and Coffee Fest
I figured we could attend the Fiery Foods Show and even buy a bunch of hot sauces and salsas, since they are fairly free to dieters. I even lucked into getting two free tickets (thanks very much, Local IQ!). So I packed up my cloth bag in my purse and proceeded to browse all the booths, looking for the next favorite condiment for our kitchen. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your dieting perspective), some of the vendors who attend chocolate shows attend the Fiery Foods Show; and so, this event is a win-win all around.
When we attended this event at least 20 years ago, we happened upon a vendor who was offering some sort of Jamaican sauce. It was kept in a medium-sized plastic bin and you were offered a toothpick to sample it. Bob is known for his tolerance for spicy foods and usually doctors up foods with salsa, Tabasco, etc… So he was skeptical about this sauce, which the vendor assured us would most likely blow out our taste buds. I passed on sampling it. You had to dip the toothpick in the sauce and simply put it in your mouth. At first, Bob didn’t notice anything that special. Then his mouth went numb. So the rest of the day was ruined because his mouth was completely messed up. He tried sampling other products, but it was like he had a mouth full of Novocaine. This just proves that sometimes vendors are telling the truth about their products and you should heed their warnings…
But today, we were more careful. We spent about 75 minutes going through the whole thing before we gave up. By then, my bag was full and heavy with lots of glassware. We sampled MANY flavors and came home with this haul:
I have to admit the first items we bought were these fancy ice cream sauces, which don’t have any spicy ingredients in them. Oh well; we are suckers for caramel and fudge sauces. Sometimes I make up my own recipes, but sometimes you just want to open up a jar. These are from Denver, CO.: “Sweet and Saucy.”
Then we bought some substantial salsas from a restaurant located in Portales, NM: “El Rancho De Los Garcia’s Restaurant.” Bob considers “Garduno’s” the best salsa ever, and it was actually cheaper at this event than it is at our local grocery stores, oddly enough. We bought only three jars, though I’ve wondered if I shouldn’t have bought a dozen for the pantry. Bob eats a lot of salsa. My daughters are rolling their eyes at my obvious understatement here, I’m sure… Some locals might balk at his opinion, but then you enter into the “favorite Mexican/New Mexican restaurant wars” and I’m not prepared to engage. Next to the Garduno’s Salsa is this fabulous sauce that the vendor claimed he wouldn’t hesitate to put on pretty much anything, even something like chocolate chip cookies. I’m going to reserve it for some chicken or a nice salmon fillet: “Yulicious Hot Premium Gourmet Sauce.” We also decided to stay spicy with some local “Gilly Loco Salsa.”
We did brave the ghost pepper and purchased three sauces from one vendor from Littleton, CO. You may order the ghost pepper one from: “Xtinction Ghost Pepper Sauce” (the website alone might scare you), and the others shown are from “Golden Toad Sauces.” The ghost pepper is breathtakingly HOT, so exercise caution when consuming…
I might consider giving up plain old mayonnaise on sandwiches forever if I can keep my fridge stocked with these flavored mayonnaise/mustard combinations from “Call Me Gourmet,” based in Houston, TX. YUM.
Our final product was a combo pack of candy from “Brenda’s Perfect Brittle.” This vendor gave me a punch card, and since it’s local, we’re going to be hard-pressed to avoid visiting this shop… Catch them at the Chocolate and Coffee Fest, listed above.
It ended up being a lovely day, even though it rained quite a bit. Though around drought-stricken Albuquerque, rain always makes it a lovely day, as you can see by our Misty Sandia Mountains.
You still have time to attend the 26th National Fiery Foods Show if you dare…be prepared to spend some money, and don’t hesitate to treat yourself to all of the chile-infused/influenced alcoholic beverages to take the edge off your burning mouth. Or tuck this away in the back of your mind and plan a visit in the future!