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The Smoking Tongue

October 26, 2005

Day 100: Bat's Brew

When I first moved to this city years ago, one of the first grocery stores I found was a quaint little specialty store. It felt like a food co-op, but it really wasn't. They had organic foods, but it wasn't exclusively organic. They had an amazing selection of micro brews there, and 50 kinds of cheese. We used to shop there a lot until we figured out we were throwing away our money on the overpriced stuff.

However, before we quit going there, I stood mesmerized by the hot sauce shelf. They had a heart-quickening display of about 10 different sauces. As I started to study them, my smile turned upside down. They were all by Panola (which isn't the bad thing) but they all looked like they had been there since the mid 1980's. Faded labels, thick dust on the tops. Even the contents had separated and congealed so badly, they looked like broken lava-lamps. I actually walked away without buying even one. They were that upsetting.

Three years later, I'm back and am desperate enough to buy them. All. Ironically, I'm probably looking at the exact same bottles, a little more dust, and 3 more years added past the expiration date. They still look as unappetizing as I remember them.

So today is HOT SAUCE #100!

I had visions of doing something special on Day 100. Maybe a super hot sauce. Maybe 2 sauces. Maybe just a great sauce. But surprisingly, when I woke up this morning, the calendar still didn't show my day to be a national holiday. I still had to go to work. I'm still swamped with shit to do.

I chose a crappy hot sauce, knowing that no matter how bad it was, I'd have to finish it as #100.

In the spirit of Halloween, the green coloring fits in well. It's extremely runny, and the first thing you taste is the overwhelming flavor of vinegar. When the aftertaste comes, you wish you were back to tasting the vinegar. The aftertaste is horrible. It's weird. I have no idea if it's because the bottle looks 20 years old, or if it's just a brilliantly shitty recipe using Bat Piss. Either way, stay away.

I've often thought about ordering Panola items online, bypass the obviously expired local bottles. But every picture I see online looks the same. They look like Panola made 4 billion bottles in 1985, and decided they could retire on the beach and let the inventory sell for the next 25 years.

Chef Han's green sauce has a run for his money for worst green vinegar sauce. Drinking this shot took a lot of nerve. I could have really used a shot of whisky to calm my nerves before diving in. My face contorted as I withstood the tartness, vinegar, and nasty aftertaste.

Wow, I really can't wait to try their other crap.

Panola carries other items besides hot sauces, and I just have to mention their Jalapeno Jelly Beans, and Pickled Quail Eggs. The world definitely needs more pickled quail eggs!

Other sauces by Panola:
Panola Gourmet Pepper Sauce
Panola Jalapeno Pepper Sauce
Panola Cajun Hot Sauce
Panola Cajun Jalapeno Sauce
Panola Garlic Hot Sauce
Panola Extra Hot Hot Sauce
Vampire Hot Sauce
Panola 10 Point Hot Sauce
Panola Clearly Hot Sauce
Panola Spicy & Sweet Mango Sauce
Panola Green Pepper Sauce
Panola Red Pepper Sauce

Tomorrow: Frontera Habanero Sauce



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