September 8, 2012

HOT SAUCE 101

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The other day we hosted a hot sauce class at the HUB. This is something we’ve been asked to do for a long time, and not surprisingly it was sold out. We’ve added another class (TICKETS).

We tried something else for the first time, we made little take-home kits so people could make their own hot sauce at home.

To be honest we don’t really know how these classes are going to work out. The first class we ever taught was a soup making class at the MIT truck way back in 2009. I remember Justin, still a customer, and a friend showed up, that was all. It was winter, it was outside, it was earlier than most people at MIT are awake. But we still had fun. I feel like we have a lot we can teach/ share. And I know from my own experience that the more comfortable I’ve become with knives and trying new recipes, the more food I make for myself. So there’s this sense that the opportunity to educate is massive. But I just don’t know how it will connect with what you all are looking for/ want.

So like everything, we’re going to stumble through this one experiment at a time, with the hope that we come out the other side as the best non-professional food education in the world.

Our first knife skills class at MIT during IAP 2010 sold out and we had to add another session. 2011 doubled that again, in the snow. This hot sauce class sold out and I think everybody had a great time. If you sign up for the upcoming class (9/19) you might see a slightly improved version. And if you took this last class don’t be surprised if we reach out to you to ask what you loved and what could have been better.

But I can’t help but feel the bigger nut to crack here is more of a social/ behavior thing. The folks at the event obviously had a great time, a number of them buying beers, coming with folks from work. But I’ll admit I’ve never signed up for a cooking class myself. And there’s something about a cooking class that doesn’t entice me. So that’s what we have to bridge. How to make this something that sounds as exciting to folks as other stuff they devote their time to, realizing you’re all busy and realizing you’re not all as food obsessed as we might be.

EDIT: Here’s the recipe for the hot sauce kits. If you bought the kit, you have most of these things:

INGREDIENTS
2 quarts dried chile de arbol
1.5 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves
6 fresh habanero chiles, stems removed, seeded and rough-chopped (optional)

PROCEDURE
Soak dried chiles in water in the fridge for 2 days.
1. Toast coriander
2. Put all ingredients except coriander in a blender. Run on high in 3 separate stages, 1-2 minutes each, until chunky/smooth. May need to use blender stick to move puree while blending.
3. Mix in coriander.
4. Store in refrigerator and eat within 2 weeks.

 

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