A testament to the marvel of fermentation as food preservation, our fermented Chili Garlic Sauce has a long refrigerator shelf life and seems to taste better everyday . While canned goods have a long shelf-life, they don’t have the healthy bacteria and rich enzymes found in foods with live cultures. Through fermentation, we are able to enjoy this sauce even when hot peppers are out-of-season in our region, specifically late autumn through early summer.
After our line of tempeh, this is the first product we learned how to ferment large enough batches, to make it available throughout the whole year. It’s a success because we are able to source plenty of red chili peppers during summer. There’s never been a shortage of them, their season is long, and peppers seem to do really well in the region. This gives us plenty of time to ferment the peppers and to make as much sauce as we possibly can with the amount of peppers we buy.
In previous years, we sourced peppers mostly from small farms in Davidson County. These include Old School Farm, Beaver Dam Creek Farm, Bloomsbury Farm, Delvin Farms, and Lost Weekend Farms. We source the garlic from Corner Springs Farm, who mostly farm nightshades.
Ingredients of this sauce are readily available in the area, we buy as many peppers as we can, and this makes it fun to make. We strictly get red peppers for this particular sauce, because this gives it the red hue. So far we have accrued for the 2018 sauce scotch bonnet, habanero (hot & sweet), and jalepeno peppers.
The accessibility of the peppers makes the Chili Garlic Sauce very successful. And people love it!
What do I do with that?
We’ve found that a substantial number of people in our Middle Tennessee region don’t know what to do with hot sauce. For some reason, spicy flavors are not found everywhere in Tennessee. Meanwhile, in places like South Alabama and the Gulf Coast area, there’s a lot of spice going on down there. In Tennessee, these flavors are less common, so we’ve had to educate people on what to do with Chili Garlic Sauce.
We use it predominantly as an all-purpose condiment. It’s great on top of cooked eggs. As a dipping sauce, you can dip potatoes in it, and it’s delicious on avocado. Try putting it right on top of a stir fry. Recently, we discovered how delicious it is to cook with it. Sautéing it with onions and garlic before you put them in a dish changes the flavor in a great way. It’s not necessary to cook it. Because of the probiotic content, you probably want to usually eat it raw.
In previous years, we made a different type of chili sauce, a green hot pepper sauce. It was a bit milder than the Chili Garlic Sauce, and it featured jalapeño peppers and cilantro. We also made a sweet yellow pepper sauce that was not hot, a version for folks who didn’t want to eat a spicy one. This season, we plan to make a new batch of Chili Garlic Sauce, as well as some different takes on this hot sauce. Based off what produce is available, we plan to offer variations in our Chili Sauce line, to offer more possibilities of this spicy regional delight.