Motherfucker… it’s not… a fucking… game.
So around October or so, which tells you how long this has been waiting in the wings, THIS
finally came in from the Heatonist website.
Yes, House of Pain is back, even though Senor’s laptop still goes unreplaced (seriously Senor, how hard is it) and there is a backlog since April or May! Or Maypril. Soon you’ll get to see how I didn’t contract botulism by making Carolina Reaper-infused olive oil and all the things you can use it for (fewer things than regular olive oil, I tried). But that’s for another time, after the next Expo post.
Anyway, back to the death at hand. When I went to last year’s Hot Sauce Expo I mentioned Hot Ones had a table with their signature sauce, that thing you’ve seen celebrities suffer upon, The Last Dab. Unfortunately they had run out of the Pepper X versions of the sauce, and had gone on to make “remix” sauces using other ultra-hot peppers. And the Reaper version had also sold out, so I got the Trinidad Scorpion remix at last year’s Hot Sauce Expo. It was fine, but left me wanting an honest-to-goodness full-blown Pepper X version.
They did not have the original sauce for this year, but decided to do something different, similar to every super or hypercar having a “super veloce,” a “super leggiero,” and models based on the original car but with new things and therefore deserving of a new name and an ass-ton more money. I’m looking at you, Lamborghini Aventador LP, Roadster, S, S Roadster, Super Veloce, SVJ, Veneno, Centenarió. And don’t get me started about the Pagani Zonda! Anyway, after the runs of remixes came their newest version, The Last Dab Reduxx.
You may note the two Xes and think “oh, let’s be fancy,” and sure, you’d be right. But the marketed reason is that in those cultivations and cross-breeds they came up with a chocolate Pepper X with a slightly different flavor. And put both regular and chocolate Pepper X into the sauce. So, two strains of Pepper X makes two Xes. Got it?
I didn’t get a chance to try the regular or Reaper Last Dab, so a lot of my findings will be comparing it to the Scorpion version. But I needed a special moment to open this up for the first time. So I waited until Christmas, because that’s special. It’s a family time, and I have cousins and relatives on that side who also enjoy things that are this hot—my cousin makes his own hot sauce, which he still hasn’t sent me a bottle of which is a little annoying because I absolutely want to try it because he said there’s no nonsense, a lot of pepper mash and some vinegar, and that’s it. No funny business.
Incidentally, that “funny business” he mentions is in The Last Dab Reduxx, which is why he wasn’t much of a fan. There’s turmeric and ginger and mustard seed, and other things to make it not feel like complete and utter death. Which, for 20 bucks for a 5 oz. bottle of the proclaimed hottest pepper in the world (still unofficially, as between the Chocolate/Black Reaper, Chocolate Bhutlah, and Pepper X, there’s a lot that Ed Currie needs to get tested by Guinness), is kinda what I want. I demand it to hurt! And to be honest, the Scorpion version hurt more, maybe because it’s a slightly different, citrusy flavor.
So, death? Not quite death. We’re not dead. How does it taste? Well, Christmas Day is on the Italian side of the family, so let’s just put some there on this salami during the antipasto…
…or on the roast beast during the main course…
Not on the baked ziti. But yes, it worked with both meats. Quite nicely actually. All those ingredients give it a very nice flavor, a much more complex one than the Scorpion version, which was a strong citrus flavor that to some could probably border on overly acidic. But yeah, oddly enough it hurt less. And I’m sorry, call me crazy (not all at once) but considering all the pepper mash advertised in the sauce (if I remember it was in the 90 percent range), and all the hype of the heat of Pepper X being twice as hot as the Reaper, I kinda expected to be overwhelmed, and ended up only whelmed, which I guess leaves me relatively underwhelmed? I mean I’m still gonna eat it and it’s hotter than the current go-to sauce in my fridge (Torchbearer’s Zombie Apocalypse which I think I mentioned way back when), but this was supposed to kill me, dammit!
Senor Weaselo is currently at this year’s Hot Sauce Expo. You’ll get a report, and maybe even a report from a special guest, if I can get Senorita Weaselo to give her take. She is not a pepperhead.