Tasty fermented hot sauces

We make 3 kinds of super tasty fermented hot sauces made from locally grown peppers and other ingredients. Each sauce has a unique flavour profile to satisfy any palette from hot and spicy to mild and savoury. Simply put, fermented tastes better!

Most hot sauces are blended and cooked concoctions of chilies and vinegar flavored with sweet and savory additions. They’re quicker to make and can be very nice. Non-fermented sauces tend to be spicier with a raw flavour. The sauces that blow your head off with fire are typically unfermented.

Why fermented?

The fermentation process relies on natural bacteria, the same lacto-bacillus microbes that help make sauerkraut, kosher dill pickles and yoghurt. These bacteria convert the natural sugars found in the peppers into lactic acid which preserves the fermented sauce. They thrive in a brine solution that kills off most of the nasty bugs. Just like vinegar in a non-fermented sauce, the lactic acid also kills harmful bacteria and gives a long shelf-life.

Fermentation takes the edge off the pepper heat, producing a more mellow and satisfying taste. As I’ve said before, my goal isn’t too burn your taste buds, but to deliver heat with the best flavour. Aside from the mellower heat, fermentation results in a more complex, balanced (and delicious) flavour.

Another fermentation benefit is the retention of more nutrients in the end product. Unlike cooked sauces, ferments are pasteurized which means they’re not boiled, but heated to a specific temperature for at least 20 minutes. Because the chilies are partially digested by the bacteria, there’s no need to cook the sauce to soften them. This preserves nutrients that are destroyed by higher heat. Many people claim fermented foods are better for gut health due to the probiotics naturally created by the process.

Three hot sauces you’ll love!

Now that you’ve got a little background, here’s a pitch for my 3 fermented hot sauces. Each one is made in small batches from the best local ingredients.

Fresh habanero peppers
Beautiful fresh habaneros for Hellfire sauce

My Hellfire Habanero is made from fresh Huron County grown habs along with a few jalapeños or serranos. Fermented for at least 2 or 3 months, the sauce is perfect for anything where you want a blast of heat and the unique habanero taste. Habanero sauce and it’s cousin scotch bonnet are popular for Caribbean cuisine like jerk or oxtail. I like to use it for chicken wings – combine a few tablespoons with maple syrup in a large bowl. Toss the piping hot wings right off the grill to coat evenly. Of course, you can always add a dash of Hellfire to your Caesars too. The heat level is pretty close to Tabasco sauce.

Muskoka cranberry farm
Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh in Bala, Ontario

I call my Cranny Pepper sauce, the “All-Canadian” hot sauce. It’s a savoury ferment of Muskoka cranberries, spices, maple syrup and a blend of sweet and hot peppers. It has a mild heat with bit of sweetness. It’s awesome on chicken or turkey, but that’s not all. Try it on vanilla ice cream, or make a salad dressing by mixing it 50-50 with your favourite vegetable oil. This is the sauce for those who like a mild heat that’s super tasty.

Red jalapeno and chipotle
Fresh ripe jalapeño transformed into a chipotle, providing the punch for Chipotle Madness

Third in the lineup is my Chipotle Madness sauce. Made from my own chipotles blended with fresh onions and garlic, this sauce delivers heat just shy of the Hellfire and a delicious rich smoky taste. Use it on anything grilled. Blend with mayo for a fantastic taco sauce. It works beautifully added to braised beef or pork dishes as well. I make the chipotles by slow smoking the ripe jalapeños over maple, plum and applewood, then drying them until they have the texture of raisins. They pack a real punch of fire.

A couple more things . .

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Shopping local in Huron County

The summertime bounty of Huron County, Ontario is on full display in August. You’ll find plenty of fresh, local produce, meats, lake fish and more. Ignoring the virus for a moment, this summer has truly been glorious along the Lake Huron shore. July brought many warm, sunny days perfect for enjoying the beaches and extra-warm water.

I’m happy to say you can now buy Bluewater Pepper Farm products at 3 awesome local vendors too. Visit Masse Fruit and Vegetable Farm, Out of the Blue Fish and Seafood Market and The Bad Apple Brewing Company. All 3 are located along Highway 21, between Bayfield and the tiny hamlet of St. Joseph.

Masse Fruit and Vegetable Farm

Visit Masse’s Farm market to buy the freshest produce you can find, much of it harvested from the fields right next to the store. Right now, you’ll find sweet corn in full swing, all the summer vegetables and fruits including peaches, melons and strawberries. Choose from their selection of meats and baked goods while you’re there.

Masse’s grows the peppers we use to make Bluewater Pepper Farm’s Hot Smokey Chipotle and Hellfire Habanero hot sauce. Look for our spices and hot sauce on the table by the checkout.

Masse store and peppers growing in the field
The staff are always friendly and helpful. This year’s pepper crop is looking great too!

Out of the Blue Fish and Seafood Market

If you love seafood, you’ll love Out of the Blue. Get the best fresh lake fish around. Pickerel, yellow perch, rainbow trout and whitefish are available (depending on the catch) and replenished daily. In addition, you’ll find a great selection of smoked fish (done on site), and fresh and frozen ocean seafood.

If you prefer to leave the cooking to Sue, you can choose from a great menu of fish and chips, chowder, fish burgers and more. The fresh cut fries are absolutely awesome too. Enjoy your meal at a picnic table in the beautiful Clan Gregor Square, right across the road from Out of the Blue.

Pick up some Bluewater Pepper Farm spices and sauce at Out of the Blue in Bayfield

Bad Apple Brewing Company

Over the last few years, the team at Bad Apple have transformed their small apple orchard into an all-round family friendly destination. Enjoy the patio bar and beer garden. With picnic tables scattered throughout the orchard, and a giant marquee tent in case of rain, it’s a perfect place to social-distance. They also host local food trucks, live music, yoga and more throughout the summer. Check out their Facebook page for the latest.

Inside the renovated century barn, pick up some Bad Apple swag and buy some beer to take home. Choose from a selection of local products and crafts including our own Bluewater Pepper Farm spices, hot sauce and Mexican chilies.

Bad Apple provides a beautiful orchard setting where you can sample their craft beers.

If you don’t have the good fortune to visit Huron County this summer, you can still order Bluewater Pepper Farm products direct from our store.