Buy This: Three ways to get a little heat in your meals

There are dozens of ways to include peppers in your cooking. We like these three.

A Pepper Grinder filled with Pepper Blend from Hotlanta Peppers 

Hotlanta Peppers is the brainchild of Mike Farrell. He grows 40 different kinds of peppers under organic conditions in his north Atlanta garden, harvests and dehydrates the peppers and then creates blends that range in heat from Midnight Train to Georgia (the mildest at 1,000 to 10,000 Scoville Heat Units) to Devil Went Down to Georgia (the hottest at over a million Scoville units). Buy a 1/2-ounce tin to add to whatever you’re cooking or do as we did and purchase his pre-loaded stainless steel punch grinder. It also holds a 1/2-ounce but the mechanism allows you to push the plunger and add a dusting or a teaspoon (keep plunging!) of whatever mix you’ve put inside. Perfect for sprinkling on finished dishes, we liked being able to add a little heat to something as simple as a cream cheese-topped bagel. Grinding dried peppers means the flavors aren’t released until they’re ground so the mixes stay fresh for a good long while.

$25 for the punch grinder loaded with 1/2-ounce of dried peppers, $9 per 1/2-ounce tin of pepper blends. Available at the Grant Park and Green Market at Piedmont Park farmers markets or online at 

Hungarian Wax Pepper Hot Sauce from Pulp 

“I love peppers,” says chef and former farmer Nicholas Gregory who started his company, Pulp, to share his love of peppers with the world. His seven varieties of small batch fermented hot pepper sauces (four available year round and three seasonal flavors) are made in southwest Atlanta using just five ingredients - peppers, garlic, turbinado sugar, kosher salt and white vinegar and Gregory wants you to know there’s roughly a half pound of peppers in each bottle. We love peppers, too, but aren’t always up for incendiary heat. So we decided to try the mildest, the Hungarian Wax sauce. The fact that the peppers aren’t cooked means the sauce tastes really fresh, and that’s very different from other hot sauces we’ve tried. And because they’re raw sauces, you need to keep the little bottles refrigerated. You want to use them where you can enjoy that fresh taste so we think this would be great stirred in hummus, added to queso after it’s been heated or as the base for a fresh salsa. And we can totally see it as the start of a great vinaigrette.

$7 per 5-ounce bottle. Available at the Candler Park Market, Chop Shop, Cultured South, David's Produce and Country Store, Floral Park Market, Grant Park Market, Lucy's Market, Jim Adams Farm & Table, Pine Street Market, Spiller Park at Toco Hills and at the Grant Park farmers market.

Hot Sauce from Lillie’s of Charleston 

Tracey Richardson and her sister Kellye Wicker named their business after their Great Aunt Lillie. Their dad, Hank, spent his summers cooking with his aunt and went on to open The Rib Shack on the corner of King & Cleveland Streets in Charleston, S. C. in 1985. Lillie’s of Charleston was founded to share his original mustard-based barbecue sauce (Hab Mussy Mustard) with a wider audience, and the sisters have gone on to add a seasoning mix, two varieties of hot sauce and a second mustard-based barbecue sauce, Finger Leek-en Mustard. The barbecue sauce names reflect the family’s Gullah heritage. We sampled the original hot sauce, “Low Country Loco.” This is one hot sauce where the heat is up front, but not overwhelming. We like the mix of spices along with the combination of black and red peppers that makes this sauce distinctive. Perfect to add a little heat to your seafood cocktail sauce or mix into a marinade for great grilled chicken.

$9.09 a 5-ounce bottle. Available, along with their barbecue sauce, from Amazon.


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