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Heat

That was a long week. Productive, but lengthy. Instead of talking about business, which I can’t talk about, I’ll talk about the one non-business thing I did this week: Dixie’s BBQ.

Dixie’s is pretty decent BBQ with a great gimmick. You get your food, you go sit down at your table, and the owner of the place wanders over with a pot of his hot sauce: “The Man.” He makes a big production about giving you some, especially if it’s your first time. I was there with a couple of co-workers, and since they were native Bostonians I figured my experience with hot sauces went a little beyond theirs. I believed them when they said The Man was hotter than hot, but I was pretty sure I could handle it anyhow. So I let Gene (the aforementioned owner) plop a big spoonful onto my brisket.

It’s insanely hot, most likely the hottest thing anyone who isn’t fanatical about their hot sauces has ever tasted. According to the intelligent folks at chile-heads, it’s about 2/3rds Endorphin Rush and 1/3rd the normal Dixie’s barbecue sauce.

I can only find one source for the Scoville value of Endorphin Rush, alas. They claim it’s 120,000 Scovilles. Sounds about right, but I have no way to verify it. If we accept that at face value, and we accept the chile-heads guesses at face value, that’d put The Man at about 80,000 Scovilles. Tabasco sauce is around 3,000 Scovilles.

The fired-up brisket wasn’t much of a problem; the heat brought out the flavor nicely. I even got another half-spoon of The Man on the remainder of the brisket. I should not, however, have let Gene dump another spoon into the baked beans. It wasn’t so much the heat as it was the combo of the heat and the sweetness of the beans and the not-so-tasty hot link I got with my brisket — I handled the heat just fine, but the mixture of flavors was hard on my stomach. If I ever wander by there again I’ll just get the brisket straight and see how that goes.

None of this is very impressive to the madmen who go past the very hot sauces such as Endorphin Rush into the superhots. Endorphin Rush is based on a pepper extract, so it’s way more intense than you generally get out of a hot sauce. Some sauces go further: you can in fact get 1 million plus Scoville heat in a bottle. I sort of suspect that it’s more a collector thing than anything else, since Blair’s sauces can go for a couple hundred bucks on EBay. The hottest of the hots are literally dangerous to handle, so I can’t imagine anyone breaking the wax seals and cooking with ‘em.

Either way, though, I’ll stick with the sauces that ring in at 100,000 Scovilles and under.

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