Angry Cock was a bad choice. It should have been obvious, but for one amateur hot sauce taster, the fierce looking rooster on the bottle was an irresistible siren’s call. End result: taste buds blown out, eyes watering, sweat on forehead pooling, shot after shot of milk downed. But no one in this rowdy group gathered within the cavernous, twisting confines of the East Village bar Jimmy’s No. 43 on a recent freezing-cold April night seemed to notice. They had one thing on their minds – hot sauce, and lots of it.
This group of hotheads gathered to help pick the winners of the Screaming Mi Mi Awards, a hot sauce competition arranged into categories like Asian, Caribbean, Louisiana Style, and XXX (Non Extract). The winner will be announced at the 4th Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo, a celebration of all things spicy taking place at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint on April 23rd and 24th. Founders Steve Seabury and Jimmy Carbone were on hand, supervising the blind taste test. Enthusiastic judges with taste buds of steel sampled multiple sauces over the course of about three hours, helped out by whipped cream (the milk fat dulls the pain), sandwiches, and lots and lots of beer.