Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Hey Mister...wanna buy some hot sauce?

Sometimes there are funny things that happen during our travels that we never get a chance to tell you about at the time. Maybe because other things happened that particular day that took up the entire blog post and so the blog post gets too long with all of the photos and narration.

I looked in our fridge the other day and saw an unmarked bottle of hot sauce. This reminded me of a funny story that I had to tell you.

It was in January, the day before we crossed the border back into Arizona from Mexico. It was a long driving day in the motorhome and we wanted to pull over for lunch. Around 1:00pm I spotted a bit of a parking area just near the entrance to a town, and we pulled in for a break.

As we're sitting there, a guy pulls up on an ATV. He's got a young boy with him, and on the back of the ATV there's a big white bag. He pulls up beside the motorhome. And just sits there.

Hmm. Ruth and I are looking at each other thinking this is kind of strange. Finally, curiosity gets the better of me and I go outside. I say hello to the guy and we start a bit of small talk. Of course this is all done in my broken Spanish.

All of a sudden, the guy gets all excited and asks if I want to buy some peppers. I didn't quite understand what he was asking at first, so he opens the big white bag. It was full of tiny peppers, smaller than the size of a cherry. I politely decline, but he's insistent that I should buy this huge bag of peppers.

It took a lot of repetition, but eventually I understand what he's telling me. He says that they're worth a lot of money because they're so potent. But I explain that we don't need a huge bag of peppers!

Then, he says his wife makes hot pepper sauce. He simply called it salsa. Well, there are many different kinds of salsa in Mexico. Did I want to buy some salsa? Okay, I said that I would be interested in a bottle of salsa.

He takes off on his ATV and comes back about five minutes later. He brought me six big jars! And this stuff isn't normal salsa made with chunks of tomato. It's hot sauce...like tabasco sauce.

He tells me to taste it, but warns that it's "muy picante"...very spicy!

I ask Ruth for a spoon, and he pours a few drops on it.

Yikes! This stuff is like rocket fuel! Tabasco sauce is nothing compared to this stuff.

What would I do with six big jars of this stuff?? He tells me that I could sell it and  make a profit! Then, he asks for 500 pesos ($40 or so) for all six jars.

I ask him how much for just one jar, and eventually we agree on 120 pesos ($9.60). I probably overpaid, but this jar will likely last us 10 years or more.

Big jar of spice.

It only takes a few drops of this stuff to change the flavor of a dish.

We make the deal and shake hands and say goodbye. I close the motorhome door...and the guy and his son just sit there.

We couldn't figure it out.

Eventually, a bus pulls up! He talks to the driver, and the driver opens the cargo hatch and the two of them stuff this huge white bag of peppers into the hold. We couldn't figure out why the guy was hanging around, but apparently he has the bus take his bags of peppers on to the next town where they are likely sold at a market.

Just another day in Mexico.

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It even ships to Canada.


20 comments:

  1. Great story! Thanks for sharing! Now you have hot sauce for decades!

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    1. We thought it was pretty funny! You just never know what to expect when you are traveling in Mexico, there always seems to be something happening.

      Well, maybe not decades but certainly for a few years!

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  2. Years ago my husband took me to an 'authentic' Mexican restaurant, I ordered enchilada....it was so hot I only took a couple of bites with lots of water. The spicy food blistered my whole mouth I couldn't eat for days....I swear they added more than hot peppers to the mix.

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    1. If you found Mexican food spicy you don't want to even try some of the South Korean food then! We have found over the years that our spiciness level has definitely moved up on the ladder, it takes a while but you soon find the food you thought was spicy at one time isn't so spicy anymore.

      I remember years ago, many years ago we went to a Szechuan restaurant in Ottawa with Kevin's family and we ordered the mild level of food and we ended up drinking tons of water, at that time we all said that we would hate to have had the hot! Now I would like to see how our tastes have changed and try that place again.

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  3. What a great story, love my Hot Sauces. Last fall I bought 5 bottles at a store near Buffalo ( Adventures in Heat), one for my son and a couple friends. I find this over the top hot sauce is probably like that 2 drops to a dish is all you need.
    Each bottle lasts me about 5-6 years and I even take it to a restaurant with me, nobody seems to have real hot stuff.

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    1. George, you would love this stuff. I am sure that we will still have some whenever we meet up on the road and then you can try some for yourself.

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  4. That stuff in the jar looks more like molten lava than hot sauce... :cD

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  5. The more you have, the milder it becomes.

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  6. Jet fuel and you still bought it? You two must have casket iron stomached.

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    1. Yep, we sure did and so glad that we did too! :-)

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    2. Must be good, looks like you've used quite a bit so far!

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    3. Yes, it is Debbie, I use just a tiny amount in quite a few of our dishes, it gives them a nice little kick!

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  7. Chiltepines. They harvest them in the mountains. Lots of them in Sonora.

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    1. That is exactly what they are, thank you Brenda!

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  8. we love muy picante... we make our own and always have a jar in the fridge

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    1. We like "muy picante" too, but this stuff isn't like most salsa's out there, it is definitely more like a hot sauce. You definitely only need a little bit at a time.

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  9. Great story! I like hot stuff, but there are limits:)

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    1. Yes, there are limits but this isn't the type of salsa that you put on nacho chips, it is better when a small amount is used in your cooking. Having said that some might like to "shake" a bit on their nachos, if they really like it hot and spicy!

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