SPRING, Texas—If you don’t think the hot sauce business is a growing industry, think again. The production of hot sauce is one of the eight fastest growing industries in the country.
Not necessarily because it was lucrative, but because he loved hot sauce, Kerry Stessel started Hot Line Pepper Products after giving it considerable thought, and he thought it through every step of the way. Hot Line Pepper Products is a local, family owned business based in Spring, Texas.
“There was never any question about making a hot sauce, but a lot of time went into the recipes for the current 4-product line,” Stessel said. In fact, the recipes were experimented with and tested for two years, before ever going into production. Stessel added, “I wanted a blend of spices and peppers that produced a full-flavor product, not just a chemical burn.”
The result was a range of hot sauces that are all natural, with no additives or preservatives - and all original. Stessel maintains that he didn’t want to be influenced by other recipes, so he based his blends on his own taste preferences and from the results of his taste surveys. Viscosity and consistency were primary considerations in order to control variation in the products.
“Chiles have different profiles and different levels of heat, especially jalapenos. Controlling the taste and heat is the biggest challenge,” Stessel said.
The four Hot Line Pepper Products include Garlicky Greengo, Hatchanero, Evil Ooze, and Ghost Pepper Saucer. Stessel not only thought through the blends, but developed the sauces to blend with different foods, not unlike wine/food pairings.
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