After starting the year off to a blazing (*ahem*) start, the following months tapered off significantly, down to about a 1/3 of the review total for the prior period. Partially this had to do with work trips, partially to illness, partially to a desire to use up more of the open sauces, partially to a diet change and partially to vacation. It’s still possible to hit 100 reviews by the end of the year, as the total now stands at 91 and I have many more than 9 on deck. I also went through a full fridge purge prior to leaving for vacation, so the open sauces have been cut down significantly.
Of perhaps more concern is that I haven't really hit on one that is much of a contender for Sauce Of The Year, which is looking like a very light competition this year. At the half year point, I basically have...zero candidates.
Even once I do hit 100, it will be a far cry from Scott Robert’s total, which I think he pegs somewhere at 3,000 various hot items. My own total is well over 1,000, but I don’t include things in reviews like snacks (chips, nuts, etc.) or wing sauce or BBQ sauce or dry spices or restaurant items. This is not a knock on him at all and he definitely takes his place of prominence in the halls of spicy promoters. It’s likely he means more to that movement than I ever will…definitely in terms of draw. It’s more a description of our respective reviewing styles.
Speaking of restaurant items, I’ve tried several of the spiciest that various restaurants have to offer (I will do this if I have the time and nothing pressing - mostly because of the possibility of gastric distress from elements other than the ones intended to add piquancy. Though it has never happened, I don’t chance it if I can’t afford for there to be a first time) and fired through a few challenges. I don’t generally find much of interest in the challenges as they are invariably either ingesting mass quantities (these I don’t pursue at all as I need to generally eat less, not more) or are on the high heat end of things, which means usually a decided lack of flavor or bad flavor with cheats, such as extract. I don’t really have anything to prove and when I go out to eat am infinitely more interested in the food tasting good.
One of these days I might go through the restaurants in the area and try to find a spicy challenge or menu item I’ve missed, but for many, if not most of these, I have spicier sauces in my fridge and definitely on my shelf. For many, many of these, the hottest they will get is Chipotle seasoning. For some, it’s only up to Jalapeno, maybe a Serrano, unless they use extract. That is very difficult to mask well or easily and even though I’ve choked through a few of those, I don’t repeat them and if it comes with regular food, I sometimes will stop, but will always make note never to have again. Ghost pepper is gaining some prominence, but it is sriracha that is really going nuts lately and I’m passingly, if at all, interested in that. I’m at the point of life where if it’s not worth consuming, I won’t finish for the sake of finishing. This gets borderline on some of the sauces, but much less so with restaurants and is one of the more useful attributes for Yelping.
Speaking of that, I’ve hit a few benchmarks, but nothing too notable there. As always, if you want to add me as a friend, I’ll add you right back.