The 3rd Annual Hot Sauce Expo went down a couple weekends ago at the National Grove of Anaheim, and as past years have proven, this is the party you need to BE AT! Every year that I’ve gone, I grow more and more fond of the event. They seem to work out the kinks, scrap the things that didn’t work (though everything has always flowed seamlessly), and try new and even more exciting things. The thing that I love the most though? The music! They definitely crank the metal, and that, my friends, is where my heart calls home. So without further ado, we’ll get right to it – this post is picture heavy, so get your scrollin’ fingers ready!
Hot Sauce Vendors
This is the reason for the party right here. All your favorites are in one spot so you can stock up on them for the year. We tried a couple new companies too! It’s not all about the hot sauce either. This year there were vendors selling hot sauce accessories, and bitters of all things! The Hubbs and I tried a serrano bitter – because we like our drinks spicy too!
When I heard there was going to be Luchador Wrestling, I thought that there would be one event, and that would be it. Not so! They had matches going on all day long, and they were SO entertaining! There was never a dull moment at the expo, and this was a major reason for that.
The VIP Tent this year was discounted! Normally $100, the price came down to $75! If you plan on having a few cocktails or a few beers, and want to eat, this is really the package for you. It’s worth every penny. They bring in Lucille’s every year, and the ribs, tri-tip, mashed potatoes, slaw, and biscuits are flowing! It all looked so good, but since the Hubbs and I are vegetarian, we partook in the mashed potatoes and slaw. Slather of BBQ sauce, and that’s all she wrote! There are vendors there, slinging tasters of their wares – every year there’s a different group of fine folks, so you never get the same experience twice. That’s the spice of life! Ghost Tequila and Black Craft Spirits‘s Ghost Pepper whiskey were two of my faves this year!
Spicy Bagel of Doom Eating Challenge
Seems so harmless, right? These people (with the exception of our friend who entered the challenge), were HURTING. Look at all that spice dust! I love bagels, but I can’t handle that kind of heat. Let me back up a bit. I’m a lover of spice to be sure. In the general population, my heat tolerance is above average, I’d say. Here, the rules are different. Some of the medium sauces even, I can’t handle! It’s a real barn-burner!
Since we couldn’t take full advantage of the VIP tent, we ventured into the food vendor section of the show. To our delight, there was a vegan pop-up tent, and we took FULL ADVANTAGE! JJ’s Snack Shack had vegan BBQ Nachos, Hush Puppy Pops, and Buffalo Funnel Cake…. WHAAAAT! We were in vegan heaven.
Chihuahua Beauty Pageant
Cute puppies all dressed up? What could be cuter? Nothing in the world, that’s what. They were all so dang adorable.
Winners of the Booze & Infuse Challenge
I missed the actual challenge, because I needed to get my hot sauce shopping on, but here were the winners! That lucky dude won $500! I may have to enter myself next year.
More Luchador Wrestling
These guys were the stars of the wrestling circuit. So entertaining.
Carolina Reaper Eating Challenge
For each Hot Sauce Expo, there is an attempt made to beat the Guinness Book World Record for eating the most Carolina Reaper chiles, currently the hottest pepper in the world. The number to beat is 120 grams. The record holder was there to try to beat his old record, and this time, nobody could do it, not even him. There was an overall winner for the day though, at 77 grams I believe. You see those bowls? You’d have to eat two of those bowls in under a minute to even come close to beating the record. Do you have what it takes? Come to the next expo!
It’s a lot of hard work to put on such a successful event like this, and Steve & Lisa Seabury work their asses off to make sure that it goes off without a hitch. Congratulations to them for putting on the party of the year!
For more information on the next CA Hot Sauce Expo, check this link: CA Hot Sauce Expo
Until Next Time,