Alan from Infusion Hot Sauce talks about his long career in the food and hot sauce business. Infusion Hot Sauce just celebrated their 10 year anniversary. They are our first Maryland hot sauce company featured on CraftHotSauce.
I'll be 62 this year, and have been in the food business since I was 14. I've done just about any and every job. Until my late twenties I worked in all manner of professional kitchens from delis and the Bethesda Naval Hospital mess hall to fine dining establishments all over the country. My positions progressed from grill cook to head chef.
I worked in the seafood market of the Maryland Food Distribution Center designing HACCP plans and creating recipes for commercial customers. After that I started a gourmet catering business. In the mid 90's a friend had so many chilies in his garden he didn't know how to use them.
In Silver Spring, MD there's a seafood restaurant called Crisfields that's been open since the forties. I've been going since the early 70's. One of the bartenders, now long retired made a pepper sauce we used on everything. My first Sauce Dragonfire was a gourmet tribute to Ned's sauce from Crisfields. The recipe is unique and uses an acidification process I invented to infuse vinegar with fresh chiles.
Each sauce uses three kinds of real peppers with no extracts, chemicals or emulsifiers. I made the first batch in the kitchen and the boiling vinegar chased everyone out of the house including the dog. People loved it so much I would make enough every year to last for me and as gifts for family and friends.
In 2006 I created Infusion Hot Sauce Company. I had been making the original Dragonfire formula and Firepower for a long time by then so those were the first commercial products. Through friends I contacted RipBang pictures to do my art work. We've won Scovie Awards for the logo and gift box designed after Hypernova was added.
This was still before superhots, and at the time it was one of the hottest naturally made sauces in the USA. In 2007 we were invited to the China International Condiment and Food Additive Exhibition in Changsha, Hunan. Ours is the only American gourmet hot sauce ever sold in China. We added Mango Bango and Mister Pig dry rub in 2008 and have been going strong for 10 years now.
Mango Bango is probably our most popular sauce. The real mango purée gives a sweet start and the peppers, including ghost chilies give it a kick finish.