Hot Shots Blog

Interesting Information from Hot Shots Distributing

Another Revenue Generator for Restaurants

Many small restaurants struggle on a daily basis to make money and turn a profit, whether it’s local competition, surrounded by the big national chains or just costing out their dishes properly. Restaurants are after all a business and like any business, profitability is key to their overall success. If you’ve taken a look at the trends in the restaurant industry and honestly many aspects of the food industry as a whole, spicy, and hot sauce are extremely popular right now, you can say… They are HOT. One option we here at Hot Shots Distributing can provide is a wide variety of craft artisan hot sauces for a restaurant to purchase wholesale that they can not only offer their customer base to utilize while dining, but to resell as well. From high end gourmet to political satire, to novelty and everything in between. Hot Shots offers a (1) one case minimum, (12) twelve bottles that can be mixed and matched. Meaning that restaurant owners do not have to buy into large quantities of any one sauce, this reduces overhead/backstock and the owner can adjust easily to what sells best at their location and/or dial in specifics on multiple locations. The advantage of being able to customize an order to fit the exact needs of their individual business to help reduce operating costs and provide another revenue stream and that is definitely HOT!

Chile Pepper Fun Fact - Five Main Species of Chile Peppers

Chile Pepper Fun Fact - Five Main Species of Chile Peppers

Peppers, like any other plant-based food, originally came from a naturally growing, undomesticated plant. Wild peppers look more like berries than the peppers you’ll find in the supermarket today, and grow only in the New World, with their range spanning from the southern United States through Central and northern South America.

1) Capsicum annuum 

Most of the peppers you have encountered most likely are strains of Capsicum annuum, considering it contains more pepper varieties than any other species and can be found in cultivation all over the world. Popular Capsicum annuums include jalapenos, cayennes, serranos, plobanos, chili peppers, bell peppers, and most other sweet peppers.

2) Capsicum chinense 

The chinense species, sometimes referred to as the "bonnet pepper", is another mistakenly named pepper species. Chinense means that the plant is of Chinese origin; however, the wild variant of Capsicum chinense is native to the Caribbean and Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

3) Capsicum frutescens 

Closely related to both Capsicum annuum and Capsicum chinense, this species has produced far fewer varieties and its peppers usually don’t get as big. This species is believed to have originated in South or Central America. The most well-known frutescens pepper is the tabasco, which is popularly grown and used to make Tabasco® sauce. Other noteworthy peppers include Thai peppers, African bird's eye and the malagueta pepper.

4) Capsicum baccatum 

While the other domesticated pepper species can be commonly found in cultivation throughout the Americas, baccatum peppers are mainly only popular in South American countries such as Peru and Brazil. These peppers are unique from varieties of other species as they have a notably citrus or fruity flavor and a pleasant fragrant smell. Most peppers of baccatum origin will have the prefix “aji” at the start of the name, such as the aji amarillo and aji omnicolor, and every baccatum pepper plant will have cream or yellow dimples on their flower pedals.

5) Capsicum pubescens 

Perhaps the most easily identifiable pepper species, pubescens pepper plants have deep purple flowers, large black seeds, and the stems and leaves are covered in small hairs. This is likely the first pepper to be domesticated, with its origins traced back to Peru before the Inca Empire. The pepper has been domesticated for so long that we don’t even know what wild ancestor this plant came from. The fruits tend to be large and have thick flesh, such as the manzano and locoto peppers. Despite originating so close to the equator, it is actually the most cold-tolerant pepper plant because it has been grown in high elevations in the Andes Mountains for thousands of years. If left to grow for many years, the plants can become huge, leading some to call it the tree pepper.

Chile Pepper Fun Fact - 7-Pot Peppers from Trinidad

The 7-Pot is from Trinidad, and there are a few different versions, including the Yellow 7-Pot, the 7-Pot Jonah, and the Chocolate, or 7-Pot Douglah. It is related to the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper and has rough, pimpled skin, but is more plump, with a ribbed texture and a more fruity flavor. Its name refers to the saying that it is hot enough to spice 7 pots of stew. In Trinidad, it is used in military grade tear gas and marine paint, which prevents barnacles. 

The heat of the 7-Pot pepper is similar to the Bhut Jolokia but with a fruitier and nuttier flavor, like other Caribbean peppers. It is becoming more popular and well-known among Chileheads.

Salsa Fun Facts

Salsa Fun Fact

SALSA takes on many different forms as you might expect from a dish that has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. The Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans all had their versions of it! The list below covers six of the most popular types of salsa you should know. Each has its own best use cases, so learn them and use them well!

  1. Pico de gallo - Pico de gallo is an uncooked salsa — also called a salsa cruda — made with fresh ingredients. The typical pico de gallo contains tomato, onion, and peppers along with cilantro and lime juice. You can make it hot with jalapeño or serrano chilies or you can use bell peppers for a mild version.
  2. Salsa roja - With a name that means “red sauce”, salsa roja is one of the better known Mexican salsas. It is made with ripe red tomatoes to give it its characteristic bright red color. Salsa roja is most similar to the jarred salsa so popular throughout the United States. Salsa roja is the main salsa in most Tex-Mex restaurants.  Most recipes will include onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Salsa roja is traditionally used as a condiment for tacos and burritos. It’s also used as a topper for meats like chicken and beef.
  3. Salsa verde - To give it the green color referred to in the name, the Mexican version of salsa verde is usually made with tomatillos instead of tomatoes. Aside from the tomatillos, other ingredients are the same ones that show up in other salsa recipes like salsa roja. The typical salsa verde ingredients include peppers, onions, and cilantro.
  4. (BONUS) Jalapeño Salsa verde - Note that while tomatillo salsa is what is most often referred to as salsa verde, some people consider other green sauces like chimichurri sauce to also fall into the salsa verde category. Chimichurri sauce is a bright green Argentinian sauce made with cilantro and parsley.
  5. Salsa criolla - Unlike the other salsas on this list, salsa criolla is red onion-based rather than tomato-based. Other ingredients include aji amarillo peppers and cilantro. A salsa criolla will also have lime juice as a source of acidity — think of it as a ceviche without the seafood. You determine how hot it is by how much of the pepper you add.
  6. Salsa taquera - Taco sauce is what this salsa’s name translates to and it is traditionally served at Mexican taco stands. Similar to Pace’s Picante sauce, taco sauce is known for being spicy. While its main function is as a taco condiment, it works as a dip as well. Use it like salsa roja or any of the standard salsas.
  7. Salsa ranchera - Salsa ranchera delivers a few novel twists on the standard red sauce recipe since it involves roasting the tomatoes for a smokier, more savory flavor. Bringing additional umami notes to the mix is Worcestershire sauce, called salsa inglesa — or English sauce — in Mexico. Salsa ranchera is best known as the type of salsa used to make huevos rancheros, but you can use it like any other tomato-based salsa — as a topping or a dip.