BY JOHN-LAURENT TRONCHE
October 06, 2008
Fort Worth is no stranger to spices – what, with its appetite for fiery Tex-Mex, annual ZestFest spicy foods celebration and abundance of Mexican markets featuring all manner of peppers, from Anaheim to Tabasco.
And Fort Worth-based Ol’ Gringo Chili Co. is doing its part to keep the city’s reputation solidly hot – but not too spicy.
“One of the things that makes our sauce unique is the combination of heat and flavor that doesn’t overpower you,” said partner Tom West of Hell’s Passion, created and bottled for Cin Chili & Co. The sauce won second place in the Pepper Blend category during September’s ZestFest 2008 competitions. “It brings on the heat and finishes with the flavor, instead of starting out with a little flavor and finishing with heat where you can’t even eat more. I think the balance is right … On a hot scale of one to 10, I’d say it’s about a three or three and a half.”
The five-year-old company crafts a bevy of hot sauces and spices, including a habanero hot sauce, chipotle mustard (West’s favorite) and The Original Pepper Sauce – Ol’ Gringo’s best-selling item.
“We’ve got accounts from California to Florida,” said West, adding the four-person company sells about 1,000 cases of hot sauces per month. Products have made it as far as Singapore.