New Zealand has a growing reputation for making world-class hot sauces, winning a combined haul of 11 medals at the 2016 World Hot Sauce Awards.
The American-based World Hot Sauce Awards are considered the most prestigious and coveted Chilli awards in the world. More than 1000 products were entered by 213 companies representing 16 Countries with five New Zealand Chilli companies winning awards at the ceremony held in Louisiana.
Fire Dragon Chillies won the title of World Champion in the Extra Hot category with their Fire Dragon Chillies Deadly Chilli Sauce which is made from the hottest chillies on earth. It is the second time their Deadly Sauce as taken out the Xtra Hot category after winning in 2014 and now 2016.
Huffman’s Sauces had the largest medal haul on the night with their Huffman’s Thai Sweet Chilli Aromatic Sauce and Huffman’s Spiced Bloody Mary Tomato Ketchup each winning Silver medals in their respective divisions as well as scooping up another Silver and a Bronze for their website and packaging.
Baxter’s Original won a Silver in the BBQ Sauce Division for their Baxter’s Spicy Bourbon BBQ Sauce and a Bronze in the same divisions with their Baxter’s Chipotle BBQ Sauce.
The Lucky Taco won Silver with their The Lucky Taco Chipotle Hot Sauce in the Chipotle Sauce Category.
Culley’s won Silver with their Culley’s Buffalo Wing Sauce in the Wings Sauce Category.
Wild West Worcester won a Bronze medal with their Sweet Black Sauce in the Hot Sauce Category and their Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce received a Bronze in the marketing division.
The chilli scene in New Zealand is just getting hotter and hotter and here are some to test the palate.
Six hot, hot, hot sauces
Baxter’s Original (Wellington)
A family run business in Wellington, New Zealand. The idea for the business started as their family had so many different food allergies, it seemed as far as food went there wasn’t anything store bought they could have that was packaged. They were all full of gluten, colouring, preservatives with strange numbers and thickeners with hidden wheat. So since 2013, they have worked on perfecting their recipes of hypoallergenic sauces and ice cream that everybody can have. They first sold them through work, then went on to markets, now they are releasing them in stores. They use the most healthy ingredients, handcraft every portion, and make sure you still have plenty of flavour.
Named after owner and founder Chris Cullen, a playful nickname now crafting its way as a household brand around the globe. Culley’s passion for all things hot started from a very young age and saw him creating hot sauces for friends and family. After a long career as a chef, and much encouragement from his mates, Chris decided to turn his passion into a business, Culley’s was born. Now stocked in all main supermarkets and good food retailers, you’ll also find your favourite Culley’s sauces in some of New Zealand’s most popular restaurants.
Fire Dragon Chillies (Hokianga)
Fire Dragon Chillies was born at the start of 2008 and is based in Northland, on an amazing piece of land near the Hokianga Harbour. Here Fire Dragon Chillies grow their chillies all organically with no sprays. The mineral water they are fed is straight from the earth through a natural spring. All the produce for their sauces is grown by them or other growers in Aotearoa. All have no preservatives, additives or colourings. And all come packed with quality chillies grown by them for you. Their sauces are all HOT so please use with caution and enjoy.
Huffman’s Sauces (Wellington)
Born in Wellington, Huffman’s range of handcrafted sauces are the result of years of work at the top of his field by master chef Nicholas Huffman’s. As a chef, Nick didn’t want sauces that would compete with the flavours of his ingredients or overpower his dishes and his sauces are all crafted to work as seasonings that bring balance and harmony to dishes so that they lift the flavours … simply put you taste your food more with a little Huffs. Huffman’s use only the finest natural ingredients, with no artificial preservatives, stabilisers, additives or colourings.
The Lucy Taco (Auckland)
Established in 2013, The Lucky Taco food truck is the spicy brainchild of husband and wife team, Sarah and Otis Frizzell.Besotted with tacos and after a love affair with food trucks during their honeymoon to LA and Mexico in 2011, the pair set about to give keen New Zealanders a taste of the real deal – fresh, tasty and authentic soft shell tacos, served from a glittering, shiny taco truck. They’ve since taken their sauces, rubs and tacos on the road and you can now find their ranges of authentic Mexican fare at many local supermarkets and speciality food stores.
Wild West Worcester (Dargaville)
Founder Karty has been making her Worcester sauce for her very large extended family for years and years and they all love it.The word has since spread and now she’s started making it commercially for loyal customers here and overseas. her Sauces take a really long time to make; many many months of different stages and lots and lots of ageing between the stages. But, as they say, good things take time, and now with a couple of World Medals to her name, things are looking bright for her dark sauce.
Source: Scoop 2016