Ever heard of a Carrot Pepper? We hadn’t either until Joanne – co-owner of Splash Café and mastermind behind our award-winning chowder – took a shopping trip to find plants to grow in her home garden.
She took them home on a whim, more curious than anything to see what exactly a Bulgarian Carrot Pepper tasted like (aren’t you?). She planted them alongside several other of her favorite peppers and waited for them to ripen, dreaming of what she’d make. Dream as she might, she couldn’t possibly have imagined what would eventually become of the little 6 pack of peppers she bought that day.
Fast forward a few months and the peppers in her garden grew plentiful. They smelled deliciously pungent, and looked supple, plump and ready to harvest. The Bulgarian Carrot Peppers grew short and pointy, with bright orange skin that looked exactly like a mini carrot. One bite and she knew she had created something great out of this heirloom pepper. It had a distinct crunch and crisp flavor with powerful fruity notes that left a lingering sweetness in her mouth. Then came the punch – spicier than a jalapeño, less so than it’s similarly sweet cousin the habañero. In fact, it was one of the tastiest peppers she’d ever had!
For four years after, Joanne experimented with those Carrot Peppers and set out to make a hot sauce like no other. She spent hours roasting and grinding them, combining them with other peppers, and adding in different vegetables to play with the flavor profile. She hand-bottled each of her experimental hot sauce batches for friends and family to try and enjoy. And when she perfected her formula, she decided to have it commercially bottled so others could enjoy it just as much!
The final creation is famously known as our Carrot Pepper Hot Sauce, Raucous Daucus (or “rowdy carrot” for all of our fellow plant-lovers out there). Raucous Daucus is a sweet and spicy combination of the Bulgarian Carrot Pepper, red Serranos, and – you guessed it – carrots! It’s a medium spicy hot sauce with a touch of sweetness that goes great on eggs, salmon, steak, tacos, pork, and Clam Chowder, of course!
What started as the hobby of a curious gardener, is now a full fledged hot sauce operation that takes place entirely in our home of SLO County. Our Bulgarian Carrot Peppers are grown locally at Talley Farms. Once harvested they’re sent to a local sauce plant that makes and bottles our carrot creation to perfection. You can sample Raucous Daucus and purchase bottles at both of our Splash Café locations (it adds the perfect kick to our award-winning clam chowder) and even purchase at your local SLO market. We also ship nationwide with Goldbelly! Don’t miss out on our GIANT bread bowl + clam chowder + seasonings gift pack, complete with your very own bottle of Carrot Pepper Hot Sauce.
The story of our Carrot Peppers is a testament to the power of curiosity and creativity. It’s a labor of love that we’re so lucky to be able to share with you all and we hope you enjoy this sauce as much as we enjoyed creating it.
In honor of National Clam Chowder, Day, we’re donating 10% of our in-store proceeds from Feb. 25 and 26 to The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation (MOFF) to help fight ALS. So stop in at our Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo locations to eat some super tasty food and get fully loaded for a good cause!Read more
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