Warning: This is a rant!

'm an easy-going soul most of the time, but once in a while, something happens that really wrinkles my rankle! Here's one of those things. Check out this little item I found on one of the WWW hot sauce pages:

Pure Cap................A great idea as a cooking additive. Use the eye dropper for precise measurement (you probably need one drop at a time) to increase the heat of your recipe without adding the flavors or tastes that come with other sauces. A RELEASE FORM MUST BE SIGNED BEFORE WE SHIP THIS PRODUCT! -2oz @ $8.00

What is this stuff?

ee that label? "100 times hotter than jalapeņo"? If you shoot a chemical called hexane through a pepper mash, you get pure capsaicin. Capsaicin is the stuff that makes peppers hot, and the extract has for some time now been mixed with oil to be used as a pepper spray, suitable for fending off muggers and other wildlife. It's actually quite dangerous. In the U.S., the FDA won't let you possess it without a permit! (Which may well be the reason for the "release form" mentioned above.)

So what's it doing in food??

Exactly! What is it doing in food? A few weeks ago, Anwar, the guy who makes my glasses, let me sample Dave's Insanity Sauce. Dave, known for attending food shows in a straitjacket, started putting capsaicin extract in a sauce back in 1991, and on one occasion saw his fine product banned from a fiery foods show because a customer who sampled it started hyperventilating and officials had to call the paramedics. Word up! As you already know, I like hot stuff as much as anyone, but this is NUTS! It just burns! There's no point to this except to hurt yourself. The flavor? It could be car wax for all I know, because the heat is so overwhelming that you can't taste anything. And to compound the felony, there are now Dave imitators out there. Beware also of Mad Dog Inferno Hot Sauce, Red Dog Tavern Armageddon Sauce and Endorphin Rush Beyond Hot Sauce.


This stuff isn't for eating, it's for spraying on rabid dogs. Sorry kids, but habaņeros are about as hot as I like it. (By the way, Dave excuses his sauce by saying it's nowhere near the heat of the red savina, a habaņero that tests out at 326,000 Scoville units. So what? I wouldn't want one of those, either.)


Take it from a guy who found out the hard way! Eric Scholz had an up-close and personal encounter with Dave's, and lived to tell about it. Which he does, here.

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